Renault Arkana SUV India launch under evaluation

The Arkana SUV could potentially be a test car for international markets – companies test various models in other markets – or simply brought in for a customer clinic or some other purpose.

A few shots have emerged of the Renault Arkana SUV being driven around in India. The Arkana is a coupe-styled SUV, and like the Captur, Renault has used the Arkana top-hat on two platforms — the newer CMF-B for a few European markets, as well as the older BO platform that the Indian Captur and Duster are built on and sold in other emerging markets like Russia. The model seen here is underpinned by the CMF-B platform, indicative from the e-tech hybrid badge on the rear.

Will Renault launch the Arkana in India?

Renault has so far not spoken of the Arkana for India, and while it did release a tweet showing the Arkana last November, the post was a global campaign in support of the #movember movement.

The SUV seen could potentially be a test car for international market testing – companies test various models in other markets – or simply brought in for a customer clinic or some other purpose. But if this were a model under test for India, it would mean a CBU approach is under consideration as the firms local plant is not geared up for the CMF-B platform.

Interestingly, with the Duster now discontinuedRenault could potentially make the BO-based Arkana here. However, we understand that the firm is currently going slow on local manufacturing of new product lines and is keen to establish a sustained minimum volume with its products currently on sale. The company will also be wary of launching another premium SUV using the BO platform given the lackluster market reception of the Captur.

Thus, if the Arkana were to make it to India, it would likely be the CMF-B based product brought in as a CBU. This could potentially justify the price with its upmarket interiors and technology and would enable the company to sustain some market buzz, in the face of what will be a very quite year or two with no new locally produced models scheduled for launch. 

What’s the Arkana like?  

The Arkana carries forward a lot of the design elements from the Captur, but there are many details like the extended C-Shaped LED headlamps that are now seen on all newer Renault models overseas. The defining element of the Arkana is its sloping roofline that merges with the boot to give the SUV a high-riding notchback look. The SUV-coupe stance also gives the Arkana a distinction within Renault’s own SUV line-up.

The Renault Arkana is powered by two petrol-hybrid engine options, with the entry-level being a mild-hybrid 138hp, 1.3-litre turbo-petrol. The model seen in India has the E-tech branding, which confirms it gets Renault’s self-charging E-Tech system that consists of a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, two electric motors (an e-motor and a high-voltage starter generator) and an unique multi-mode clutch-less dogbox transmission.

According to Renault, vehicles equipped with this system will start in EV mode always — the E-Tech hybrid is said to provide up to 80 percent of city driving time with all-electric power — reducing CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by up to 40 percent over a conventional combustion engine in urban driving.

Also, the version seen in India is the sportier RS-line variant that gets sportier accents on the outside and faux carbon fibre bits on the dashboard. The dashboard itself looks quite familiar, as the design resembles Renault-Nissan’s products sold in India. However, the infotainment system on the Arkana is a vertically oriented 9.3-inch unit that is loaded with features including Parking and Safety driver-assistance systems including Highway and Traffic Jam Companion semi-autonomous system, Safety Active emergency braking system, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and lane guard system, 360-degree camera and more. The SUV also gets a fully digital instrument cluster and a Bose sound system among others.

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