The Indian auto market is all set to welcome a new segment into its playground i.e. the mini-SUV segment with many offerings in the pipeline such as the Ford Ecosport, Mahindra mini Xylo and the Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha. Some companies are refraining from launching their products immediately, waiting for a better time, but all of them are aiming at a price point of under 10 lakh rupees.
Renault India confirmed last year in June that the Duster crossover will be launched in 2012 and some reports on the Indian blogosphere go a step further to state it'll come this June. The French car maker showcased its budget SUV earlier this year at the Auto Expo, New Delhi. The Duster shares its platform with the Logan or Verito as its now known.
Renault-owned Romanian car company Dacia developed this vehicle as a lifestyle product for the middle class in the emerging economies where powerful-looking SUVs are imported cars and beyond their means.
With its huge chrome grill up front, busy-looking headlamps, muscular wheel arches, lots of room for five and all this within compact dimensions, it sounds like the ideal vehicle for the congested city dweller.
Our friends at Motoroids have put out a story on the launch date and state that the Duster will be powered by a 1.5 liter dCi engine and a 1.6 liter petrol engine both churning out 105bhp, and 240Nm and 148Nm of torque respectively. The engine is lifted from the Fluence but the state of tune is different. Another friend blog CarBlogIndia says bookings for the Duster have started in some parts of India.
The Duster will be available in both 4X2 and 4X4 versions. We are expecting the SUV to be priced between 8-10 lakhs.