Since Australia has rejected the Renault Alaskan, reports from Down Under suggest that a new Renault bakkie might be on the cards. In a statement from Renault Australia’s managing director, Anouk Poelmann said that the company is “not walking away” from the bakkie segment but that they were looking at “other opportunities”.
A Renault bakkie for South Africa? In a roundabout way perhaps. Here is the story.
A bakkie is called a Ute in Australia, short for utility vehicle. Utes are big down under, with their miles and miles of nothing much there. Renault already has a bakkie called the Alaskan. This is based on the Nissan Navara, like the Merc X-Class bakkie.
The Renault Alaskan double-cab bakkie, which is based on the Nissan Navara platform, has had a facelift and it looks pretty impressive. Adding to that, Renault has also confirmed that the Alaskan leisure bakkie and Duster Oroch will be available in South Africa.
The recent French Grand Prix in Marseille saw the exciting unveiling of an F1-inspired double cab bakkie. This iteration of the Renault Alaskan double-cab, which is waiting in the wings to hit the ground running in South Africa later this year, raised quite a few well-coiffed eyebrows with its black bodywork and snazzy gold accents. But what does that mean for SA consumers – are we looking at an F1 bakkie for the masses?
It might be named after an American State, but the All New Renault Alaskan Bakkie is a 4 Wheel Drive that is sure to be a big hit in South Africa. Manufactured in Argentina, as well as Spain and Mexico, and based on the same pickup platform at the 2018 Nissan Navara, the Renault Alaskan is going to be introduced into the local bakkie market to take on the Ford Ranger during the second half of 2018. Prices and specifications have not yet been finalised for the SA marker, but it is expected to be powered by the a 2.3-litre four-cylinder diesel powerplant that has an entry level 160 dCi engine or higher-spec 190 dCi engine. If this is the case, then the following power and torque specs will probably be the standard on al local models:
When the Renault Alaskan concept was first unveiled in September of 2015, hopes stood as high as its 21” wheels and shone as bright as its full LED lighting signature. Sadly, as with most concept cars, many of the more eye-catching concepts did not survive the transition to the assembly line. The notable absence not only of the monster-wheels and flashbulb-lamps but also of the blue and yellow detailing on mirrors, brake callipers and rim centres seemed to suggest that the bloom was off this particular rose.
There very well may be if things shape up well for South Africa, as the Renault Alaskan concept bakkie has made its first appearance in Paris ahead of the official production launch in 2016. Although there is no official word yet about when (or even if) this pick-up truck will ever launch in South Africa, we at Group 1 Renault think that it would be the perfect vehicle to take on the likes of the Nissan Navara, Toyota HiLux and the Volkswagen Amarok.