Renault to launch Juke rival

2 Apr, 2012 12:02pm Sam Hardy

Renault is set to launch a rebadged and restyled version of the Nissan Juke

The dead wood is being chopped out of Renault’s range, and it’s making way for exciting new models, led by this version of the Nissan Juke. As our exclusive images show, the car is inspired by the Captur concept from the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. It’s come about thanks to Renault’s alliance with Nissan.

Following last year’s axing of the slow-selling Koleos crossover – only 3,000 models found homes in the UK – and the paring down of its current range, Renault is looking to appeal to a new set of customers, just as Nissan has done with the Juke.

These illustrations give the best idea yet of how the new model will look, ahead of its debut early next year. As you can see, it’s an attractive car, with all the chunky cues you’d expect of a crossover, mixed with the Captur’s curvy shape. At the front, Renault’s latest wide grille has the familiar diamond badge at its centre.

Like the Juke, the new model will be available with four-wheel drive in flagship form, but the vast majority of cars sold will be front-wheel drive. Expect the new SUV to share its engines with the Juke, too, including the top-of-the-range 1.6-litre turbo petrol and a 1.5-litre turbodiesel.

The Juke-sized car is just one of three Renault SUVs on the way. The company is planning a new mid-sized model, based on the next-generation Nissan Qashqai, and an even larger car based on the upcoming Nissan X-Trail replacement. The latter was previewed at the recent Geneva Motor Show by the Hi-Cross concept.

Renault isn’t the only maker keen to expand its SUV line-up. Peugeot has prioritised a 208-based SUV, to be named 2008, over development of the hot GTI and CC cabrio versions of the car. Audi is also set to build on the success of the Q3 by launching its smallest crossover ever: an A1-based model called the Q1.

Plus, Mercedes has confirmed an A-Class-based 4x4, while Land Rover and Lexus have hinted at forthcoming smaller SUVs.