Soon after proclaiming its “Drive The Future 2017-2022” strategic plan, Thierry Bollore, Renault’s chief competitive officer, said, “We will launch a compact MPV in the Indian market to transport many adults, but in a vehicle that is less than 4-metres length.” What this means for you and me is nothing but the presentation of a sub-4 meter MPV like the Datsun GO+ before 2022! Unlike the GO+, however, Renault’s forthcoming people mover is likely to be based on the CMF-A (Common Module Family Architecture) platform that underpins the Renault Kwid and the Datsun redi-GO. The CMF-A platform, jointly developed by Nissan and Renault, is a low-cost and flexible platform that allows the manufacturer to change the body style and powertrain options easily. The heavily localized platform should help Renault price the upcoming MPV competitively as well.
As far as powertrain options go, the auto giant has not declared any details yet. But we assume the people mover to be powered by the 1.2-litre, three cylinder petrol engine that also powers the Datsun GO+ and GO. Renault could also plonk its much-admired 1.5-litre diesel engine under the bonnet. This unit churns out 68PS of max power and a highest torque of 104Nm. As the forthcoming MPV is likely to be based on the Kwid, guess Renault to offer it with a pretty competitive price tag. We assume it to cost between Rs.5 lakh and Rs.7 lakh (ex-showroom).
What’s more, the forthcoming MPV is stated to be accessible with 7 seats.
The only other MPV under sub-4 metres in length is the Datsun GO+, which is based on Nissan’s V-platform that also underpins the Micra hatchback currently sold in India. The upcoming MPV along with Renault’s other popular offerings like the Kwid, Duster, Lodgy and the Captur should help the builder achieve a 5 % profitable market share in India. Earlier this year, MD and CEO of Renault India, Sumit Sawhney had said that Renault will expand its portfolio by launching one car every year. While the Kwid-based MPV is certainly one of them, other products that could be launched in India include the second-gen Duster, the Kwid EV, the new Koleos SUV, and a Megane-based sedan.
As of now, the only other people mover in the same price point is Datsun’s GO+, which has not had the kind of reception the Japanese budget auto giant hoped it would. So, could a parallel offering from Renault loaded with all the bells and whistles that the Kwid boasts of prove successful in our cut-throat four-wheeler market? Well, we’ll have to wait till the MPV is launched here