Exclusive: New-Gen Renault Duster, Duster-Based XUV700 Rival India-Bound In 2025; Will Get Turbo-Petrol Engines | V3Cars

Renault has updated its lineup for 2024 and has announced a new Renaulution strategy for the Indian market. Besides the upgraded versions of the current crop of cars, the new game plan includes the introduction of 5 new cars over the next 3 years.

New-Gen Renault Duster

In an exclusive interaction with V3Cars, Renault India’s MD & CEO, Venkatram M, responded in affirmation when asked if they will introduce the new-generation Duster under the Renaulution programme. The Duster is Renault’s “B+ SUV” positioned above the Kiger.

For the Duster and the other “C SUV”, Renault plan to localise a new platform that is loosely termed the B+ platform. They currently produce smaller cars on the CMF-A (and A+) platform in India. Notably, the C-SUV will use a stretched version of the B+ platform as confirmed to us by Venkatram. He said, “...we’re going to add a bigger platform. B+ is one platform, C is another platform. C (platform) has a carryover of some portion of B+ (platform), (but) it’s not exactly cut-and-paste.

Using different iterations of a single platform to develop car models of different sizes is a common strategy that carmakers adopt to attain economies of scale. An example is the Hyundai Creta-Alcazar twins that essentially use the same platform, but differ in dimensions and seating capacity.

Renault may also use a similar strategy, as the C-SUV that they will introduce in the Indian market will remain identical (underneath) to the new Duster up to the B-pillar. It will, however, have a longer wheelbase to allow more cabin space, suggesting 3-row seating.

Explaining how the C-platform differs from the B+ platform, Venkatram said, “I will not call the C (platform) a remodelled B+ platform because the complete floor will change for the C segment. The side body, outers, (and) the other things will remain the same; the firewall will remain properly same. Up to B-pillar it can be common, (but) back side will completely change up to the C-pillar.

When asked about the possible rivals of this C-segment SUV, Venkatram named the Mahindra XUV700 and Tata Harrier. It is worth noting that both these cars offer a wheelbase of more than 2.7m, and are available with both 5- and 7-seat options.

We, however, feel that Renault’s C-SUV could be a smaller car in comparison to the suggested rivals, and Renault might follow Hyundai’s Creta-Alcazar path instead. Despite a slightly shorter wheelbase than the Alcazar, both the Harrier and XUV700 are at least 100mm longer and 100mm wider than the 3-row Hyundai. If Renault plan to stretch the Duster to form a 3-row SUV, we do not expect the C-SUV to be as wide or long as the Tata or Mahindra.

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Renault are also focusing on pricing these cars attractively, and they may not breach the Rs. 20 lakh price tag with either of these SUVs.

While talking about pricing, Venkatram said, “...what I’m doing with the Triber and Kiger, I can play the same game in the B+ and C segment; why should I go and price at something like Rs. 25.0 lakh and Rs. 30.0 lakh for no reason.

Renault Car

Given that Kiger carries a competitive pricing than some of the B2-SUVs like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, we can say that the Duster may also undercut the likes of the Creta and Seltos. Instead, and compete with the C3 Aircross, which starts at Rs 10.0 lakh ex-showroom. The current Seltos, with the 1.5L normal petrol engine, on the other hand, starts at Rs 10.90 lakh ex-showroom.

Like the C3 Aircross, the new Duster will also come with a turbo petrol engine, as confirmed to V3Cars by Venkatram. In our video interaction, he told us that a part of the Rs. 5,300 crore investment will go in localising bigger (than 1.0L) engines in India for the B+ and C-SUVs. During the same interaction, he denied the possibility of a hybrid powertrain in the near future.

He did not confirm the displacement of the upcoming turbo petrol engine, but denied the possibility of a 1.2L engine suggesting that Renault don't have it anywhere in their portfolio. They, however, showcased the new Duster overseas with a 1.2L turbo petrol engine and a 48V mild hybrid setup. It's unclear if this engine will make it to India. It is worth noting that the outgoing Duster was, for a short time, offered with a 1.3L turbo petrol engine in India with 156PS of maximum power. In the same state of tune, it is comparable with the 1.5L turbo petrol engines, which is currently available with cars like the Seltos, Taigun and Kushaq.

While Venkatram did not give us a clear timeline for the launch of the new Duster, our sources in the know are certain that its launch is planned for 2025.

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Jagdev Kalsi

Jagdev heads content for V3Cars. Apart from driving cars, he likes to keep an eye on the industry trends. He thinks he knows why Maruti Suzuki sells the most number of cars in India.


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