Renault India on the sidelines of the inaugural Indian F1 Grand Prix unveiled its third offering in India, the Pulse. The compact Renault Pulse is essentially the re badged Nissan Micra with an aggressive front end. The car was unveiled to the media by none other than Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber and Team Lotus-Renault’s Karun Chandhok.
With the Renault Pulse, Renault wants to make its presence felt in the highly competitive small car market in India. Renault India, which had followed a top down approach by launching the Fluence sedan and Koleos SUV in India, now is ready to launch its small car offering in the guise of Renault Pulse. The unveiling event was also graced by Renault’s COO Carlos Tavares and Renault India’s managing director Marc Nassif who gave an outline of Renault’s product portfolio strategy which talks about five distinctly different models in a 15 month span.
Renault Pulse hatchback will be launched in India during the Auto Expo held in New Delhi followed up with Renault Duster SUV. However, the fifth model in Renault’s portfolio is supposed to be a major surprise.
Speaking of the Pulse hatchback, the car shares almost everything with the Nissan Micra. Everything, except the front end and a few rear end tweaks apart from the badging difference. Renault has commenced manufacture of its 1.5dci diesel engine (internally designated as the k9k unit) at its Chennai plant shared with Nissan and while the present capacity is slated at 140,000 units per year, this would be scaled up to 300,000 units.
Making evident of the F1 connection that Renault is associated with, the French auto giant suggested that RS27 F1 engine used by Red Bull Racing and the 1.5dci shared the same mantra on operating efficiencies. Much of the design work on the front and the rear ends was done by Renault’s design studio in Mumbai and executed at the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant at Oragadam near Chennai.
The interiors of the Pulse is very much that of Micra’s. It needs to be seen how the Pulse will be marketed and in what price range. It is said that Renault’s Pulse would be priced quite competitively below the Nissan Micra and this strategy might back fire for Nissan and Renault as the Pulse sales could cannibalize Micra’s sales.
Micra’s USP of a high fuel efficiency of 23 KMPL as per ARAI will certainly be the USP of the Pulse also and it’s our gut feeling that the aggressive looking Renault Pulse will overcome the cute looking Nissan Micra when the sales of both the cars come to play.
Stay tuned for more info on the Renault Pulse here.