After Ford India released more details on its mini SUV EcoSport through its official website following the Beijing debut, the battle lines have clearly been drawn here in India.
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Though Renault displayed the Duster at the Auto Expo, it has not explicitly described the vehicle. The French company believes the Duster can change the perceptions and feelings people associate with Renault India. There are a few mini SUV models in India, and competing in a less populated segment gives them a better chance of establishing their brand.
Renault is introducing the Duster as their fourth model in India before Diwali, and there's no doubt in our mind that a pair of locally manufactured 1.5-liter engines (lifted from the Sunny's engine bay) motors the vehicle. Unlike the Koleos which is a CKD operation, the Duster is manufactured locally and built using parts sourced from suppliers in India.
There's a 4X4 variant rolling of the Chennai factory lines for the UK market, but we don't know yet if that will be offered here from the time of launch. Rumor has it that the Fluence E4's more powerful diesel engine with a low inertia turbo is also being tested for top-end variants, and doubts hover over its local availability.
Our regular reader Deepu Antony spotted a convoy of Dusters in KK Nagar. He couldn't resist the temptation of overtaking and filming them from a stationary position. Deepu also clicked some pictures which we're featuring in this article.
The first car had minimal engine clutter suggesting that it was a petrol while the other two sounded like they had a diesel engine under the hood. You can also see beige interior on the red test mule.
These test mules are not new to IndianAutosBlog.com readers as we've aired as many as five sets of images and one spy video already in the course of the last three months.