About a month and a half ago, buzz on the interweb suggested that the next generation Renault (Dacia in Europe) Duster SUV will make a debut in 2016, and will seat seven adults, up from the current, first generation model’s five seater capacity. The seven seat capacity also meant that the 2nd generation vehicle would have grown in size. Today, a new report suggests that new SUV will be 150 mm longer, enough to give designers room to squeeze in two additional seats. The exterior styling will also change, with a more contemporary look on the cards for the SUV. The Oroch pick up truck concept will be the inspiration for the 2017 Duster.
In terms of platform, the new SUV will adopt the M0 (pronounced M Zero) platform, a standard fixture on new Dacia cars such as the Sandero, the second generation Logan and the Lodgy. The new platform is key for the new Duster given the low cost positioning this SUV features in Europe. Low cost positioning means that Renault/Dacia will have to go in for aggressive parts and platform sharing. Therefore, the new Duster, sharing parts with stable mates such as the Logan and the Lodgy makes eminent sense. The current line up of petrol, turbo petrol and turbo diesel motors are expected to be retained, with a focus on turbo power likely given that it is 2016 and tightening emission norms we’re talking about.
The 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel motor – a tried and tested unit – in multiple states of tune will be the most relevant of the engines on the new Duster, as far as the Indian car market is concerned. Renault also has a new 1.6 liter diesel motor, which makes copious power and torque – 157 Bhp-380 Nm – for the record. Since this engine is a replacement for the 2 liter diesel mill, it isn’t expected to be used on the new Duster. Manual and automatic gearbox options are likely to be offered on the petrol powered variants, with the diesel mill likely to make do with manual gear shifting. Front and all wheel drive layouts, and the monocoque body design, are expected to be the other carry overs on the vehicle.
Since the Oroch pick up truck concept based on the Duster will be the design inspiration for the next generation model, certain cues are likely to be borrowed from the concept. Sharper styling at the front and rear will be one such cue. The interiors could also see a big revamp as the current generation Duster’s innards are nothing to write home about. Better quality touch plastics could make an appearance while advanced infotainment features are expected to be added. All in all, the new vehicle should be a significant upgrade from the current version, in multiple areas. Sharp pricing is expected to be retained as the 2017 Duster will continue toeing the low cost path.
The Duster has been instrumental in making Renault a household name in India, giving the brand the much needed street presence and mind share in the country. Of course, market share is also something that the Duster has bagged very successfully. Launched in India during 2012, the Duster will be five years old come 2017. So, expect the all new, second generation model to be launched in India in 2017, a year after the SUV’s international debut. In the meantime, Renault is likely to slip in a mid life facelift for the vehicle. Due to arrive later this year, the facelifted Duster will aim to keep competition at bay for the next couple of years, before the all-new model arrives to take over.