The engine is mated to a six-speed Sadev sequential gearbox specifically developed for off-road use and besides a heavy-duty multi-disc clutch and limited-slip differential at the rear, the drivetrain also has a central and rear differential lock.
The suspension setup consists of double wishbones up front with a four-link system at the rear, as well as double-action Reiger dampers. Stopping power is supplied by large ventilated discs with six-piston calipers.
While the team officially falls under the auspices of Renaultsport Argentina, backed by Renaultsport in France, the two Dusters that will participate in the 36th edition of the Dakar were co-developed and built by Thompson Racing in South Africa.
Renault entered the Dakar for the first time in 2013 with the Duster. In the hands of Jose Mendoza Garcia and Mauricio Malano, the Duster finished 29th overall.
With the experience gained from the debut year, the Duster was developed further by Renaultsport Technologies and in 2014 Emiliano Spataro and co-driver Benjamin Lozada finished 14th overall and fourth in Class T1 for vehicles with naturally aspirated petrol engines (in this case, a 3.5-litre V6).
Renault says it is aiming for a top-ten finish in the 2015 event, which kicks off in January.