21 September 2012

The return of cheap sedan - 2013 Dacia Logan & Sandero

Remember Dacia Logan? It is the 5000 Euros car launched at the end of 2004. It was a clever car, in engineering terms. It opened up a lot of interesting design option that many engineers took for granted. I was involved in the tear down of this car back in my automotive design engineer days, and was more than impressed with how the car was engineered. For one, the metal sheets were supremely simple. It has nothing of the complex stamped sheet with multiple beads, depression and oblong hole. It is just simple straight pieces, and culminated form various platform pieces from Renault-Nissan group. The simplicity of inner panel reinforcement, observed in the hood inner, front end car, split side structure outer panel are just clever. And this is before going into the plastic parts. The side mirror is symmetric left and right, half of the bumper is unpainted, so that the lower plastic part needs no color matching, the door trim is one-piece, the door inner handle is a simple affair too, carried over from the Renault cars, and have some rubber padded stopper in it. The dashboard is single mould product, the list goes on.....

The new one has arrived. And Dacia has revealed it ahead of its intended Paris debut, both in Logan sedan form and Sandero hatchback model. Externally, the new Logan/Sandero has ditched the current car angular, straight line and flat sheet panel, and has gained some curve. While the body panel is still slab-like to cut tooling cost, Dacia has pressed in some characterline above the wheelarch and the lower waist of the car.

The front end is more detailed too. The headlight blended more with the body panel instead of looking like a borrowed part. The front grille is just made of slats and mesh-backed. Overall, the body panel has more decorative creases stamped in, and the trend continues all the way to the back with the trunk lid panel. Logan and Sandero has an identical front end, while the rear end share the same tail light. Door outside handle is the simple lift type.

The dashboard and door trim are visibly more cheerful looking compared to the depressed-looking of the old one. While the dashboard could still be one-piece moulded, the upper and lower part are differently textured, and the centre console has some modern Renault cues in it. Depending on the trim, silver trim can be have too.

Dacia Logan and Sandero will be launched at Paris Motorshow where more juicy details will be revealed. More photos of both cars can be found after the jump.

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