Renault Duster SUV to be launched in India on the 4th of July, 2012
French automaker Renault will launch the Duster SUV in India, on the 4th of July 2012, as its fourth offering for the Indian car market. The Duster was developed by Renault’s low cost Romanian division Dacia, and this SUV has been a big success for the brand in many markets across the world. In India, gauging by the price points that have been doing the rounds about the Duster’s pricing, the SUV could compete with the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari. However, both the Safari and the Scorpio are 7 seater SUVs when compared to the Duster’s 5 seat configuration.
The dimensions of the 2012 Duster is much smaller than the Safari and the Scorpio. So, Renault will be hoping for its brand image and better fit-finish levels to be the selling points for the Duster if indeed it prices the SUV in the range of the Safari-Scorpio. Pricing has been Renault India’s weak point thus far and the brand will be keen to change things with the Duster. The duster that will be launched in India will be available with three engine options, a 1.6 Liter petrol engine, a 1.5 Liter K9K turbo diesel engine with 85 Bhp and the same engine outputting 110 Bhp due to the addition of a variable geometry turbocharger.
The petrol variant of the Duster SUV will be positioned as the base variant. There will be three variants for the diesel engine options(RxE, RxL and RxZ) while the petrol engined model will get RxE and RxL variants. The speculated pricing level for the base petrol variant is about INR 7.4 lakhs. The petrol engine of the Duster displacing 1.6 Liters is a twin cam unit codenamed K4M. The engine produces about 100 Bhp of peak power and 145 Nm of peak torque. This engine will be mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. The diesel engines will be the K9K units that both Nissan and Renault use on a range of their cars.
The 1.5 liter turbo diesel engine with the fixed geometry turbocharger will produce 85 Bhp-200 Nm and will be mated to a 5 speed gearbox. The same engine wih the variable geometry turbocharger will produce 110 Bhp-240 Nm and will be mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox. As of now, there is no talk about a 4 wheel drive variant. So, we’ll have to make do with the front wheel drive variants for now in that case. This will dull the appeal of the Duster by a bit when it comes to more serious off roading but then again, it also gives Renault some leeway to bring in a 4WD variant sometime in the future. The top end variant of the duster will get ABS, Airbags and reverse parking sensors.