Renault Kwid 'Easy-R' (AMT) variant spotted testing in Chennai

A couple of weeks back, Anything On Wheels had posted exclusive spy shots of the Renault Kwid SCe, the bigger-engined 1.0-liter variant of the highly successful small car. Along with it, a Kwid equipped with segment-first alloy wheels and potentially more features inside was spotted too. Along with these two variants that are expected to be launched later this year, we know Renault is also planning to launch an AMT-equipped version of the Kwid, badged 'Easy-R'. All these variants along with a couple of special edition Kwids were showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in New Delhi, hinting at what's in store from this seemingly all-conquering little car.

Having seen two of them together last time, we had expressed our disappointment in not able to spot the Easy-R variant with the rest of the fleet. We have made amends for that this time around. Caught testing in the busy GST Road in Chennai last afternoon, this Kwid caught our attention thanks to the small silver-coloured badge at the right bottom end of the tailgate.

Automated Manual Transmissions (AMT) have been the flavour of the season in the Indian market with their comparatively lesser premiums and large scale adoption by Maruti-Suzuki. Let's not forget AMTs are relatively simpler to design and manufacture too as car-makers do not have to change or modify the transmissions extensively to add this tech.

The AMT variant of the Kwid would be launched with the 1.0-liter Smart Control Efficiency (SCe) engine under the hood. What's unique with this variant is the fact that Renault has done away with the gear lever. To operate the AMT, an unique 'Shift Control Dial' with three modes - Reverse, Neutral and Drive is provided in the dashboard. If you are wondering what's there in place of the missing gear lever, the answer is a huge cubbyhole that could be used as a jumbo cup holder or to store knick knacks. 

When it goes on sale, the Kwid Easy-R will have to slug it out with the Alto K10 'Auto Gear Shift' which, going by the number of spottings on road, has been adding solid numbers to the overall sales of the Alto every month. With the SCe and Easy-R variants that squarely targets the manual and automatic variants of the Alto K10, Renault would be hoping the same for the Kwid which is already selling extremely well. We like Renault's step by step attack on every variant of the Alto, that's how you have got to challenge the leader!

Constrained by manufacturing capacity, Renault has recently added a third shift at its alliance plant in Chennai to produce more units of the Kwid and reduce the waiting period currently running into several months. With these new variants planned for launch, Renault would be having more of that good problem.

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