Renault will soon launch the Lodgy MPV in India. The vehicle is likely to sit in between the Ertiga-Mobilio on the lower end and the Innova on the higher end, as the French car maker’s first people mover for the Indian car market. At a recently held Bollywood awards function, Renault showcased the Stepway variant of the Lodgy. As a move aimed primarily at brand building, the MPV was also gifted to Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, who becomes its first customer in India. Anil Kapoor, another actor who endorses the Renault brand here did the handing over honours.
The Stepway variant of the MPV is differently styled from the regular variant. A more rugged outside that sees the addition of satin finish front and rear skid plates, body cladding, revised roof rails and taller 16 inch wheels are a few visual changes. On the inside, the MPV gains new features such as cruise control, climate control, a touchscreen based infotainment interface, revised upholstery and dashboard inserts. The Stepway is likely to be positioned as an add-on to the regular Lodgy sold here, on similar lines to the Adventure version of the Duster SUV.
The Lodgy is expected to be sold primarily with the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine in 85 Bhp-200 Nm and 108 Bhp-248 Nm states of tune. Five and six speed manual gearboxes will handle torque transmission to the front wheels of the MPV. In markets abroad, the MPV is also sold with 1.2 liter turbocharged and 1.6 liter naturally aspirated petrol motors. These engines may not be offered in India given the poor demand for petrol powered 7 seat MPVs. The Lodgy’s generous dimensions and spacious interiors that accommodate seven adults will be the vehicle’s major draws.
The MPV will roll out from the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, near Chennai. With a launch slated for March 2015, serial production is expected to begin soon. The new vehicle is an important launch for the French automaker as it is intended to take pressure off the Duster SUV, which has been Renault’s lone wolf that brings in the big numbers. With the Lodgy, the French brand will be made accessible to more buyers across both urban and semi-urban India as people movers are preferred in the country’s smaller towns and cities.