Dacia Manifesto buggy has a detachable battery and sleeping bag seat covers


Dacia is best known for selling some of the cheapest cars on the market fitted with sparse levels of equipment, but its latest creation goes a step further by having no doors, windows or even a windscreen.

It’s called the Manifesto and is a concept vehicle that the car maker won’t ever produce but highlights features you will soon see in its motors and signals its intention to grow its off-road model line-up in the future.

The all-wheel-drive buggy is electric powered and designed for outdoor adventure types. It would be ideal for campers, with a small removable battery that can be ejected from the back of the vehicle and used to power a kettle or portable stove, a detachable headlight that becomes a torch and seat covers that double as sleeping bags.

A car for campers: This is the Dacia Manifesto Concept – a stripped-out electric buggy designed with adventure types in mind. The manufacturer says it’s a ‘lab for ideas’ and won’t be produced, but some of the features will be used in future models

The vehicle is a one-of-a-kind fully-operating concept – and will likely remain that way.

Dacia refers to the Manifesto Concept as a ‘lab for ideas’ for features it will likely bring to market in the next few years.  

Its French parent company, Renault, has this week outlined the direction for the brand going forward, earmarking a continued focus on low-cost mobility with cars that feature only the ‘essentials’ to make them robust and capable of off-road adventures. 

The buggy appears to fit many of the criteria, though it does raise a few questions about what should be deemed an ‘essential’.

While we’d argue that doors are a necessity, as well as windows and a windshield, Dacia says that by not having these features the Manifesto has ‘no barriers between the passengers and the environment’ so that they can be ‘fully immersed in nature’.

It shouldn’t scare off any wildlife as it approaches, with the one-off concept powered by an electric drivetrain – though no details about the battery size, electric motors, range or charging times has been released by the Romanian outfit.

Dacia's parent company, Renault, has put forward a proposal for the brand heading into the next decade, saying it will expand into the off-road market but continue to be affordable by offering only 'essential' equipment...

Dacia’s parent company, Renault, has put forward a proposal for the brand heading into the next decade, saying it will expand into the off-road market but continue to be affordable by offering only ‘essential’ equipment…

The Manifesto does raise a few questions about what is deemed 'essential'. While we'd argue that doors are a necessity, as well as windows and a windshield, the buggy has none of these

The Manifesto does raise a few questions about what is deemed ‘essential’. While we’d argue that doors are a necessity, as well as windows and a windshield, the buggy has none of these

It has been created with campers in mind, offering a vehicle with 'no barriers between the passengers and the environment' so that they can be 'fully immersed in nature'

It has been created with campers in mind, offering a vehicle with ‘no barriers between the passengers and the environment’ so that they can be ‘fully immersed in nature’ 

Instead, Dacia puts a greater focus on the features it offers – some of which have never before been seen.

That includes its seat covers, which can be detached from the chair and used by the driver and their passengers as sleeping bags. Even the headrests detach to be used as pillows.

The single headlight unit can also be lifted out of the vehicle and used as a camping torch that will light up a fairly sizeable site. 

It also has a small battery pack that ejects out of the back of the buggy. It is stored under the hard-wearing work surface, which the Manifesto has instead of a conventional boot.

This provides a handy charging solution for those who might need to power their phones or cooking equipment while on an outdoors holiday, hiking or taking part in an expedition.

Some of the headline features are clever, but unlikely to ever see the light of day. That includes these seat covers, which can be detached and become sleeping bags. Even the headrests can be removed to be used as little pillows

Some of the headline features are clever, but unlikely to ever see the light of day. That includes these seat covers, which can be detached and become sleeping bags. Even the headrests can be removed to be used as little pillows

The single headlight unit can also be lifted out of the vehicle and used as a camping torch. It should produce a strong enough beam to light up a fairly sizeable site

The single headlight unit can also be lifted out of the vehicle and used as a camping torch. It should produce a strong enough beam to light up a fairly sizeable site

It also has a small battery pack that ejects out of the back of the buggy (can be seen here to the bottom left)

It also has a small battery pack that ejects out of the back of the buggy (can be seen here to the bottom left)

The small battery can be unclipped from the vehicle and used as a handy charging solution for those who might need to power their phones or cooking equipment while on an outdoors holiday, hiking or taking part in an expedition

The small battery can be unclipped from the vehicle and used as a handy charging solution for those who might need to power their phones or cooking equipment while on an outdoors holiday, hiking or taking part in an expedition

While these features are unlikely to ever see the light of day in a mass-produced Dacia, there are some elements that could make the cut for future vehicles.

This includes a dashboard that allows users to integrate their smartphone into the dashboard. While this isn’t an entirely new idea, Dacia’s design does make it look like the device is part of the cabin.

It appears this will be the direction going forward for the brand, with a smartphone operating the navigation and controlling the radio meaning the company doesn’t need to fit its no-frills vehicles with expensive screens and software.

Also debuting in the Manifesto is the ‘YouClip’ system – a variety of attachments that act as cup holders and storage solutions that can be placed in various positions around the vehicle’s interior. ‘This pioneering idea will be built into future Dacia models,’ the brand confirms.

