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Dacia Logan Steppe Review

March 2006
Filed under: DACIA Car News | DACIA Headlines
Dacia has chosen the 2006 Geneva Motor Show to unveil its first-ever show car produced by Renault Design. Developed on the theme of snow sports, it provides a vision of what a leisure vehicle on a Logan base might be. True to the brand’s reputation for robustness, Logan Steppe concept features sturdy body parts. Its colour scheme gives it a convivial feel, while the use of tech-feel fabrics and sporty materials inside ensures a sense of warmth and comfort. The car has SUV looks without the frills and combines a long list of simple yet practical features with an exceptionally bright and spacious interior. With Logan Steppe concept, never before have freedom and adventure been so accessible.
Sitting squarely on its 17-inch wheels, Logan Steppe concept exudes robustness, an impression reinforced by its wrap-around bumpers and protective side sills, yet lightened by the use of metallic finish inserts. Derived directly from Logan, the car’s grille and front-end design suggest sports performance.

Certain technical features – such as the use of “flat blade” windscreen wipers and diode Xenon headlamps – bring comfort and modernity to Logan Steppe concept, while its disc brakes and big callipers point to performance. Standing at a height of 1.78m including its roof storage system, Logan Steppe concept features wellbalanced proportions.

The side strips echo the front-end styling and offer protection along narrow lanes. The metallic finish door handles and direction indicators built into the door mirrors highlight the car’s racy personality, while the quarter lights reinforce its dynamic lines. Developed with snow sports especially in mind, the specific roof storage system – which is built into the roof – calls on the same materials as those employed for the bumpers and door handles.

Logan Steppe concept’s rear-end styling suggests a spacious interior. Access to the boot is facilitated by a touch-sensitive button; simply touching it allows the two symmetrical rear doors to swing open and reveal a low sill. To ensure a brightly-lit interior, the car features a large glazed area (more than 3.3 square metres in total). Meanwhile, the translucent rear diode lights are built into the bumpers.

The interior of Logan Steppe concept exudes a sense of warmth and conviviality, with a combination of lightcoloured leather and tech-feel fabrics. The seats take their inspiration directly from the road car and offer touring car comfort for five people. The MP3 player hints at the interior’s high-tech ambience and the rear passengers can watch their latest freestyling* exploits on the slopes thanks to two video screens built into the back of the front headrests. Accessories can be stored safely in the roof storage system. The netted seatback pockets are ideal for stowing sports magazines. The rear 60/40 split benchseat permits enhanced modularity and load carrying capacity. The design of the dashboard is evocative of escapism and sport, and it would come as no surprise to spot the trace of a snowboard* boot above the passenger-side airbag... The centre console takes up the same tech-feel design cues and materials as those used for the exterior.

With lines that recall the marks of a slide in the snow, it serves as a union between the interior’s front and rear: its base flanks the electric parking brake control while its two arcs curve up either side of the gear selection grid. The controls (climate control switches, air vents, door handles and trims, gearshift lever) have all been designed to be functional, which is especially practical when the driver has already donned his or her gloves before setting off for a spot of off-piste riding*!

Visible behind the four-spoke steering wheel and compact airbag are the diode back-lit dials. The surround of their multifunction screen is picked out by needles that seem to float weightlessly in the light; every detail of Logan

Steppe concept breathes freedom...

At the rear too, Logan Steppe concept’s interior is all about relaxation. The doors open to reveal a peaceful, restoring atmosphere, particularly appreciable after an exhilarating descent from the peaks!

With the removable rear bench folded down, occupants can rest and recuperate thanks to flasks stored in the side pockets. In the many storage spaces, it is possible to find a tool kit for running repairs of sports gear. And when the special support is pulled out, waxing and grinding skis is absolute child’s play. Meanwhile, at the back of the boot, special heated hooks allow wet boots and gloves to be hung to dry.

To repair the rough and tumble of a demanding workout on the slopes, a fully-equipped first aid kit is located in one of the door backs, while the other houses the video editing equipment and monitor for a detailed review of the afternoon’s action. With the rear bench deployed and the second row of seats folded down, the non-slip, modular floor makes it possible to lie down in total comfort. Thanks to its modular boot, which boasts a maximum capacity of 1.7 cubic metres, Logan Steppe concept is functional from tip to tail (overall length: 4.47m).

The roof storage system blends in harmoniously with the vehicle’s lines. The rake of the windscreen is prolonged by a full-width deflector which ensures effective protection of equipment from air turbulence and/or poor weather. At all speeds, and whatever the load, the airflow is channelled from the front of the car.

The roof storage system, which can be adapted to match the requirements of the moment, has been carefully thought through to meet the needs of snow sports enthusiasts. The assisted-opening lid provides direct access to the snowboard*. The handle of the latch, which takes its inspiration from ski bindings, not only holds the snowboard securely in place but also ensures protection against theft.

Spotlights are located either side of the car at the leading edge of the roof storage system to light up snowcovered roads or illuminate the ski slope. The powerful diodes can be switched on independently of the headlamps, ideal for prolonging a great day at the snow park*!

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