The high-riding, SUV-like Renault Kwid sub-compact hatchback was officially launched in India overnight.
Measuring just 3.68 metres long and 1.58 metres wide, the Kwid has seating for five people. By way of comparison, the Kwid is around 90mm longer than the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive Euro-focussed Renault Twingo.
To help deal with India's rough and frequently potholed roads, the Kwid has a 180mm ground clearance, although the company has made no mention of an all-wheel drive option.
Motivation for the Kwid will come from an 800cc engine, with power directed to ground via a five-speed manual transmission. In a conversation with Indian Autos Blog, Gerard Detourbet, the vice president in charge of A-segment car development at the Renault-Nissan alliance, said that the company is working on an automated manual transmission for the Kwid.
He also confirmed that the vehicle is engineered for sale around the world, and the car can be specified up to meet both regulatory requirements and local consumer demands. For instance, the Indian-spec Kwid doesn't come with the option of ABS, but this could be easily added in as necessary.
In addition to the Dacia-style large flip-up-style door handles, the Kwid shares a number of styling cues with the much larger Dacia Duster, such as the grille, headlights and flared wheel arches. This indicates that if the Kwid was to be offered in Europe, it would likely wear Dacia badges.
The Kwid is built on Renault-Nissan's CMF-A flexible architecture or component matrix. Developed across four countries (Japan, Korea, France and India), the Indian-made Kwid will feature up to 90 percent local content.
Top-spec Kwids can be had with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with built-in Bluetooth phone connectivity. Other features available across the Kwid range includes digital instrument displays, air conditioning and electric front windows.
The Kwid goes on sale in India during the second half of 2015, and will carry a sticker price of between 300,000 and 400,000 rupees ($5900 and $7900).