The cosmetically updated Duster SUV has already been launched in Latin American markets. In India, the Renault Duster facelift is expected to be launched at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo in February next year.
To continue with same engine and trim options in India, new Renault Duster will also get the AMT option, which was showcased at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show last month.
The rise in competition in the entry level compact SUV segment has seen Renault Duster sales decline. From registering average sales of more than 5,000 units a month back in 2012, the Duster sales now average at 1,200 units. The reason, launch of new cars in the segment.
These are in the form of Ford EcoSport, Mahindra Scorpio, Nissan Terrano, Hyundai Creta, and now the new TUV300. All of which (except Terrano) are being offered with an automatic or AMT gearbox in addition to the standard manual gearbox. This gave Duster’s rivals a bit of an advantage in a market where more and more buyers are looking for an AT option.
Internationally, Duster is offered with an automatic dual clutch gearbox, but the cost of getting that to India was adding approximately INR 2 lakh to the price of respective manual variant. Thus there is no plan to launch Duster with DCT in India.
But now, as Renault has introduced the new AMT gearbox in Duster, called the Easy R-AMT, India is expected to be amongst the first countries where it will be launched.
Though the refinement and driving pleasure of an AMT will be far less than DCT, the benefit here is reduction in cost. Sources reveal that the difference in price between the Duster with MT and with AMT will not be more than INR 1 lakh.
Of the two tunes, only the 110 PS version will get the AMT option in India.
Renault Duster R-AMT – Photos
Renault Duster Facelift – Photos
Spy shot via AutocarIndia.com