Merc's 1.3 A200 engine planned for Duster.
The small engine cooperation agreement between Renault and Mercedes-Benz will soon benefit global fans of the Duster compact SUV.
It is no secret that many of the A-Class entry-level engine options are not researched or developed in Germany. The now tenuous Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance has in the recent past pooled resources to engineer some excellent compact turbocharged engines and the latest rollout strategy for these, includes an upgrade for Duster.
Renault’s popular gravel traveller is due to add the HR13 engine code powerplant to its line-up this year, although exact scheduling could be slightly disrupted by the influence of coronavirus on supply chain and assembly.
This HR13 engine is a 1.3-litre turbopetrol already present in a variety of Renault and Mercedes-Benz models. It features all-aluminium construction and runs a timing chain, instead of a belt, for improved durability and lower lifetime mechanical cost of ownership. Interestingly, it is built in Spain.
Adaptable to a variety of applications and environments, the HR13 engine is rated at different power outputs, depending on fuel quality in its destination market. For introduction to the Duster, this turbocharged 1.3-litre engine is expected to boost 115 kW and 250 Nm.
Drivetrain options for Dusters with the 1.3-litre HR13 engine will be either six-speed manual or CVT, but won't include Renault’s EDC dual-clutch transmission.
Offering the potential of brisk performance and less mass above the front axle, this 1.3-litre engine update could make the Duster an even more compelling gravel travel adventure vehicle. A smaller and lighter engine could yield more balanced emergency braking, with less nosedive, which should prevent sump damage if you inadvertently hit a dirt road bump at speed.