The long-rumoured Renault HBC has been finally spied, just weeks before its world premiere (in concept form) at Auto Expo 2020 next month. From its proportions and size, the upcoming sub-4 metre SUV looks promising.
Though the prototype spied on the cam is covered in heavy camouflage, a lot can already be made out. Despite the small size, the HBC looks muscular and brawny. Looking at the Kwid which sits in a much smaller segment, it won't be wrong to say that Renault already has a good idea that the Indian customers prefer tougher look for their small SUVs compared to European customers.
At the front, the Renault HBC sports the facelifted Renault Kwid-inspired spit headlamps. The main lights, positioned below the LED position lights that likely double as turn indicators, seem to be tri-part LED units. Also visible is a compact V-shaped radiator grille. At the rear, the aggressively raked rear quarter glass makes for a very interesting design. The tail lights remain undercover but a thin crack on the camouflage gives a peek and hints that they may very well be LEDs too.
The Renault HBC will be based on the same CMF-A+ platform of the recently launched Triber. The Renault HBC will be powered by the HR10 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that was introduced globally in the Nissan Micra Mk5 in 2018 and then expanded to Renault Micra Mk5 in 2019. Essentially a downsized version of the HR13 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine co-developed by Groupe Renault and Daimler, it's made in direct injection and multipoint injection versions and offered with 5-speed MT and CVT. We had reported more about this engine in a dedicated story recently.
The Renault HBC has been officially confirmed to be launched in the second half of this calendar year. It will compete with the Hyundai Venue, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Tata Nexon, Ford EcoSport and the Mahindra XUV300.