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.