Renault Lodgy spotted undergoing pre-launch testing in Chennai

​Renault’s next big launch in India is going to be the Lodgy Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) that was spied inside out by us last November. Expected to straddle two segments, taking on the Maruti-Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio at one end to the formidable Toyota Innova at the other, the Lodgy would play a vital role in Renault’s growth plans for India. With the sole exception of Duster, none of the other Renault models have managed to attract the fancy of Indian buyers and the French manufacturer would be keen to change that trend with the Lodgy.

With the launch speculated to happen in March, the Lodgy was caught undergoing what could be its final rounds of pre-launch testing. Spotted in an arterial road in Chennai by our reader Govind Prasad last evening, this Lodgy seems to have shed some camouflage compared to the two cars we shot in November.   

Dropping a hint that the launch is not too far away, Renault released first official pictures of the India-spec Lodgy last December before showcasing the ‘Stepway’ variant at the Renault Star Guild Awards last month. Like the Duster, the Lodgy is actually a Dacia product but will sport a Renault badge for the Indian market. The India-spec model sports chrome embellishments in the grille and mild cosmetic tweaks here and there to spruce up its otherwise utilitarian exteriors. The ‘Stepway’ is just a fancy name for a sportier variant with front and rear skid plates, additional chrome detailing in the grille and side body cladding.

Compared to its rivals, interior space is likely to be the trump-card of Lodgy, with the MPV boasting potentially segment-leading space in all three rows. The cabin is likely to borrow a lot of components from the Duster and, given the SUV’s rugged credentials, should be capable of withstanding abuse. The popular and frugal 1.5-liter K9K diesel engine is expected to power the Lodgy, offering customers two states of tune - 85 PS and 110 PS. A petrol variant might be launched too, given the strong comeback of petrol-powered cars in the Indian market. Together with the robust mechanicals borrowed from the Logan and Duster, Lodgy makes a strong case for itself.

Renault’s desperate search for that second big-hit in India could stop with the Lodgy. Watch this space!​

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