Renault continues to test the Duster crossover in Chennai, where the company has its manufacturing facility. The city is full of Duster test mules. The French automaker is testing a fleet of Duster vehicles and the latest was spotted by Srivatsav Bhoopathy at Chengalpattu in Kanchipuram district. The Duster launch is still some months away and will be coincide with the launch of Mahindra’s mini-Xylo. The Ford EcoSport launch has been postponed to early 2013, so the Duster will have no real competition at launch.
Ford has confirmed that the EcoSport will be a sub 4-meter vehicle. Could Renault also be working on trimming the Duster to under 4-meters? The Duster will be powered by the tried and tested k9k DCi diesel engine which would be offered in two set of tunes. A petrol engine will be offered to, which would be a straight lift from the Nissan Sunny petrol. To be offered in 5 variants, the Duster will offer variety to the buyer. This compact SUV is developed on the Logan platform and is the most exciting product from the Renault stable in recent times.
Renault is expected to price the Duster very aggressively. The company will offer the base petrol variant for a shade under Rs. 7 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), while the top end diesel will retail for around Rs. 10 lakhs. The Duster will be offered in 2-wheel drive guise initially, with a 4-wheel drive version expected to be offered later. An automatic variant could be offered too but that will depend on how the market responds to this compact crossover initially.