At first glance we approached this news with a little skepticism, given the name of the vehicle being Hamster.  However, according to, it's a research project from The University of Pitesti in Romania as part of environmental program for alternative propulsion systems seeking to engineer a powertrain that produces CO2 of only 99 g/km.

Dubiously called the Hamster, although it's the current Dacia Sandero Stepway, it features a 1.2-liter diesel-electric plug-in hybrid engine with 75 hp (55 kW) and 100 Nm of torque powering the front wheels while a 10hp electric motor, clearly visible in the photos, runs in parallel while connected to the rear wheels. The system is called E-4WD (Electricway-4WD). Furthermore, it has photovoltaic cells placed on the roof plus a start/stop system.

Despite its experimental nature, some outlets are reporting Renault Dacia will indeed produce this vehicle which will sell for around €10,000 and come with a customer-reassuring 4 year warranty. It is expected to debut around 2012.

Again, we're skeptical but the rest of the story sounds believable enough, but that name...  Don't hamsters have short tails?

Gallery: Dacia Hamster electric 4WD hybrid photos surface

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