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Renault Duster bakkie is 'go' for SA

2015-06-09 13:06

TEASING THE FUTURE: Heavy backlighting and deep shade mask most of the new Duster double-cab but the outline is striking. Image: Renault

FERDI DE VOS

Quite a few manufacturers are preparing bakkies for production through to 2020 but Renault will be first out of the blocks when the production version of the Duster pick-up is revealed next week – and you can be sure it is destined for South Africa.

Known only as the Sport Utility Pick-up for now, the production model of 2014's Duster Oroch concept will have its world premiere at the Buenos Aires Motor Show in Argentina on June 18.

Renault has released a couple of teaser images of the production version and it shows all the features that made the Duster so successful – with more than a million produced in less than four years.

DOUBLE-CAB DESIGN

Renault SA only wanted to confirm that the bakkie version was “under consideration” for release in South Africa but taking into account the initial design and marketing brief for Duster and its sales success locally one can expect the bakkie to join the Renault line-up, probably early in 2016.

A bakkie version of the Duster already exists. This vehicle, the result of a conversion project, was especially created by Romanian automaker Dacia in responserespond to the needs of oil and gas company OMV Petrom.

Only a few hundred of this single-cab, assembled by coachbuilder Romturingia, were delivered from the end of 2014.

By contrast, the production model of the Duster pick-up, like the Oroch concept, is a five-seat double-cab with four doors and a load box described as “generous” (expect half -ton capacity) by the manufacturer.

From the images one can see the front styling features Renault’s updated corporate grille and Duster design detail, with some bulges around the rear to give it a muscular rough-and-ready appearance.

Engines choices should include 1.6 and a two-litre petrol mills and a turbodiesel variant with Renault’s 1.5 dCi engine and selectable all-wheel drive.

HUGE SOUTH AMERICAN MARKET

According to Denis Barbier, Renault’s senior vice-president and chairman of the Americas region, around 900 000 pick-ups, 75% of the commercial vehicle market on that continent - are sold in South America.

Demand for the bakkie, expected to be built at the Curatiba plant in Paraná state, Brazil, should be huge, especially in Brazil and Argentina.

The same applies in South Africa, with bakkies consistently being top-sellers in the new vehicle market.


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