Renault Duster – Getting Ready to Dust Competition Away
Tensions at Renault’s corporate office would be quite palpable these days. With fast approaching D- Day for the Duster launch, the nerves are only getting more fraught. No surprises here, as this could be a major make or break for Renault India. A company that has seen its fortune turn for the better world over, but for India. Major success seems to be eluding Renault India.
After having seen the pics of what’s finally coming, one thing is sure, irrespective of what the final outcome is, whether Indian SUV car buyer accepts or rejects the Duster, we liked what we saw.
Thanks to flared wheel arches, large wheel clearance, scuff plates and metallic roof rails, Duster sure has a road presence and typical SUV look . The 4.3 Meter long Duster does look bigger than its size. We believe Indian SUV buyers looking for size would find it difficult to reject it because of size. Duster does look compact, but it still looks like a SUV, unlike the timid Yeti.
Duster under its hood will have a petrol and diesel power plants. The 1.6 Ltr, DOHC valve train petrol engine delivers peak power of 102.5 Bhp at 5850 Rpm ably supported by a torque of 14.8 Kgm/3750 Rpm. Whilst the Diesel Duster will be powered by Nissan developed 1.5 ltr K9K engine, it has been tuned to deliver two very different performance figures. The more powerful variable geometry turbocharged engine with intercooler coded as K9KTPH diesel engine will have peak power output of 108.5 Bhp and a torque of 25.3 Kgm /2250 Rpm. Mated to a TL4 Gearbox with 6 gears makes the Duster with K9KTPH engines perform quite ably. In contrast the lower output engine will deliver peak power of 84 Bhp and a torque of 20.4 Kgm/1900 Rpm. This is mater to JR 5 Speed manual transmission.
Top end Duster will deliver creature comforts critical Indian SUV buyers are so used to. And to name a few:
Bluetooth Telephone Functions with Steering Stalk Mounted Controls
Stereo System with USB and Aux-in with Steering Stalk Mounted Controls
Rear AC Vents
Eye Pleasing Beige Interiors
ABS & EBD
Whatever, we here from the market, the Duster might go in for an aggressive penetrative strategy with base model petrol starting as low as Rs. 7 lacs and the top-end fully loaded not crossing the 12 lacs price band. If Duster does get priced aggressively, then established SUV models like Scorpio and Safari could be in for some big trouble. And if the Top-end finds favours with Indian SUV buyers, then in all likelyhood, one might see shortening ques for XUV 500 in near future.