It has been hardly a few weeks since the game-changing Renault Duster hit showroom floors, but Renault India has already moved on to the next launch, the last of the five products it promised by late 2012.
The company has confirmed that it is all set to launch the "mid size premium sedan Scala" before the festival season.
We expect Renault to conduct the launch in September, much before Diwali.
Our sources tell us that Renault's Mumbai design studio has redesigned more parts of the donor car (Nissan Sunny) than it did with the Micra-based Pulse. The rear profile is all-new, sporting a flatter look with 'Scala' inscribed on a chrome nameplate bolted above the registration plate area. Apart from these changes, the car gets new headlights, wheels and chrome trimmings around the body.
The interiors are likely to be influenced by the Pulse, but our hopes on it reflecting the car's individuality are not very high. The cabin components, layout or design will not change from the Sunny. The same petrol and diesel engines (displacing 1.5L) are expected on the Scala, providing identical outputs and returning similar fuel economy figures.
The Scala is the easiest way to compete in the C segment which was used by Skoda (who also followed the badge-engineering route) to taste success again in the sub-10 lakh segment and gave the Nissan brand equity a huge value boost.
It will be interested to see if the Scala can do to Renault, what the Sunny did to Nissan India. Moreover this product fills another void in Renault India's product line.