A Renault Sport version of the Renault Captur is “under discussion”, a senior executive from the brand has revealed, though questions have also been raised whether a sporty version of the small SUV fits within the RS brand philosophy.
The Renault Captur has been a runaway success in Europe, joining the tirade of the booming SUV market to become the third most popular model in France after the Clio and Peugeot 208. Yet that doesn’t mean an RS flagship version is a sure thing, Renault Sport sales and communications director Regis Fricotte told CarAdvice following the Megane RS275 Trophy-R reveal at the Nurbugring.
“We study everything that is possible to study, then we make sure that: 1. It is feasible; 2. It is economically viable; 3. It is in line with Renault Sport expertise,” Fricotte begins.
“What would be the Captur on that [Nurburgring] track? It’s a different philosophy.
“What would be an SUV Renault Sport? Is it to go hill climbing? Is it to do lap track? Is it to provide comfort? So it’s all those things we’re considering.”
Suggestions that Renault Sport could follow the path set by Mercedes-Benz with its GLA45 AMG sub-compact SUV flagship were dismissed by Fricotte, who argues that an RS product is more than just about putting a more powerful engine into an existing Renault.
“We don’t only do big engines,” he says.
“As this car [Megane RS275 Trophy-R] is proof, it’s not the most powerful car in the segment, but it is the most efficient. So [BMW] M or AMG, they put big engines, it’s not us, it’s not what we do.
“We develop the best compromise between the chassis and engine, and deliver the best efficiency.
“That car [Megane RS275 Trophy-R] on the circuit is faster than many cars above 400 horsepower (298kW).”
At the Renault Captur international launch last year, however, Renault Sport motorsport division manager Francois Champod confirmed to CarAdvice the performance outfit is looking to expand its RS range beyond Clio and Megane, but had not decided which Renault would be the best fit to do so.
Renault Sport technical manager Thierry Landreau adds to Fricotte’s comments, confirming that the brand is looking for an answer to whether a Renault Sport Captur will be built.
“This question is under discussion. What can we bring to the market with a sporty SUV is a good question, but frankly speaking I don’t know the answer to it,” he says.
“I think that the question makes sense. Hopefully we will find a good answer to that, but don’t know what that will be”.