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Dacia Hamster: The First Romanian Diesel Hybrid Car, Also The Cheapest


After the European success held by Dacia Sandero, meet Dacia Hamster. You read right, Hamster (in German the word refers to the action of gathering, storing – you get the idea). It was about time someone developed a cheap hybrid car that, although new, doesn’t exceed the money of a regular car and has the CO2 emissions of a Prius.

So, the Romanian Dacia Hamster is based on the Sandero Stepway and is propelled by the EcoMatic Hybrid System, developed by a team of students from the University of Pitesti.

Just like we’ve seen in Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4, the Dacia Hamster will feature a 4WD system (Electricway-4WD) consisting of a diesel engine moving the front wheels and a 10 hp electric motor moving the rear.

The 75-horsepower, 1.2-liter diesel engine should be, as far as I know, an ultra-economic engine, and because diesels don’t emit by far as much CO2 as gasoline engine do, it’ll afford bragging with the 99 g/km figure. There’s a big chance that the car will also feature a DPF (diesel particulate filter), so I guess the car will be cleaner than any diesel on the market – a hybrid diesel.

For more advanced energy savings, besides the regenerative braking system, the car’s battery will be charged by a solar panel mounted on top. We don’t know yet if the solar panel will only provide energy for the A/C system or will contribute to the overall juice.

Now, you have to be at least curious about the price of Dacia’s Hamster. Keep in mind: it doesn’t have a personality of its own, a special futuristic design or any of the uniqueness of a Prius, Tesla Roadster or any other “dedicated” hybrid or electric vehicle, so it’s cheaper (just like the 3008). The price will be somewhere around $10,000, and the car will be available starting 2012.

The 4-year warranty will surely drive people into buying this mild hybrid made after a successfully-simple small family car, the Sandero. Two other models, Electra and Grand Sandero will also be released by the same team and produced by Dacia.

The Hamster will attend a green car show in Monte Carlo, at the end of this month.

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