Renault India unveils Pulse in India

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.

rpulse_side profile

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.

Renault Pulse sports_

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.


posted by carazooblog @ Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 Comments Off links to this post
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Korean Circuit to be Advantageous for Red Bull Racing

Well, we have almost reached the end of the Formula One 2010 Championship, and looks like the Korean circuit would favour none other but the mighty Red Bull Racing drivers. The new track for this weekend’s inaugural Korean Grand Prix will suit Australian driver Mark Webber. With a total of 220 points, Webber is the strongest contender for the Formula One world title.

That is the view of the Indian Formula One driver Karun Chandhok, the only man to have tested the Yeongam circuit in a Formula One car ahead of the first Grand Prix to be held in the country. Chandhok has competed in 10 races for the Hispania Racing Team this season. He also took part in the demonstration event at the Korean circuit in early September.

Chandhok obviously thinks that the very characteristics of the track will make it so much easier for Webber and his Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel to take advantage. “I think Korea is another Red Bull circuit,” Chandhok said. “They proved by the end of (the last race in) Japan that they were a good half a second clear of the McLarens and Ferraris (and) in two weeks, that is impossible to catch up. (The Korean circuit) does have three long straights, which will help McLaren, but from turn four, it’s basically just left-handers all the way home and gets a bit more fiddly, which will play more into Red Bull’s hands.”

With just three more races in this season, one each in Brazil and Abu Dhabi, 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton is trailing Webber by 28 points in the drivers’ point standings. Teammate Jenson Button, the defending champion, is a further three points in arrears. McLaren will try to win the race with all they have. With 25 points on offer for a win, both McLaren drivers will be desperate for a win this week to keep themselves in title contention.

McLaren team Principal Martin Whitmarsh stated that his drivers will be ready for the Korean Grand Prix after Button and Hamilton managed just fourth and fifth respectively in the Japanese Grand Prix after being outpaced by Red Bull all weekend. “With 75 points on the table for the drivers, it would be unwise to write off Jenson (or) Lewis,” Whitmarsh said. “Both drivers have won world championships before. They understand the difficulties of such a unique situation and both have learned how to deliver their best under high pressure.”

Webber is trying to be relaxed before this weekend’s race. He flew back to his native Australia just half an hour after the Japanese Grand Prix to escape the spotlight. The 34 year old driver, who is intending to become Australia’s first world champion since Alan Jones in 1980, spent the lead-up to the Korean race at a beachside resort in Queensland.


“Two weeks ago it was Lewis (Hamilton), and then it was (Ferrari‘s) Fernando (Alonso),” he said of the biggest threat to his first world championship. “It’s chopping and changing, but the most important thing is that the gap is going the right way. I need to keep it like that.”

The 5.621km Yeongam circuit, located in the province of South Jeolla 400km from Seoul, was only given the go-ahead to host the race last week after a series of weather interruptions and construction delays.

posted by carazooblog @ Thursday, October 21st, 2010 Comments Off links to this post
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Karun Chandhok Becomes the First to Drive on Korean F1 Track

Karun Chandhok’s first F1 Championship may not be heading in the direction he desired, but the recent ‘Circuit Run 2010’ definitely lifted his spirits. As part of the ‘Circuit Run 2010’, Indian F1 racer Karun Chandhok drove a 2010 Redbull Formula 1 car at the newly constructed facility in South Korea. Karun completed 14 laps of the new circuit and became the first F1 driver to test out the 5.6-kilometre (3.5-mile) track, which boasts Asia’s longest straight stretch.

According to a press release from Red Bull Racing team, more than 4,000 spectators visited the new track for the event which included demonstration laps by a Formula BMW motorcycle stunt, a parade of 100 sports cars and Chandhok’s demonstration run in a Red Bull F1 machine.

Now, Red Bull Racing team’s regular drivers were out attending some more important errands, and Former Red Bull Junior Team member Chandhok was pitched in to drive the team’s car.

“It’s a really interesting layout,’ Chandhok said after the run. ‘The track has got a good mix of corners and I think we’ll see a lot of overtaking in the first sector – there are long straights into slow hairpins. The straight after turn one and two is really long, so we may see some good slip streaming there, like in Shanghai.”

“From turn seven onwards, there’s a fast section of flowing corners all the way back to the start-finish line – so I think the Red Bull Racing guys will be happy in sectors two and three. It’s an interesting layout. Looking at the facilities, the garages and team buildings look pretty much finished and they’re big! I think teams will need to bring around 30% more furniture to fill them! The grandstands also look reasonably finished.”

Karun Chandok drives in a Redbull F1 Racing car

“The track itself needs a bit more work on the asphalt and the kerbs, but the organisers think it’s all within their time-lines and are confident that it will be ready on time. And the locations nice, we’re overlooking the sea. There’s certainly some enthusiasm for F1 here. There are a lot of people at the event today, which wasn’t heavily publicised and there’s a lot of media, which shows an interest. The organisers say they have sold a significant amount of tickets, so it should be a good race.”

He also added, “It’s been great to drive the Red Bull car again and thanks to my team, HRT, for letting me complete this demonstration run.”

posted by carazooblog @ Monday, September 6th, 2010 Comments Off links to this post
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