Strip away the concept car tinsel and this is Renault’s long-overdue one-ton, crew cab pick-up truck, due for launch in 2017.
Renault has been the most popular light commercial vehicle (LCV) maker in Europe and other regions for donkey’s years, but plans to increase its global footprint. The new truck is central to those plans. Renault has never built a pick-up of this sort before, a significant oversight as they account for one third of the LCV market.
The Renault Alaskan concept doesn’t break any new ground in pick-up design, but is a notably attractive thing. Renault design boss, Laurens van den Acker, said: “The styling of the Alaskan concept sticks to the rules of the pick-up segment, including impressive dimensions and a visual sense of power and robustness. At the same time, we have dialed in specific Renault cues in the form of an attractive, status-enhancing front-end design.”
Those words ‘robust’ and ‘status-enhancing’ keep cropping up in Renault’s statement on the Alaskan. Like the Mitsubishi L200 and Volkswagen Amarok the production version will compete against, the Alaskan is designed for both work and leisure. So it needs to appeal to tradespeople and fleets, as well as private buyers who might otherwise choose a conventional SUV.
The concept itself features a ribbed bonnet; satin, brushed and polished metal finishes; blue and yellow detailing; full LED lighting and 21-inch wheels. Those details are unlikely to make it to production, but Renault says the finished article will be “similar in spirit” to the concept. Dimensions will be identical.
Renault claims the Alaskan has a “long, wide” load bed, with recesses for fixing equipment and storage bins either side. Hardly revolutionary, but nice touches all the same.
A 2.3-litre, four-cylinder, twin-turbo diesel engine from the Master van powers the Alaskan and will likely be the mainstay of the production range. Renault claims best-in-class fuel economy – the van returns a combined 40mpg. Underpinnings are shared with the new Nissan NP300 Navara and a Mercedes truck that will go on sale by 2020.
The production Renault pick-up will be unveiled next summer and go on sale around the same time in 2017.
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By Only Motors