While a lot of the features are unlikely to be seen in a production Dacia, others might be retrofitted across its range at a later day. This includes the YouClip' system - a variety of attachments that act as cup holders and additional storage solutions

While a lot of the features are unlikely to be seen in a production Dacia, others might be retrofitted across its range at a later day. This includes the YouClip’ system – a variety of attachments that act as cup holders and additional storage solutions

The Dacia's dashboard is made from cork, meaning explorers who don't want to use a sat-nav can pin a map to it instead

The Dacia’s dashboard is made from cork, meaning explorers who don’t want to use a sat-nav can pin a map to it instead

Should Dacia take the highly-unlikely decision to make the Manifesto a reality, it would certainly be able to take campers to locations most vehicles couldn't reach, thanks to its generous ride height, four-wheel-drive system and tough construction

Should Dacia take the highly-unlikely decision to make the Manifesto a reality, it would certainly be able to take campers to locations most vehicles couldn’t reach, thanks to its generous ride height, four-wheel-drive system and tough construction

On return from the boggiest of trips, the entire vehicle - inside and out - can be jet washed, with the interior 100% waterproof and made mostly from recycled materials

On return from the boggiest of trips, the entire vehicle – inside and out – can be jet washed, with the interior 100% waterproof and made mostly from recycled materials

The external bungee straps for holding additional luggage might be a little too extreme to make it to production, though, as may be the exposed storage compartments on the bonnet below where the windscreen should be, which are covered with waterproof sheets.

A new modular roof rack system is also debuted, which can be adjusted and reconfigured to carry different loads – another feature that could be seen on production models further down the line.

Should Dacia bosses take the highly-unlikely decision to make the Manifesto a reality, it would certainly be able to take campers to locations most vehicles couldn’t reach, thanks to its generous ride height, four-wheel-drive system and tough construction. 

It also has airless tyres, so you don’t have to be worried about a puncture leaving you stranded at the top of a mountain.

The Manifesto features airless tyres - technology that is being developed by the major tyre manufacturers. It would mean a driver wouldn't have to worry about a puncture leaving them stranded at the top of a mountain

The Manifesto features airless tyres – technology that is being developed by the major tyre manufacturers. It would mean a driver wouldn’t have to worry about a puncture leaving them stranded at the top of a mountain

The main body parts are a plastic material called Starkle, which is polypropylene with a flecked effect to make it look more appealing

The main body parts are a plastic material called Starkle, which is polypropylene with a flecked effect to make it look more appealing

This modular roof rack system also debuts on the Manifesto, which can be adjusted and reconfigured to carry different loads - another feature that could be seen on production models further down the line

This modular roof rack system also debuts on the Manifesto, which can be adjusted and reconfigured to carry different loads – another feature that could be seen on production models further down the line

On return from the boggiest of trips, the entire vehicle – inside and out – can be jet washed, with the interior 100 per cent waterproof and made mostly from recycled materials.

The main body parts are a plastic material called Starkle, which is polypropylene with a flecked effect to make it look more appealing, while the dashboard is made from cork, meaning explorers who don’t want to use a sat-nav can pin a map to it.

Commenting on Manifesto, David Durand, Dacia’s design director said: ‘As well as being a designer object, Manifesto Concept encapsulates our vision and combines a wide range of innovation – some involve extreme implementation, but they are still affordable for customers. We will be using a few of them on future Dacia models.’

The vehicle is a one-of-a-kind fully-operating concept - and will likely remain that way. That might be a disappointment to seasoned campers who want an eco-friendly car

The vehicle is a one-of-a-kind fully-operating concept – and will likely remain that way. That might be a disappointment to seasoned campers who want an eco-friendly car

The one-of-a-kind working buggy has an electric drivetrain, though Dacia doesn't provide any information about it. In fact, it says the vehicle can be an EV or fitted with a combustion engine, but this isn't important because it's a design concept only

The one-of-a-kind working buggy has an electric drivetrain, though Dacia doesn’t provide any information about it. In fact, it says the vehicle can be an EV or fitted with a combustion engine, but this isn’t important because it’s a design concept only 

These external storage compartments, which are covered with a zipped-in waterproof sheet, are unlikely to be featured on a Dacia anytime soon

These external storage compartments, which are covered with a zipped-in waterproof sheet, are unlikely to be featured on a Dacia anytime soon

David Durand, Dacia's design director says the Manifesto's wide range of innovation will be used on future models, though might involve 'extreme implementation'

David Durand, Dacia’s design director says the Manifesto’s wide range of innovation will be used on future models, though might involve ‘extreme implementation’

Lionel Jaillet, product performance director, added: ‘We want to build a range of products that strengthens our brand promise, focusing on the essentials and adapting our vehicles for outdoor activities. 

‘Beyond our models, we are also working on innovative features that match our customers’ need and lifestyles even more closely.’

Dacia says it has sold more than 7.5 million cars in the 18 years since the brand was relaunched under the ownership of Renault. It now ranks third in Europe for sales to private customers. 

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