Renault RBC is expected to go on sale in the middle of 2019 and will likely be positioned below the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga
With different volume segment continue to be explored through 2019 by auto brands, Renault India won’t be numb either. Unlike its alliance partner Nissan and majority of other brands, Renault will not be going after the SUV segment though, as it focusses on the sub 10 lakh MPV space that only Maruti Suzuki has phenomenal success with.
Maruti Suzuki introduced the second generation Ertiga based on the lightweight Heartect platform late November 2018 with exterior and interior being a radical departure from its predecessor. Its booking rate, as expected, is going stronger than ever and 6,362 and 7,155 units were sold in November and December 2018 respectively.
Renault already has the underwhelming Lodgy competing against the Ertiga and thus the upcoming MPV won’t be another direct rival. The MPV, codenamed RBC, is expected to be slotted below the Lodgy and will measure below four metres in length for tax benefits. It will also have heavily localised content courtesy of the CMF-A+ platform that underpins the Kwid.
The hatchback has seen reduced popularity in recent times despite making a big breakthrough for Renault in the domestic market and the RBC could offset the drop in volume as it will likely be positioned targetting highly volumes. We predict the price range to be around Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 8.5 lakh (ex-showroom) for a tough contention.
Judging by the spy pictures, the Renault RBC will have dual-tone interior theme with silver garnish in several areas including air cons and steering wheel. The top-end variants could boast a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity and voice recognition. It could be borrowed from the recently facelifted Datsun Go and Go Plus.
Its launch timeline of around mid-2019 meant new standard safety features like dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, high speed warning system, auto sensing door lock and seatbelt reminder will be added. As for the performance, it is reported to use a turbocharged three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with five-speed manual and AMT choices returning close to 21 kmpl.