The more hard core 4X4 variant of the Renault Duster SUV is already available on sale in the international markets. India however, is yet to see the variant at Renault showrooms. It was said then, that the French automaker was studying the feasibility and viability of introducing the 4X4 variant in the Indian market. According to new reports coming out in the industry, it is said the Duster 4X4 variant is slated to make its commercial debut in the month of September.
Until now, the Duster SUV was only offered in the front-wheel drive format in India. No doubt that the Renault Duster has staged a stiff competition to the likes of the Ford EcoSport. However, over time the sales of the SUV has started decline. To spruce it up once again, Renault is betting high on the 4X4 variant, which has been completely mission from the compact crossover segment in India.
The Renault Duster 4x4 variant is already being built at the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Chennai, under the Dacia brand. This model - the Dacia Duster - is being currently exported out of Chennai, into the European markets, especially in the UK and the Ireland.
The made-in-India Dacia Duster is available in the international markets in both petrol and diesel guises. For the Indian market however, we expect the Duster 4X4 variant to be offered only in the diesel avatar. The diesel powerplant is a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder unit that is capable of producing 105PS of max power and 148Nm of peak torque. The unit comes mated to a 6-Speed manual gearbox. The 4X4 system that is used in the Duster is a Nissan drivetrain component that is built in Dacia’s home country, Romania that is then imported into India and fitted into the SUV at the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Chennai.
Expect the Renault Duster 4x4 to be priced around Rs 1 lakh more than the top-end front-wheel drive variant. Lastly, according to Renault insiders, the Duster 4X4 variant will be offered only in the top-end trim, RxZ that currently retails at Rs 12.67 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai.)