Renault India wants to steal Mahindra’s glory. The launch of the Duster AWD has been confirmed for the 24th of September, just a day ahead of the “New Generation” Scorpio SUV’s launch in India. In terms of price and positioning, the Duster AWD is likely to take on the 4X4 variants of the facelifted Scorpio SUV. Notably, Mahindra is said to be planning a phased launch for the 4X4 and automatic variants of the Scorpio Facelift, which means that the SUV’s 4X4 and automatic variants may take a while to hit the market. The Duster AWD seems well placed to capitalize on this delay.
The Duster AWD will be available in two variants, RxL and RxZ, both powered by the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine that makes 108 Bhp-248 Nm. A six speed manual transmission will be standard on this engine. The Haldex clutch equipped four wheel drive mechanism of the Duster will not feature a low ratio but instead will have the option of deploying automatically upon detection of wheel slip. When the AWD mode is not active, the Duster will drive on the front wheels. In terms of other changes, the Duster AWD will receive features such as cruise control and independent rear suspension.
Mild updates on the inside, in terms of the seat fabric used and exterior detailing, which adopts the Duster Adventure Edition theme on the AWD model, will differentiate the AWD model from the regular variants of the Duster. Renault India will seek to project the Duster AWD as a refined, 5 seat monocoque alternate to the likes of the Scorpio Facelift and Safari Storme 4X4 SUVs. The Duster’s lower weight, peppier performance and higher fuel efficiency are three factors that could pan out into the Renault SUVs favour. For its part, Renault India has already begun promotional activities around the Duster AWD.