Renault launched the Triber mini MPV in India last month with prices starting at Rs. 5.95 lakh, going all the way up to Rs. 6.49 lakh for the top-end variant. Based on a modified Kwid platform, known as the CMF-A+ platform to be precise, the Triber aims to be a unique offering at its price points with seating capacity for 7. Like almost every auto manufacturer in India right now, Renault too has been facing the heat of low sales and demand but the manufacturer hopes that the Triber will help in getting back the things in shape.
However, Triber is not the only car that Renault is betting heavily on as the French manufacturer has been developing an sub-4 meter SUV to challenge the likes of the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Tata Nexon among others. Internally known as the HBC, this sub-4 meter SUV will be based on the same CMF-A+ platform that underpins the Triber. Though the vehicle has not been spotted on tests even once till now, Brazlian graphics designer Kleber Silva has created a render that gives us a good idea how the HBC might turn out to be.
The front end of the HBC, as depicted by this render, carries the typical Renault family design with a chrome studded, U shaped grille, with a logo at the centre. In fact, the front end seems to be lifted off directly from the Triber with a few tweaks to beef up the look. The side carries a more SUV like profile than the Triber but looks oddly similar to the Venue’s side profile. The addition of roof rails on top is a welcome addition and this HBC render also sits higher than the Triber. Aesthetically, we can say that the HBC looks pretty decent and can take on the cars of its segment any other day.
The HBC will be positioned below the Duster when launched in India. According to Renault’s MD Venkatraman Mamillapalle, the next new car in India by Renault will be the HBC. It is likely to be launched by the year-end or the first quarter of 2020. As is the case with the Triber, Renault will stuff the HBC with features and make sure that the SUV does have enough premium-ness to appeal to the sub-4 meter SUV buyer in India, especially with the ton of choices in the segment now.
It could use the same 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine found on the Triber with both a five-speed manual and AMT gearbox options. However, the engine will be upgraded to meet BSVI emission norms by the time the HBC is launched. Expect Renault to play the pricing game well, especially since the Triber has been priced pretty strategically.