After keeping off-roaders and SUV fanatics in the country on their toes for several months, Renault has finally launched a go-anywhere all-wheel drive version of its popular SUV, the Duster. Available only with a diesel engine, the Duster AWD carries an ex-showroom price-tag of Rs 11.89 lakh for the RxL and Rs 12.99 lakh for the range-topping RxZ variants in New Delhi.
During the launch, Renault insisted that the Duster AWD is not just a mere addition of a four-wheel drive system on the standard car.
Instead, throughout the new car’s development for the Indian market, Renault honed the product as a whole based on the feedback/inputs from its customers. To quote a few, Renault claims the new AWD variant to have lighter clutch pedal, which helps in minimizing clutch-slip and reduces transmission losses as a result. To incorporate the AWD system in an efficient manner, a modified engine-transmission electronics and electrical layout has been devised for the new car. Similarly, all the wheels feature fully independent multi-link suspension setup for better road-holding characteristics. The interior design and quality has also been reworked and bettered in the new Duster AWD.
Like reported previously, the exteriors of the new Duster AWD are not much of a change than that of the standard car. It features subtle new additions like, smoked headlamps, anthracite-finished alloy wheels and ‘AWD’ decals and badges on the bodywork of the car. The interiors however get a dose of noticeable revisions in form of a new three-pod instrument cluster, bright red and grey color upholstery, a sportier steering wheel and a new centre console design.
Powertrain wise, the new Duster AWD sources its power from the same as before 1.5 litre four-cylinder diesel engine that develops 110PS of power and 245Nm of peak torque. Drive is sent to all the four wheels via means of a six-speed manual gearbox. The new car also features an ECO Mode system that balances power-torque combination to save fuel consumption by a claimed 10 per cent. As per ARAI certification, the Duster AWD returns a fuel economy figure of 19.72 km/l. You also get a GSI (gear-shift indicator) feature that guides for accurate and timely gearshifts for improved efficiency. Besides that, the Duster AWD will have 3 selectable driving modes namely- 2WD, Auto and 4WD Lock.
The Duster AWD only comes in the higher-end RxL and RxZ variants and so there’s no dearth of equipment in the car. However, the inclusion of new features like cruise control, a speed limiter, ESP, ASR, understeer control and a rapid deceleration warning sweetens the deal further.