Renault to begin taking orders for Duster by June end

Wednesday 20 June 2012, 00:44 AM by

Duster, the heavily anticipated Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) from Renault, is all set to be launched in the Indian auto market in June 2012 and the French car maker is gearing up to commence bookings a month in advance. The model, considered as the perfect blend of space, ruggedness and stability, is expected to kick-off a new scenario of competitive pricing in the SUV segment of the Indian auto industry. After the failure of its earlier premium offerings, including Fluence, Koleos and Pulse, Renault is readying itself to try its luck in India with the launch of its big and efficient SUV, Duster.

Renault to begin taking orders for Duster by June end |
Renault to begin taking orders for Duster by June end

The Indian version of Duster will be offered with the option of two powertrains, 1.5 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel units. Both of these engines are successfully running in Nissan Sunny sedan, but are expected to have slight modifications considering the weight of the SUV. The 1.5 litre petrol engine will churn out maximum power of 97 bhp and highest torque of 134 Nm. On the other hand, the 1.5 diesel engine will produce peak power 84 bhp with 200 Nm of maximum torque. Besides the two powertrains, it is also anticipated that the car will be offered in two drive chassis, 4x2 and 4x4, for the diesel model.

Renault Duster is expected to square off against the big players of its segment, including Xylo Multi Utility Vehicle (MUV) and the recently launched Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The model is scheduled to be produced at the company’s Oragadam plant, in the vicinity of Chennai. Localisation will help the French car maker to competitively price the model in the Indian market. It is believed that Renault will offer the new car with a price tag of less than Rs. 6 lacs. Moreover, the SUVs churned out here will be further exported to some European nations, including UK.

Globally, analysts have acknowledged Duster as a powerful, high-on-practicality and value-for-money car. However, it will have to overcome some hurdles in the country, such as limited number of official dealerships. By the end of 2012, the brand is planning to take the number of its official dealerships to 100. However, the company will begin taking orders for the Duster via its existing outlets before the end of June 2012.

Duster will boast of several advanced features which will make it stand apart from other contenders in the same segment. The attractive features packed within the car will include 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and plush leather upholstery Four-speaker infotainment system with USB, AUX-IN as well as Bluetooth connectivity and electrically adjustable Outer Rear View Mirrors (ORVMs) are other features of the model.

The upcoming model, which is similar to the discontinued Tucson in size, will feature a chrome polished front grille, smartly-designed headlights and precisely integrated fog lamps in a sporty bumper. In addition to these, the model will also be integrated with many advanced safety features like rear parking sensors, front fog lamps, satellite audio and phone control, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and dual front airbags.

As far as the side profile of the vehicle is considered, the new Renault Duster has well-defined wheel arches and 5-spoke mags which perfectly complement the beefy design and make it look sporty and rugged. Slight modifications like a narrower D pillar, blackened B pillars and wider windows in rear doors add to its character. The rear of the upcoming SUV also sports a beefy look, with the reflectors and skid plates integrated into the bumper.

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