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by Tim Beissmann

Renault’s design boss has shed more light on the French brand’s upcoming seven-seat SUV that’s set to break cover in 2017.

Renault design director Laurens van den Acker told AutoExpress the new Nissan X-Trail-based crossover would be “much more than just a big Kadjar”, referring to the car maker’s recently revealed mid-sized SUV that’s based on the Nissan Qashqai.

“The proportions are slightly different,” van den Acker said, “the positioning is more high end. We are going for a different type of customer.

“It will sit just underneath the Espace, which for me remains the flagship of the brand.”

The designer explained the D-segment crossover was designed predominantly for Asia (including Australia) where it will replace the Koleos, and where the left-hand-drive-only Espace people-mover isn’t available.

“[The SUV] will be sportier, it will be younger than the Espace.”

Renault-SUV-sketch-2

Renault Australia is committed to bringing the new X-Trail-based SUV to our shores to replace the ageing Koleos, but at this stage will not take the size-smaller Kadjar.

“Koleos and next-generation Koleos have sat very squarely in our plans for some time and we remain committed to that model line,” Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told CarAdvice last month.

“We’ve got good clarity on that business case, we know it can work well for us, and to put something else in between means that we have to readdress that – which is not inconceivable, we could do that, but it could mean a deviation in the way we would have to price and spec Captur and Koleos.”

Renault marketing senior vice president Michael Van Der Sande told AutoExpress the new model would likely continue the naming strategy employed by Captur and Kadjar.

“There is a fairly high chance the name will start with a C or a K,” he said.




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