Thanks to our CarToq community members who have been tracking this vehicle closely, and visiting showrooms across the country like anxious parents waiting for a new baby, we can say, we finally have good news! Renault has confirmed that the Duster is on schedule to be launched in July.
The exact launch dates are still being finalized, but the Duster is all tanked up and ready to drive into the Indian market, a Renault spokesperson told CarToq. CarToq member, Sudhi, first tipped us off to the impending launch after visiting a Renault dealer. A month earlier, CarToq member, Devraj Maulick, also told CarToq that a Renault salesperson was ready to take bookings for the Duster very soon.
After initial reports of delays in the Duster launch, after its unveiling at the Auto Expo 2012, we are glad that the Duster is keeping its launch date as promised, as it is a very promising vehicle that can change the fortunes of Renault India.
The Duster is likely to be launched in two variants in India. The first will be a front-wheel drive version, sporting the 1.5-litre K9K engine with 85 bhp of power and a five-speed manual transmission – exactly like the Nissan Sunny’s drive train. The second will have a 105 bhp version of this 1.5 litre diesel engine with a five-speed manual transmission and possibly on-demand four-wheel drive.
The Duster is sold in central Asia as the Dacia Duster. It is based on the old Renault Logan (also Mahindra Verito) platform, but with true SUV lines. It’s a compact five-seater SUV whose interiors have been given a complete makeover for the Indian market. Expect better placement of controls for the power windows and use of beige coloring as well. The Duster will directly compete with the upcoming Ford EcoSport, and will also give some sedans and SUVs in its price range sleepless nights.
One can register for a test drive of the Duster on Renault’s website and also at their dealerships. Once the vehicle hits showrooms, Renault will start offering potential buyers test drives. So those of you who have been waiting for the Duster, the wait is almost over!
Watch a video review of the Duster from the Auto Expo here.