Renault has confirmed it will unveil a new pickup ute, known for now as the ‘U79’, at next week’s Buenos Aires Motor Show.
The new model, previewed in a pair of shadowy renderings today, is expected to debut as a production version of last year’s Dacia Duster Oroch concept.
In its show-car form, the Duster Oroch was described as a recreational pickup, aimed at the same demographic targeted by Hyundai’s recent Santa Cruz concept.
Both concepts hint at a lifestyle-focused design in a more compact package than the larger pickups offered in Australia, although the Oroch is so far the only one confirmed for production.
The new small pickup will be aimed at emerging markets, meaning that, like the Santa Cruz, an Australian debut is far from being a sure thing.
A better chance for Australia will be Renault’s second coming pickup, this one based on the same Nissan Navara platform that will also underpin a new high-riding ute for Mercedes-Benz.
Confirmed in April, the larger Renault ute will be built by Nissan in Barcelona, Spain.
Full details for that model are still to come, although Renault has confirmed that production will begin sometime in 2016.
Speaking with TMR in February, Renault Australia boss Justin Hocevar hinted at local plans for the new one-tonne ute.
“Given the size of that utility market, it represents a real opportunity for us,” Mr Hocevar said.
“We’ve got great credibility that comes from our alliance partner (Nissan). This is their bread and butter and it’s great that we can share the platform and vehicle technology with them.”
Watch for the new ‘U79’ to debut next week, and watch TMR for news on the Navara-based pickup to surface over the coming months.
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