Renault Megane SUV

Renault is working on its own version of the Nissan Qashqai, and our exclusive images show how it could look

Renault is readying a new Megane-based SUV as part of the rejuvenation of its range.

The car, due in 2015, is designed to tackle the Peugeot 3008 head-on, and cash in on alliance partner Nissan’s success with the Qashqai. Our exclusive images show how the car – which is based on the platform of the new Qashqai, also due in 2014, and the Megane hatch – may look.

The new model will share key mechanical elements with the Nissan, but will be instantly recognisable as a Renault. Its distinctive front end is inspired by the DeZir concept car and looks similar to that of the ZOE electric hatchback and recently unveiled Alpine sports car. LED daytime running lights will feature and it will ride high on 18-inch alloys.

A tapering roofline will meet a rising waist to give the new car an athletic profile, while plastic cladding will trim the blistered wheelarches, side sills and bumpers to give that crucial off-road style. The rear end will be typically Renault, with a small wraparound screen as well as a roof-mounted spoiler and a muscular bumper.

The Megane SUV will be a similar size to the Qashqai, at 4.5 metres long, yet is a strict five-seater. There will be no Qashqai+2-rivalling seven-seat version – a conscious decision so the new car doesn’t tread on the toes of the Nissan. Renault will also position the car as a premium product to distance it from budget sister brand Dacia’s Duster SUV.

Inside, the new car will have to match its Peugeot rival for standard equipment; the 3008 comes with air-conditioning, hill-start assist and electric front windows. Plus, the Megane SUV must achieve a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating.

It will be offered in front-wheel drive only, just like non-hybrid versions of the 3008, while buyers will be able to choose from a wide engine line-up. Diesel options could include Nissan’s 1.6-litre turbodiesel, which is capable of nearly 70mpg, and a 150bhp 2.0-litre.

Petrol engines will include a 113bhp 1.2-litre turbo with 190Nm of torque and 50mpg-plus economy. There will be a choice between six-speed manual and dual-clutch auto transmissions as well.

The Megane SUV will sit above a smaller, Juke-based Renault SUV – previewed by the Captur concept at last year’s Geneva Motor Show – which will arrive in 2014. This will join a growing crossover class that includes Vauxhall’s imminent new Corsa-based Mokka.

Prices for the Megane SUV are expected to start at around £15,500, which is the same as the Peugeot 3008.

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