Likely launching next year, the new seven-seater Renault MPV will be based on the modified Kwid’s platform and is expected to have affordable price tag
It has been long rumoured that Renault is working on a brand new model codenamed RBC to revive its fortunes in the MPV segment. For the first time, a couple of spy pictures of the test prototype have come online indicating that the speculation was indeed true.
Looks to be captured at Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu, the camouflaged mule seems to be at the beginning phases of its testing. The French automaker has aggressive plans for the Indian market and will be launching affordable volume products in the coming years.
The MPV will be part of the strategy and could enter domestic scene sometime next year. With Kwid remaining as the solo sales contributor, apart from the half decent number endured by Duster, the arrival of the new MPV carries all the importance for Renault’s local fortunes.
Renault would have learned a thing or two with the dismal performance of the Lodgy MPV and thus it is logical to think that the RBC will be positioned aggressively in the market below the top-selling Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. It will be based on the modified version of the Kwid’s platform called as CMF-A+.
Since the Kwid is heavily localised, we can expect component sharing to the maximum in order to have a competitive price range. It is predicted to cost around Rs. 5.5 lakh to 9.5 lakh (ex-showroom) and will offer room for seven occupants. Moreover, the chances of it being the MPV derivative of forthcoming sub-4m Triber SUV is also high we reckon.
The test mule suggests a clamshell bonnet design and the dual horizontal grille slats meant that it carries several design cues from the small hatchback. It also features racked windshield and roof rails while the rear end is compact with slanting rear glass and tall yet narrow roof.
We believe it will comprise of sharp styling elements and bold bumper section with wide air intake as in the Kwid while taking a different approach altogether. It could target VFM acclaim with packed features as the Kwid. Equipment like touchscreen infotainment system as well as standard dual airbags, reverse parking sensors and ABS will be provided.
Major changes can be expected on the powertrain front to carry seven people around as Renault will use fuel-efficient small capacity petrol engine with option of manual and automatic transmissions. The upcoming MPV will likely get into the mix with cross-hatch division and premium hatchbacks with bang-on-head price tag while its direct rival could possibly be the mooted Wagon-R based MPV.
Spy Source: Facebook