Renault’s replacement for the current Koleos, which may yet wear the same name, will be a more upmarket offering than the current model.
As Japanese partner Nissan has done with the new Qashqai and X-Trail models, the Koleos replacement is expected to be the larger seven-seat family alternative to the more lifestyle-focused five-seat Kadjar.
And, while the Kadjar has yet to be locked in for a local launch, the larger new SUV is reportedly being developed with a focus on Asian markets - including Australia - rather than Europe.
Pictured above: the new Kadjar as an early teaser sketch. Below: the recently revealed Kadjar.
A new interview with Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker suggests that, rather than risk cannibalising sales of either model, Renault will focus its seven-seat needs in Europe on the brand-new Espace.
That logic may prove sound, with the high-riding new Espace - revealed late last year - designed to be something of a crossover between the people-mover and large SUV segments.
“Not many markets will take both the D-segment crossover [the Koleos replacement] and the Espace,” van den Acker told British paper Auto Express this week.
“The D crossover is mainly for Asia, where it will replace the Koleos, and there is no Espace in Asia. It will be sportier, it will be younger than the Espace.”
This means that in Europe, Renault’s largest conventionally-shaped SUV offering will be the small Kadjar.
“It will sit just underneath the Espace, which for me remains the flagship of the brand,” van den Acker said of the Kadjar.
The Koleos name has yet to be confirmed for the new model, although Renault marketing boss Michael van der Sande told Auto Express “there is a fairly high chance the name will start with a C or a K”.
What does all of this mean for Australia?
Although not confirmed, it is likely that Laurens van den Acker’s comments of a focus on Asian markets includes Australia.
Official details on the new Koleos replacement will be sometime away, but Renault Australia has previously confirmed it will debut a new midsized SUV sometime in 2016.
The new model, which will likely be offered here in both five- and seven-seat form, will be a key player in boosting local Renault sales - particularly in view of reports that the small Kadjar may not come to Australia.
In the short term, the company will likely watch sales of the even smaller Captur before deciding on a case for the 328mm longer Kadjar.
Likewise, the big new Espace is not expected to come to Australia, with local Renault boss Justin Hocevar telling TMR last year that people-movers are not a strong enough segment here.
“The trouble in bringing this vehicle to our market at this point in time is that that [people mover] market has just deteriorated to the point where it’s faded into obscurity. SUV has really taken over, the amount of crossover and 4x2 sales now is very high,” he said.
“It is on our radar, but it’s a distant blip.”
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