Renault Modus Spied India

When Renault put up their upcoming lineup on their website, it was very evident that the cars which would be coming soon would be the Koleos and the Duster. However it was unknown which small car (codenamed B58) Renault was planning to launch. Naturally speculations started with many believing it could be the Clio or the Twingo. However the French carmaker was quick to clear that neither the Clio nor the Twingo are headed to India. The mystery has finally come to an end with the Renault Modus being spied in Chennai, undergoing routine pre-launch tests. Renault will launch the Modus at the 2012 Auto Expo and will start deliveries by the end of January, 2012. So what exactly is the Modus?

The Modus comes in two versions – Modus and Modus Grand. Renault positions the car as an MPV, but the Modus is far from it. The Modus has a length of 3873 mm, width of 1695 mm (many popular hatchbacks have similar width), height of 1586 mm (giving it a tall boy stance) and a wheelbase of 2482 mm. The Modus Grand measures in a length of 4034 mm, not making it classify for small car excise norms and thus out of contention for the Indian car market. Based on the Nissan V-platform, on which the Clio and Nissan Micra are based, the Modus will be powered by the 1.5-liter DCi motor which does duty in the Mahindra Verito, Nissan Micra, Renault Fluence and the upcoming Nissan Sunny. The Modus will also be available with a petrol motor, which it will share with the Micra. The 1198 cc, 3-pot motor produces 75 BHP of power and 104 Nm of torque. It has decent performance and reaches 100 kmph in less than 16 seconds.

Renault will manufacture the Modus at its Chennai facility and will try to heavily localize the car. The French automaker cannot afford to do a blunder in pricing like they did with the Fluence and Koleos. The Modus will be Renault’s answer to the Maruti Suzuki Ritz, Hyundai i10 and Honda Jazz. The Modus might be having generous interior room but it doesn’t compromise on boot space with 293 liters boot capacity. With the rear seats completely folded, the Modus offers a generous 1302 liters. Renault claims that their small car is being designed trendily by their design house in Mumbai. Now that we know it is the Modus, we know how much of truth lies in that statement.

Like the Nissan Micra, Renault might be very keen on utilizing their Orgadam facility to export the Modus to BRIC countries. The Renault Modus is the first small car to be awarded with a 5-star EuroNCAP rating. This could be attributed to the 6-airbags, front and rear side impact bars and ISOFIX child seat fixing points. However for India, we can expect the Modus to feature dual airbags at best. The Modus will be equipped with ABS, 2-Din audio system, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear wiper, washer, demister, high mounted stop lamp, electronically adjustable rear view mirrors, Triptic seating system, fog lamps and remote keyless entry.

The Triptic seating system has the rear seats mounted on sliding rails with four preset positions. When in the rearmost two positions the seats are configured for two people with increased leg, hip and shoulder room. When in the forward positions they are configured for three people, sacrificing comfort but increasing cargo capacity. The Modus also features flip up cushion on the front passenger seat squab which leaves a space in which the driver could place objects to prevent them from rolling into the footwell and under the seats.

One of the sore points of the Modus is the centrally mounted instrument cluster. This is something which has not been well accepted by Indians till date and is more distracting than comforting. With the Modus offering generous interior space and class leading boot space, Renault have a very practical hatchback on their hands. Expect pricing to start at Rs. 4.5 lakhs for the base Modus petrol, going all the way to Rs. 6.5 lakhs for the top end diesel (pricing estimated ex-showroom, New Delhi).


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Spy Picture Courtesy – Team-BHP