Motor Shows

Renault Kwid concept baby SUV revealed

Meet the latest in what seems to be a never-ending line of baby SUVs - the new Renault Kwid concept.
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The French brand's new miniature high-rider will debut at this week's Delhi auto show and is described as "a robust yet joyful vehicle", one that "highlights both Renault’s commitment to new markets, such as India, as well as the company’s ability to produce appealing products in the compact car segment".

Aimed to appeal to at younger buyers in developing markets, the car was co-designed by Renault headquarters and the brand's Indian arm, boasting a chunky look with short overhangs and big wheels and tyres that are designed to give the impression that the vehicle is "bouncing".

The concept is said to be ready for electrification, and comes with a charge plug behind the Renault badge. This concept, though, is powered by a 1.2-litre turbo four-cylinder teamed to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, presumably the same powertrain seen in the new-generation Clio. It's two-wheel-drive, too.

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Featuring five seats in a strange 1+2+2 layout, the driver is positioned front and centre of the Kwid. Renault says this middle seat driver's position allows the car to be driven in both left- and right-hand-drive markets, an intriguing way to get around the engineering headaches and costs involved in building a car to suit both standards.

The styling of the cockpit is "inspired by a bird's nest", with elastomer webbed seats taking pride of place. Clever climate controls on the back of the driver's seat allow different settings for those in the rear, and there's a tablet media system on the dash.

In typical French (quirky) style, the car features a "Flying Companion" - a drone that ejects from the roof of the car and can fly above the and give those inside an idea of how bad the traffic is, detecting obstacles ahead and even taking happy snaps.

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There's no word yet on a production version of the Kwid, but if one were to become a reality, it could follow the lead of the Renault Duster - a rugged, budget-focused off-roader that is also sold under the Dacia brand. Another alternative would be a spin-off version of the new-generation Twingo city car.