By Steve & Tamami Laser
Here’s one we didn’t see coming: Renault is following in the footsteps of its partner Nissan by getting into the midsize pickup truck market. While it’s highly unlikely the production version of its new Alaskan concept will ever reach the U.S., the French brand is already known globally as a producer of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs).
“As Europe’s number one Light Commercial Vehicle brand for the past 17 years, and in addition to its strong positions in the South-American and African markets, Renault Group is now shifting up a gear with a view to taking Renault LCV forward from being a top regional player to a top global player,” says the automaker.
The Renault Alaskan Concept previews an upcoming pickup model. It’s designed for business, leisure and everyday use. (video: Renault UK)
Renault has decided to move into the pickup market, a segment that accounts for more than one-third of global LCV sales. Last June, in Buenos Aires, the brand launched the distinctive new Renault Duster Oroch pickup which is intended for the South American market. The Alaskan Concept is a show truck which paves the way for a new model to be unveiled in the first half of 2016 that will have a global calling.
Renault says the Alaskan Concept’s design fits perfectly with the aesthetic expectations of the pickup segment, while remaining true to the brand’s styling cues. The design of its athletic sculpted sides includes prominent wheel arches filled with 21-inch wheels.
“The styling of the Alaskan Concept sticks to the rules of the pickup segment, including impressive dimensions and a visual sense of power and robustness,” says Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice-President, Corporate Design. “At the same time, we have dialed in specific Renault cues in the form of an attractive, status-enhancing front-end design.”
The Alaskan Concept is powered by Renault’s four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel engine. Twin turbo technology uses a small turbo for smooth acceleration at low engine speeds, plus a bigger turbo for higher revs. This longitudinally-mounted powertrain is reportedly lighter than average equivalent engines.
Alaskan has a strong chassis, high ground clearance and a payload of more than one ton with five passengers onboard. The long, wide load bed, incorporating three longitudinal recesses suitable for fixing equipment, has additional storage bins on either side of the bed to secure tools of the trade.
Renault says the production version’s design will be “similar in spirit” to that of the Alaskan Concept and will feature the same dimensions. A broad range of body types and powertrains are in the mix as well. We can get a better idea of what it will look like by checking out Nissan’s latest generation pickup for Europe dubbed NP300 Navara (below).
Nissan and Renault together have developed the new pickup for Renault which will “share some of its architecture with the Nissan NP300.” The production version of the new generation NP300 Navara will also make its European debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Nissan says it was designed and engineered for the specific requirements and preferences of the European market, and will also be manufactured in Europe.
News source, photos and video from Renault UK. Nissan NP300 Navara photo from Nissan UK.
Story ©2015 CarNichiWa.com