Renault's new SUV Concept
Renault India has launched its flamboyant concept car the Kwid Concept at 12th Auto Expo in Greater Noida. The car is aimed at the needs of young customers, the company said. The tiny Kwid SUV concept could be a production model to be sold in the UK according to Renault and within two years.
The Kwid is smaller than Renault’s Captur supermini SUV at just 3.6 metres long. It has a Tonka-toy appearance with an elevated grilles sitting above outsized bumpers which gives the impressive of off-road driving even though it is only a two wheel drive. The concept is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to a dual-clutch transmission, and according to the company it’s been designed to take an electric powertrain as well.
The design of the KWID was done by an international team, including inputs from Renault Design India. This is the first Renault concept car to be unveiled outside Europe. The design of the car was overseen by veteran Renault stylist Axel Breun, whose past work includes the radical mid-engined Renault Clio V6 supermini.
Breun has also worked on Renault’s new Twingo city car, which will be revealed at the Geneva motor show in March. However sources within Renault say the production version of the Kwid is unlikely to use the rear-engine Twingo platform, which it shares with the forthcoming new Smart ForTwo and ForFour models.
Gilles Normand, chairman of Asia-Pacific Region, Renault SAS, said “young customers in India are often trend setters, looking forward to pushing the envelope when it comes to technology and enjoyable drives. The Kwid Concept with its Flying Companion, meets this forward-looking spirit.”
A feature not likely to make production is the drone helicopter attached to the car. Called the Flying Companion, the Kwid's little helicopter friend is envisioned as a scout vehicle that can fly ahead and report back on traffic conditions, take pictures or just "detecting obstacles on the road ahead." The airborne buddy can either be pre-programmed using GPS coordinates or controlled by a tablet in the Kwid.
Other features not likely to make production on what will have to be a low-cost car to appeal to Indian buyers include electric scissor doors and an electric sliding bench front seat. It also comes with separate air-con for rear passengers and a touchscreen tablet for the dash controls.