Renault Duster to be unveiled at 2012 Auto Expo in 5 variants

Renault India is planning to launch the Duster in five variants with two engine options, a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine (used in the Renault Fluence).

The Duster will be unveiled at the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo and the launch will likely happen in March 2012. Let’s take a closer look at what can be expected from the Renault’s 5-seater Duster.

new renault duster photo
Photo: The Renault Duster will be launched in five variants with both petrol and diesel engines

Looks, space and comfort

The India-bound Duster SUV will be the new face-lifted model that the French car maker had unveiled at the Buenos Aires Motor Show that you can see in the pictures below. Read more: Renault Duster

The Duster’s dimensions may cause a little disappointment to some SUV buyers as it measures only 4.3 m in length, 1.8 m in width making it only slightly larger than the Skoda Yeti in size. The Duster shares its platform with the Renault Logan (Mahindra Verito) sedan.

Some of the highlights of the Duster include its 210 mm ground clearance making it suitable for all terrain use and short overhang of 822 mm at the front and 800 mm at the rear as well as better clearance angles.  The Duster has traditional SUV looks with large headlamps and a simple horizontal grille. The high ground clearance, front, rear and side body claddings hint that the Duster has been designed to perform both on and off the road without damaging the car’s underbody.

Owing to the radical design of this mini SUV, some may feel that its rear lacks visual appeal especially since the small tail lamp cluster doesn’t extend onto the boot. The upcoming Duster will be equipped with a new generation 4-wheel drive system and the interiors too will have refreshing dashboard layout. Expect the interiors to comfortably seat 5 adults and will have adequate luggage space too.

Expected Performance

The Duster petrol will likely be powered by a 1.6-litre petrol motor that makes 105 bhp of maximum power and has a claimed fuel efficiency of 12.6 – 13.3 kmpl (7.5 – 7.9 litres / 100 km). The Duster diesel will likely be powered by the 1.5-litre dCI motor that makes 85 bhp of power and has a claimed fuel efficiency of 18.8 – 19.6 kmpl (5.1 – 5.3 litres / 100 km).

Renault may also offer a more powerful 1.5-litre dCI diesel motor (roughly 107 bhp) for the Duster which will have less turbo lag when compared to the 85 bhp 1.5-litre dCI engine. We expect the performance of the Duster to be adequate and for it to be at par with the Skoda Yeti, 5-seater SUV.

Expected features

The Duster will be available in both 4×2 and 4×4 with a total of 5 variants. The mini SUV will likely be equipped with safety features such as the ABS, EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution) and EBA (emergency brake assist), two front airbags and three-point seat belts with load limiters for the front seats.

The top-end version may likely be equipped with two lateral head/thorax airbags besides the front airbags.  It is yet to be known as what comfort and convenience features will be offered in the Duster. But there are speculations that the India-bound model will receive changes to improve ergonomics as per domestic tastes.

Expected Price

The Duster is expected to be priced in the range of Rs. 7 – 10 lakh. If priced in this range, the Duster will likely attract buyers who would otherwise opt for the Skoda Yeti (Rs. 13.46 – 17.24 lakh), Mahindra XUV 500 (Rs. 10.80 – 12.88 lakh) and the Tata Aria (Rs. 12.61 – 16.84 lakh).

Summary

Renault, as a brand is yet to enter the sub 10 lakh segment as both its current offerings, the Fluence and the Koleos target premium segment buyers. The company will hope on large sales numbers from the upcoming sub-10 lakh models such as the Duster. Will you buy the Duster when launched next year?