Renault small cars for India! Plus 3 other cars by 2015

Renault Fluence launch in 2011; Koloes and Duster SUVs, and 2 small cars by 2015

Renault, which will be launching the Fluence sedan India in mid-2011, has revealed its model line-up for Indian market. In the next five years, the French car maker intends to launch the Fluence, Koleos and Duster SUVs, a small car built on Nissan’s V platform and another small car based on Renault’s A platform.

Renault’s small car based on A-platform

Renault’s A-platform small car will have cues borrowed from Daimler’s Smart and Mercedes-Benz brands. Renault has been working on a small car based on its Global A platform which will be showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. Upon launch sometime in 2014, this entry-level small car from Renault will compete with the likes of the Maruti WagonR, Chevrolet Beat and Hyundai i10. Pricing will be close to Rs 3.5 lakhs. The Global A-platform will be heavily localized by Renault at its Chennai facility, which could also serve as a foundation for future small cars from Renault.

According to Hindustan Times, a top Mercedes-Benz official reportedly said that the German luxury car maker has teamed up with Renault-Nissan to develop a small car which will be first launched in India. Internally known as ‘Project Edison,’ the small car will feature small engines such as a 1.2-litre diesel and a 4-cylinder petrol. He added that Mercedes-Benz may also launch its entry-level ‘A-Class’ model.

Renault’s small car based on Nissan’s V-platform

Renault will launch another small car based on its Nissan’s V (which stands for versatile) platform to take on premium hatchbacks such as the Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai i20 and Fiat Punto. This car would be launched around 2013 at a price of Rs 5 lakh.

Vehicles built on the V-platform include the Nissan Micra and the upcoming Nissan Sunny. The V-platform allows versatility in chassis and design to suit emerging auto markets such as India and China as well as sophisticated European markets.

In terms of benefits, the V-platform helps Renault-Nissan to drastically reduce a car’s weight along with the number of components needed, in effect cutting down production costs. This in turn will reflect in the car’s higher fuel efficiency, an advantage in any car market.

Renault Fluence launch this year!

renault fluence photo
Photo: Renault Fluence

The Fluence will be the first car to launch from Renault’s stable and will target the likes of Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Jetta and Chevrolet Cruze. The Fluence has a very curvaceous design, with smooth flowing lines giving a unique road presence. The swept back headlamp and the extended bonnet make it look very aerodynamic. The rear of the Fluence could be mistaken for a Honda or a Toyota, but the tail lamps and boot lid contours gel well with the car’s overall design. Also see: Renault Fluence photo gallery

The interior of the Fluence will be simple, yet contemporary with faux wood, navigation, multimedia system, etc. Since the rear seats are set low, expect plenty of headroom for rear passengers. Even elbow room would be ample, with 1,480 mm at the front and 1,475 mm at the rear. Related: Renault Fluence India launch in June

The Fluence in India may come with a 1.6-litre petrol or 2-litre petrol engine, besides a 1.5-litre diesel engine (the same mill that powers the Nissan Micra and the Mahindra Logan). We expect Renault to price the Fluence in the Rs. 12 lakh to Rs. 14 lakh range.

Renault Koleos

renault koles suv photo
Photo: Renault Koleos SUV

The Koleos is a 5-seater crossover aimed directly at the Toyota Fortuner, Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Captiva assuming the company prices the vehicle at, say, around Rs. 22 lakh. The Koleos, designed by both Renault and Nissan, will most likely be rolled out of the company’s Chennai plant. Read more about the Renault Koleos

In international markets, the Renault Koleos is offered with two engine options, the 2.0-litre diesel and the 2.5-litre petrol. In our opinion, the 2.0 litre diesel Koleos would make better sense for the Indian market considering the popularity of other SUVs with similar engine specifications. The 1,995 cc (2.0-litre dCI) common-rail diesel engine produces 150 hp of maximum power at 1,400 rpm and 320 Nm of maximum torque at 2,000 rpm.

The Koleos 2.0 dCI is claimed to accelerate from 0-100 km/hr in just 10 seconds while achieving a top speed of 180 km/hr, making it as quick as rival Toyota Fortuner (less than 10 seconds for 0-100 km/hr and top speed of around 178 km/hr).

Renault Duster

Photo: Dacia Duster by Renault

The Renault Duster is a 5-seater sold in European markets as an urban SUV. The Duster is just 4.3 metres long, 1.82 metres wide and has a ground clearance of 210 mm, making it ideal choice for driving in cities. In Europe, the Duster is offered in both 4×4 as well as 4×2 versions. Read more about the Renault-Dacia Duster SUV

The SUV comes with two engine options: a 1.6-litre, 16 valve petrol engine that produces 105 hp and a 1.5-litre dCI diesel engine that puts out 85 hp. In India, the Renault Duster could be launched around 2013 and would be pit against the Mahindra Scorpio, Skoda Yeti and Tata Aria crossover, but a lot would depend on the pricing, which we think would be around Rs 10 lakh.

* prices may vary

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