After recently unveiling the Lodgy Stepway at a Bollywood awards function, Renault has begun testing the top-end variant of the MPV on Indian roads. The Renault Lodgy Stepway variant was spotted testing on the Mumbai-Pune expressway. The MPV will be launched in March 2015, and will serve as the French automaker’s first big launch for this year. The Lodgy is based on the Dacia M0 (emm zero) platform that it shares with the likes of the second generation Logan and Sandero car models. The MPV will debut this platform in India, and will be sold predominantly with diesel engines. Petrol engines, although available in Europe, might not make the cut for the Indian market.
The 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel motor that is a mainstay of most Renault-Nissan mass market cars in India will power the MPV. Two states of tune will be available, 85 Bhp-200 Nm and 108 Bhp-248 Nm. Five and six speed manual transmissions will be offered with the lower and higher power versions of this engine. The Lodgy is larger than the Maruti Ertiga and the Honda Mobilio. However, Renault is expected to price its latest vehicle at slight premium to the Ertiga-Mobilio, and much below the segment leading Toyota Innova, in order to drive home the French MPV’s value-for-money proposition.
The Lodgy is available in five seater guise abroad but in India, a full complement of seven seats will be standard. A front wheel drive layout and a monocoque chassis means that the MPV has fuel efficiency and weight concerns covered. The vehicle will roll out from the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, near Chennai. Notably, India will be the first market in the world to get the right hand drive variant of the MPV. An export thrust, on the lines of the Duster, could be in the wings for the Lodgy as well. The export vehicles will have Dacia branding as the Renault badge will be limited to the MPV’s Indian models.
Spyshot courtesy Carwale