Next-gen Renault Duster lined up for 2020 launch in India

Renault India has two all-new vehicles in the pipeline for launch in the next couple of years. While the first  product – the Kwid-platform based RBC MPV – will be launched in July 2019, the other vehicle – the all-new Duster SUV  – will arrive next year. The 2020 Auto Expo is likely to be the event through which Renault could showcase the new Duster in India for the first time.

Next-gen Renault Duster lined up for 2020 launch in India

Meanwhile, here is what Venkatram Mamillapalle, CEO, Renault India, has said in a recent interview –

We have new product launches in 2019 and 2020. Two new products will be launched, one in July (2019) and the other, the year after that.

The 2020 Renault Duster has been long coming. The first-gen model was launched in India way back in 2012, and is now 7 years old in the market here. Over the past 2-3 years, the Duster has been upstaged by the Hyundai Creta and Maruti S-Cross, and is now a pale shadow of its former self as buyers find it too boring compared with newer competition. Renault has been adding regular facelifts and the automaker has even offered large discounts to push sales. It hasn’t helped much though, and the Duster now sells under 1,000 units each month.

Next-gen Renault Duster lined up for 2020 launch in India

So, an all-new model is what the Duster brand needs to make a big sales comeback in the Indian market, and this is  the reason why the 2nd generation Duster will arrive early next year. The new Duster does have resemblance to the  outgoing model although the styling has been totally revised. The B-Zero platform remains the same though. Engine options on the new Duster are not likely to be carried over from the current version. This is because the new, Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms will come into effect in India from April 2020. This will require all car makers to make significant changes in the engines to meet the much tighter norms.

Given the fact that the engines that the current Duster uses are old school units, a lot of re-engineering may be  required to make them BS6 compliant. We expect Renault to bring in a turbocharged petrol engine on the new Duster, apart from offering a BS6 compliant turbo diesel engine. Both front wheel drive and all wheel drive options are likely to be offered on the new Renault Duster. While manual gearboxes on both engines are almost certain, it remains to be seen if automatic gearboxes are also on offer. The new Duster will continue to be a 7 seater, and will compete with the likes of the Maruti S-Cross and Hyundai Creta.

Between now and the new Duster’s launch in India, Renault will slip in a facelifted version of the current Duster. The launch of the facelifted Duster is expected to happen soon.