2016 Renault Kwid shows its SUV-inspired styling

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 25, 2015

Renault will soon offer the Kwid -- an affordable new hatchback with luxurious features to the Indian market. The automaker aims to compete with the country’s top-selling car, the Alto, which is sold by Maruti Suzuki. The Kwid has an airbag option and has navigation functions. These are features not commonly found in the most popular small cars in India.

At the unveiling of the Kwid in Chennai, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that this car is expected to be “game changer” for Renault India. He said that India’s auto market is not easy and that the automaker is still learning its way. The Kwid looks like an SUV with its ground clearance that’s 180mm high and with a high seating position and short front and rear overhangs.

The Kwid measures 3.68 meters long and 1.58 meters wide, making it a bit bigger than the Renault Twingo. The car is built on Renault and Nissan's Common Modular Family A platform. With a starting price of 300,000 rupees ($4,700), the Kwid minicar is significantly cheaper than the Alto (which is priced from 246,163 rupees.

It’s likely that the Kwid will start selling this September. The automaker predicts that the Kwid will be a big factor in its growth in the country. Renault has set a target to increase its market share in India to 5% by the end of 2016 after having a share of only 1.7% in the 12 months ended March.

It hopes that its lowest-priced model, the Kwid, will help it achieve its goal. It can be recalled that Nissan had the same wish when it started offering the Go, the first car from its Datsun brand, last year in India. Its sales had been dismal.

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers revealed that only 16,000 Go hatchbacks have been sold in India since it was launched. This is lower than Alto sales in one month. Amit Kaushik, principal analyst at IHS Automotive in New Delhi, explained that this segment is “very price sensitive.”

He said that Renault faces a huge challenge since it doesn’t have a strong network or a foothold in the rural areas, which is where most of this segment’s sales are seen.

Ghosn said that Renault is increasing its dealerships in India. By the end of 2016, it’s expected to nearly double its sales outlets from the existing 157 to a total of 280.

Maruti, which has been at the top of the market, boasts of having 1,500 outlets. Approximately 30% of its sales originate from rural India. What makes it so attractive is its tiny 0.8-liter engine that’s mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, allowing the vehicle to be "extremely well positioned in terms of fuel consumption."

However, automakers in India are now working on adding more high-end attributes in their car to reach aspirational customers who are not considering cars only because they’re cheap.

Last Tuesday, Indian company Tata Motors unveiled a plan to sell an automatic version of its small Nano car. Known as the cheapest car in the world, the Nano has had poor sales.

The automatic version has a starting price of 269,000 rupees in New Delhi. It is now being targeted at consumers in urban areas rather than its initial target demographic of scooter riders who want to drive their own car.

Press Release

2016 Renault Kwid

As an innovator since 1898, Renault has constantly sought to pioneer new ideas, question conventional thinking and reinvent the way we use cars.

"With Kwid, Renault continues to pursue its strategy of accessible mobility for all to step up its international growth. Using a new Renault-Nissan Alliance platform and following the trail blazed by the Duster, the Kwid will enable Renault to continue its expansion and address the needs of customers who want a vehicle that is stylish, robust and easy to use." Carlos Ghosn - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Renault

The Kwid overturns established A-segment design cues thanks to a robust, stylish exterior plus a modern, welcoming interior equipped with features normally associated with models from the next segment up.

This eminently modern newcomer features SUV styling and construction, combining generous cabin space with unprecedented features for its segment, while its compact footprint makes it particularly versatile.

Quality interior appointments include a modern Media-Nav navigation/multimedia system complete with large seven-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Kwid combines the comfort and functional user-friendliness of a family city car with a modular interior and a raft of stowage solutions.

Renault has long showcased its ability to develop unique, innovative vehicles designed to meet the specific needs of its international markets.

With the introduction of the Kwid, the brand has gone a step further down the road of designing attractive, affordable vehicles in the small-car segment.

Unique styling, plus features new to the Kwid's segment

The combination of Kwid's great looks, features more readily associated with higher-end models, a dynamic stance and SUV lines adapted to its compact size make it a unique offering in India's compact city car segment. The brand new 'Outback Bronze' colour adds a warm, energetic touch. The Kwid is an attractive, modern car, with a spacious, comfortable interior that meets the everyday needs of families.

SUV styling that inspires confidence

The Renault Kwid illustrates the 'Explore' petal of Renault's design strategy, a symbol that stands for dynamic performance, robust strength and a taste for adventure. The Kwid's SUV-inspired design is an innovation in its segment.

Its short front and rear overhangs and high ground clearance (180mm) exude an impression of strength and reliability.

At 3.68 meters long and 1.58 meters wide, Kwid is ideally for zipping about in urban traffic, while its high-up driving position provides greater visibility for more relaxed journeys.

"At first glance, the Kwid blends an emotional design with the need for reassurance expressed by customers. Its SUV lines mirror its tough, robust character and underpin its distinctive, modern look." Laurens van den Acker - Senior Vice President, Corporate Design

The Kwid's upright front end and short front and rear overhangs provide owners with the look associated with SUVs.

The bold, structured grille design highlights the logo and further emphasises the model's SUV credentials, while the head lights incorporate the brand's new lighting signature including a 'C'-shaped chrome trim.

The slightly sculpted sides provide a fluid, dynamic touch, with the rectangular forms of the black wheel arches providing another pointer to the Kwid's SUV breeding, as well as additional protection. The lower door decor underlines the Kwid's robust character. The steeply-raked, forward-positioned windscreen lends a sense of movement and fluidity to the high waistline which rises slightly at the rear.

The large windows ensure good visibility for the driver and play a big part in travelling comfort.

"The Kwid is an entirely new car which offers a lot of surprises both inside and out, including features from the next segment up." David Durand - Head of Kwid Styling

At the rear, the lower part of the bumper comes with a black trim, another SUV cue. The body-coloured tailgate spoiler adds to the car's dynamic stance.

A modern interior

The Kwid's interior carries over the same confidence-inspiring styling as the exterior. Its distinctive appointments suggest status without neglecting everyday needs.

The horizontal, uncluttered lines of the dashboard convey an impression of width and feature the cues associated with higher-end segments.

The digital instruments and chrome air vent surrounds create a modern, high-quality feel. The dashboard also harmoniously houses the centrally-positioned multimedia system. Designed by Renault Design India, the interior trim is reassuring and status-enhancing.

Features new to the A-mini segment

The Kwid offers a modern, intuitive interior. The piano black centre console comes with a chrome-surround and houses the Media-Nav multimedia/navigation system which comes with a seven-inch (18 cm) display, an unprecedented size for the segment.

The Kwid's connected interior includes technologies that not only meet drivers' needs but also make driving simpler.

The user-friendly Media-Nav system includes the radio and Bluetooth technology for hands-free telephony which contributes to safer driving.

These features correspond to the needs of Indian customers who are looking for status and connected technologies.

Thanks to its specific architecture, the Kwid combines a compact footprint (length: 3.68m) with a spacious interior that sets the standard in its category for all five occupants. The front seats are generously sized and the rear seats are particularly comfortable.

The Kwid has a very spacious boot for a best-in-class load capacity.

The Kwid, the latest step in Renault's international growth strategy

The Kwid sees Renault launch a global car, made for easy living and a new way to go motoring. Built on a brand new platform common to Renault and Nissan, the Kwid reaps full benefit from the Alliance's pooled resources and expertise. The new model vehicle is adapted to the specific needs of markets like India and will enable Renault to push ahead with the deployment of its international expansion strategy.

Topics: renault, suv

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