The Renault HBC will be launched in India in the second quarter of 2020 and it is expected to be priced very aggressively (Rs 6-9 lakhs) in its segment.
We had already reported you that Renault has been working on a sub-compact SUV. It has been code named as the HBC and it will launch in India in the second half of 2020. Renault has now started testing the HBC on our roads and the first spy images of the SUV has surfaced on the internet.
The test mule comes heavily camouflaged but certain design elements can still be understood. The SUV seems of a pretty decent length, almost the entire four metres, in order to generate more interior and cargo room. The test mule seems pretty close-to-production and is wearing large 16-inch wheels with a considerable amount of ground clearance.
The Renault HBC has the typical stance of a crossover and if you take a closer look, you will see that this sub-compact SUV shares a lot of parts with Renault models like the Triber including the front doors and a few body panels like the front bumper, grille and even the hood. The spied test mule seems to be a top-spec model as the car can be seen wearing alloy wheels and even gets a rear washer/wiper.
This new sub-compact SUV from Renault will slot under the Duster in the French carmaker’s lineup in India. It will be underpinned by the Compact Modular Family (CMF-A) platform. It is the same platform on which the Triber is based and like we have seen with the Triber, Renault has given utmost priority to cabin space with this sub-compact SUV. The bigger cabin space comes at the cost of a smaller engine bay. That however should not be a problem as Renault has already ruled out diesel engines in India post BS-6 norms. Diesel engines require relatively larger space than petrol engines in the engine bay.
The Renault sub-compact SUV will thus be powered by petrol engines only in India. We will see Renault’s 1.0 liter, three cylinder petrol engine making its way into the HBC SUV. This engine produces 72 bhp and 96 Nm of torque. Renault will soon update this engine to comply with the BS-6 norms in the triber and it will be launched in BS-6 guise with the new sub-compact SUV. A 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT are expected to be on offer with this engine.
There are also talks of Renault introducing a turbocharged petrol engine in India. That could very well be Nissan’s ‘HR10’ three-cylinder turbocharged motor, that makes around 100bhp of power. This engine is likely to be reserved for higher variants of the small SUV. As for the interiors, we expect Renault to borrow some bits and parts from the Triber. Probably the touchscreen infotainment system and certain dashboard trims could be carried over with some new design elements as well. It is expected to be well equipped and at par wit the segment as well.
We expect Renault to price the HBX sub-compact SUV quite aggressively as the the platform it is based on is pretty cost-effective. Prices are likely to be in the Rs 6 lakh to Rs 9 lakh range. It will rival the Hyundai Venue, upcoming facelifted Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, and the segment bestseller, Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. This segment is getting quite crowded it seems.