Renault has announced that it is working on a new sub-4 metre SUV, its first in any part of the world, to help it stem its decline and grow its market share in the country. Codenamed the HBC, the sub-4 metre SUV will follow the Triber and will be based on the same CMF-A platform as the modular hatchback that is set to be launched in the second half of 2019. While the Triber will take on premium hatchbacks like the Maruti Suzuki Baleno, the HBC will take on the segment king, the Vitara Brezza. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer for SUV aficionados across the country.
Renault says the HBC will offer something unique in its segment. While further details are awaited, we expect it to feature a modular seating configuration just like the Triber that was spotted recently. It could also offer connected car technology, like the upcoming Hyundai Venue, as well as a sunroof in higher variants. Lower variants are likely to be equipped with Renault’s proprietary touchscreen infotainment system, albeit with the addition of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Like other sub-4 metre SUVs, the HBC is likely to feature five seats and a high ground clearance to help it tackle Indian roads.
Set to be launched after the implementation of BSVI emission regulations, the HBC is likely to be powered by a turbocharged version of the Kwid’s 1.0-litre engine. The same engine is expected to be found under the hood of the Triber too. A diesel engine cannot be ruled out either, provided it meets upcoming emission norms. We expect it to get the sturdy K9K 1.5-litre diesel engine that powers all Renault diesel models in the country. As far as transmission options are concerned, expect the HBC to get a 5-speed manual as well as Renault’s EasyR AMT. An all-electric version of the HBC can also be expected since the CMF-A platform does support electrification, as evidenced by the City K-ZE, which was unveiled at the 2019 Auto Shanghai motor show recently.
Expect the HBC to offer dual airbags, ABS with EBD and rear parking sensors in accordance with upcoming crash test norms. And if it features connected car technology like the Hyundai Venue, expect it to offer emergency alert, crash notification and summon roadside assistance as well. It could also feature remote functions such as engine start-stop and door lock/unlock.
Renault is also set to launch updated versions of the Kwid and Duster within this year. Meanwhile, we think the carmaker may be considering launching the all-electric Kwid, or the City K-ZE as it is known in China, by 2021. The upcoming launches are part of Renault’s ‘Drive The Future’ six-year business plan that was announced in October 2017. Do you think a sub-4 metre SUV and a premium hatchback will be enough to revive Renault’s fortunes in India?