After launching the Alaskan double-cab bakkie in Latin America, Renault has now set its sights on the European market where it hopes to capitalise on growing demand. Renault plans to introduce the Alaskan double cab bakkie to South Africa in 2018.
Renault is launching its Navara-based bakkie in Europe and the model is expected for South African introduction next year. When it arrives, the Alaskan will take on a host of leisure double cab products such as the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, Nissan Navara, Volkswagen Amarok and forthcoming Mercedes-Benz X-Class, to name a few.
The Alaskan will have much to prove in a segment filled with established products.
The Alaskan uses the same platform as the Navara and Merc X-Class, so Renault has a good foundation to work from. How it plans to position the Alaskan among the above competitors will be of paramount importance. The 5-link rear suspension setup lends itself towards comfort, so we expect it to be more of a leisure or lifestyle bakkie than a workhorse.
The Alaskan is powered by a 2.3-litre diesel engine offering either a single turbocharger with 120 kW or a twin-turbo with 140 kW. A small turbo will provide strong torque at low revs and a larger turbo provides more power at higher revs. Renault claims a fuel consumption figure of 6.3 L/100 km. A 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission will be offered.
A choice of 3 driving modes will be at the driver's disposal including 2WD, 4H and 4LO, depending on the terrain. The Alaskan is equipped with an electronic limited-slip differential, self-locking rear differential (manually engaged), hill start assist and hill descent control.
Based on the Nissan Navara, the Renault Alaskan inherits some strong offroad genes.
Key safety features include ABS with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability program, traction control and a total of 7 airbags as standard.
Interior features include a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, 360-degree camera and Bluetooth functionality. A 5-inch TFT 3D colour display is also fitted, giving the driver vital information such as fuel economy, navigation instructions, driver aid settings, compass, USB device controls and so forth. The Alaskan is fitted with NASA-inspired zero gravity seats with heating function while the driver's seat is 8-way electrically operated. Leather upholstery will be offered on specific derivatives along with automatic dual-zone climate control with independent air conditioning for front and rear passengers.
A number of storage solutions will be available to passengers, including storage bins underneath the rear seats. Local specification, however, may differ from what is offered in Europe and specification will be confirmed closer to the Alaskan's arrival in 2018.
The Alaskan will be offered with a range of comfort and convenience features including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
We will be driving the new Renault Alaskan in Europe in the near future, so stay tuned to our social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for more details.