Renault India’s next big launch will be the HBC code-named sub-4 meter compact SUV. The Renault HBC SUV will be launched in India early next year, and is expected to be showcased at the upcoming 2020 Indian Auto Expo. Renault India’s managing director Venkatram Mamillapalle has confirmed to us that the HBC compact SUV will be based on the CMF-A platform, which it will share with the likes of the Kwid hatchback and the Triber compact MPV. What this could also mean is a very competitive price tag. The CMF=A platform has been designed for low cost cars meant for emerging markets, and as we’ve seen with the Kwid and Triber, competitive price tag is a given. The Renault HBC is likely to sport a sub-Rs. 6 lakh price tag. It’ll be a five seater SUV, and will pack in a petrol engine. A diesel motor will not be offered as Renault will stop making diesel engined cars for the Indian market after the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) norms come into force from next year.
Since the HBC uses the CMF-A platform, a large number of parts are expected to be shared with the Kwid and Triber. The 1 liter petrol engine of the Triber could be offered on the HBC but with turbocharging added for more power and torque. 5 speed manual and AMT options will make for gearboxes while a front wheel drive layout will be standard. A four wheel drive layout won’t be offered even as an option given the low demand for such an option among Indian SUV buyers. While Renault is yet to reveal the SUV, there are many renderings of the vehicle floating about in the internet. We’ve used one such rendering in the stor. Expect muscular styling for the HBC, which could be a mini-Duster of sorts. What’s also expected is brilliant suspension tuning. Renault is renowned for great suspension set-ups on all its cars, and the HBC is unlikely to be any different.
On the inside again, expect many bits to be shared with the Triber. The overall design of the interiors will be different though. What is likely to be the same is the MediaNav touchscreen infotainment system. Android Auto, Bluetooth calling and music streaming, Apple CarPlay and GPS navigation will be standard in this infotainment unit, which could also double up as a screen for the reverse parking camera on higher variants. As for standard safety features, ABS, twin airbags, reverse parking sensors, seat belt reminders, speed alerts and ISOFIX child seat mounting points will be on offer. The HBC is expected to undercut the current compact SUVs sold in India heavily, and this could be its biggest selling points. Currently, the hyundai Venue and the Tata Nexon are among the least priced compact SUVs, with starting prices of a little under Rs. 6 lakh.