The world premiere of Renault's all-new entry-level small car, codenamed XBA, is just a couple of days away. Reported to be called the Renault Kayou, here is a list of 5 things we know about Renault's Alto rival:
1. Will subscribe to Renault's global design language:
Despite the Kayou being an entry-level model, its styling will be modern, and in fact borrow from Renault's global models. Reports are also indicative of the Kayou getting a crossover-like stance (good ground clearance and a butch front end) to better differentiate it from its rivals.
2. Based on the CMF-A platform:
The Kayou is based on Renault's new Common Module Family (CMF) platform. This platform is the French carmaker's answer to VW's MQB. According to Renault, CMF is aimed at reducing manufacturing costs by featuring interchangeable and compatible modules across many product lines. The CMF-A is an iteration that will be used for small cars like the Kayou and Datsun's upcoming 'I2'.
3. 0.8L engine:
Power for the Kayou will come from a new 0.8-liter three-cylinder petrol engine internally known as 'BR-8'. Insiders say this engine is directly benchmarked to rival Maruti's and Hyundai's 0.8-liter units fitted on the Alto and Eon respectively, for fuel efficiency and intracity driving performance. It would be paired to manual and automated manual transmissions, according to reports.
4. To be priced under 4 lakhs:
Renault India's CEO, Mr. Sumit Sawhney, confirmed that the small car will be priced under INR 4 lakhs when it goes on sale, which is expected to take place in the second half of this year. For reference, the top-end Eon 0.8-liter Sportz costs INR 4.11 lakhs, while the Alto 800 VXi with airbag comes to INR 3.4 lakhs, ex-Showroom, Delhi.
5. Will be sold in Europe:
Unlike its rivals, the Renault Kayou will be a global model that will be sold in the European market as well. Road tests have already started for the Euro-spec Kayou, though it remains to be seen if the Chennai plant caters for exports. Renault could also explore the possibility of making the Kayou in its plant in Tangier, Morocco.
Rivals: Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon, Tata Nano variants, Datsun redi-Go
Expected Price: INR 3-4 lakhs, ex-Showroom
Launch date: May 20, 2015 (unveiling)