The Renault Duster is one of the best know SUVs currently on sale in India. Launched in India in 2012, the Duster looks tough but offers one of the smoothest rides in an SUV. However, while it is quite good off-road, a tank proving ground is no place for it. Thankfully, Motor.ru got Renault Russia’s Duster which features tank tracks to take on the proving ground and a T-80 tank.
The video starts off as a normal review, though one at a tank proving ground where different armies from across the world including India just had a competition in. The reviewer starts off by talking about the Duster and how the Russian-spec version of the compact SUV differs from the regular one sold in Europe. One of the changes he mentions is the fact that the Russian-spec Duster has extra ground clearance at 200 mm.
He then decides to show off the off-roading prowess of the Duster by taking it through the tank proving grounds. He pushes the Duster through its paces pushing it through small pools of water as he talks about the tough old Renault suspension setup that can handle the real tough terrain. He then states that the Duster is very good off-road ‘so you have to work hard to get stuck in’. Funnily enough, moments later he gets stuck.
Thankfully, he then switches to the Russian developed tracked Duster, which uses the Regula SUV’s suspension setup along with 4 tank tracks. The reviewer states that the tracked Duster will be used by the Romanian army(the Duster is the work of Renault’s subsidiary Dacia, which is based in Romania) in the near future, albeit with armour, roll-bar protection and a machine gun on the roof. The tracked based Duster is at ease on the tank proving grounds, so the Motor.ru reviewer decides to put it to the ultimate test – pitting it against a real tank.
The tank that he chooses is no slouch either. The T-80 main battle tank has been in production since 1976 and weighs in at 46 tonnes and is powered by either a diesel engine or a gas turbine both of which produce 1,250 Hp.
Thankfully, he decides to challenge the T-80 in a race rather than trying to escape the tank, which has a 125mm gun as its main weapon. The race commences and at first, the tracked Duster seems to be set for a win as it manages to stay ahead of the tank. However, as the slush gets thicker, the Duster starts struggling due to the thick slush which also blocks out the windscreen. The T-80 which can do 70 km/h on the road and 46 km/h on rough terrain though surges ahead and ends up winning the race despite all of its extra weight.
Not that all this is going to help the Duster in India. The car is selling steady alright, but is quite a bit long in the tooth. And Captur has already not exactly shaken up the markets either. We, and most Renault fans, are hoping for the company to come up with something really exciting. Is the Nissan Kicks gonna be it?