The Renault HBC will be a sub-4m SUV that will rival the likes of the Venue and the Brezza and will use a similar underpinning and powertrain as the Triber.
Renault has refreshed their entire India lineup with the new Kwid, the new Duster and the Triber. The next segment that Renault is targeting is the sub-compact SUV segment. Renault will be unveiling an all-new subcompact SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo that has been codenamed the HBC. The HBC will sit between the Triber and the Duster and Renault wants it to be a volume generator for the brand.
The Renault HBC is a sub-4m compact SUV that is meant to take on the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford EcoSport, Mahindra XUV300 and Tata Nexon. The HBC will be unveiled in a near production-ready concept form at the 2020 Delhi Auto Expo, with a market launch subsequently in mid-2020. The HBC along with the Duster will be on the relatively premium side of Renault’s lineup in India while the Kwid and the Triber will take on the more competitive end.
The HBC will be underpinned by Renault’s CMF-A+ architecture, the same platform that also underpins the Triber. In fact, the CMF-A+ platform is a derivative of the CMF-A platform which underpins the Kwid and Datsun Redigo in India. The HBC will also share several parts and even chassis aggregates with the Triber. Renault also intends to double their sales in the next two years, something the Triber is well keeping up with and the HBC will also follow suit.
Talking of the design of the HBC, it is expected to be an upright SUV, with good ground clearance, exaggerated muscle in the bumpers and fenders and an imposing metal embellished black grille – like you can see on the international-spec Koleos and the recently facelifted Kadjar sport. The car is also expected to get squarish fenders and wheel arches. In essence, the overall look of the HBC will have a close likeness to the next-gen Duster which will be developed out of India and Renault would want a family look across its range of cars.
The Renault HBC will be powered by the same 1.0-liter ‘Energy’ engine that is used in the Triber. This engine is Renault’s new global small displacement engine and it made its debut with the Triber in India. The HBC will however receive a turbocharged variant of this engine and Renault also plans to introduce the same engine in the Triber as a premium and more powerful variant in 2020. Conversely, the regular engine could also come on HBC for an entry-level variant or to achieve an aggressive starting price.
We can also confirm that the 5-speed manual and AMT gearboxes from the Triber will make it to the HBC. Interestingly though, Renault could also introduce a CVT gearbox in the HBC considering that rivals in this segment have started to offer more sophisticated automatic gearboxes than AMTs and Renault might as well cash in on the opportunity. The Renault HBC will also spawn a like model at alliance partner Nissan, though more likely for the Datsun brand. That car will have completely different styling and the interiors will be shared by other cars from the Datsun lineup. However, that is expected to arrive only by the end of next year while the Renault HBC is expected to hit the showrooms by June.