Renault is working on a new compact SUV for the Indian market. Code-named the HBC, the new vehicle will rival the likes of the Maruti Brezza and Hyundai Venue in India’s sub-4 meter mini SUV segment. It’ll use the Kwid’s CMF-A platform, which is a low cost derivative of the common module family (CMF) that Renault and Nissan uses globally. Here’s a speculative render of the upcoming SUV from Kleber Silva, an automotive illustrator from Brazil. Like the Kwid, the Renault HBC SUV is expected to be a global product, sold in many emerging markets including India, Brazil and South Africa. The new SUV will be launched in India next year, and could be showcased much ahead of the launch.
None of the cars with the CMF-A platform come with a diesel engine, and Renault has also indicated that it is clearly moving away from diesels from April 2020, when the Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms come into force. What this also means is, the Renault HBC compact SUV will be a petrol-only offering. Possibly, CNG and LPG options could be offered in future. Also, given Renault’s focus on electric vehicles, an electric variant of the HBC could also be on the cards. Both manual and AMT options are likely to be on offer. A monocoque body and a front wheel drive layout will be standard.
The only engines currently offered with the CMF-A platform are 3 cylinder, naturally aspirated units. One is an 800cc unit that makes about 54 Bhp-72 Nm, and the other is a 1 liter unit with 67 Bhp-91 Nm. It remains to be seen if Renault uses the 1 liter naturally aspirated petrol on the RBC, or if it choose to turbocharge this engine for more power and torque. Since it’s an SUV we’re talking about and much higher weight associated with it, a turbocharged version of the 1 liter petrol motor would be a better option.
Renault has tasted quite some success with the CMF-A platform. The Kwid was a mega hit right from launch, and continues to bring in decent numbers for the French automaker. The recently launched Triber compact MPV, which also uses the same platform, is selling very well. The HBC compact SUV will be the third vehicle under the CMF-A platform, and if Renault manages to style it attractively, offer enough equipment and price it well, it could turn out to be the third solid seller for the French brand.