Renault has made an impressive entry into the Indian passenger car market with the Fluence and recently with the Koleos premium SUV. However, as expected, the company has now confirmed that they will eventually be making the Duster SUV at the Chennai plant and launch in in mid of 2012. The SUV is a tough and reliable off-roader and is also one of the cheapest full grown SUVs to be sold in the world. India will get the latest and the updated version that is sold under the Dacia brand name in key international markets.
As seen from these pictures, the Renault Duster is quite a smart and robust looking SUV. The front end has a slight aggresion to it with a smartly designed bumper that also part houses the under engine bash plate. You also notice the muscular and flared wheel arches and the running black matt panels across the length, broken by the smart looking step guard. The rear again, for this price, is impressive with cute tail lamps and a silver finish rear bash plate integrated into the rear bumper. The Indian Duster will also get running roof rails.
The cabin of the Renault Duster immediately makes you remember the Mahindra Verito (earler the Renault Logan). Lot of parts seem to have been picked up from the Verito like the air-con vents and power window switches. Like the Verito / Logan, even the Duster has centrally placed power window switches. The Duster will strictly be a comfortable 5-seater with loads of boot space on avail. Interiors will get ABS, air-bags, driver info display etc. Also expect generous space and high quality plastics. On the engine front, the Renault Duster will come with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol engine will be a 1.6-litre unit generating 110Bhp of power. However, as is the case with the Indian market, the diesel is the one that will be the better seller of the two - the same 1.5-litre dCi motor that also powers cars like the Mahindra Verito / Renault Fluence etc. In the Duster, it will either come in a 85Bhp or a 105Bhp version - expect class leading fuel economy on this engine!
The Renault Duster will come with both 4x2 and 4x4 models. Expect a showcase at the Jan 2012 Auto Expo with a launch by mid 2012. Prices should roughly start at around Rs 7.5 lakh, going all the way upto Rs 9 lakh - a direct hit at the Mahindra Scorpio and the Tata Safari!