Renault will present its new Alaskan concept to the world at the Frankfurt motor show this month, with promise that the pick-up previews a full production model set for release next year. Weighing just 1000kg, the production version will be sold in several global markets including the UK, and follows the recently revealed Duster Oroch to become Renault’s second pick-up.
The rugged concept sits on 21-inch wheels wrapped in chunky tyres, and flaunts budging arches, angular lights and a large rear tailgate. It’s been labelled primarily as a light commercial vehicle (LCV), but Renault says it’s also been designed to serve those with active lifestyles. It’s not difficult to imagine an Alaskan carrying bikes, camping gear, surfboards and other outdoor equipment, and the fitment of cameras in the door mirrors (there to record journeys and road trips) confirms the pick-up’s leisure-focus.
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The concept is powered by a 1.6-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, borrowed from the Renault Trafic van. Though no numbers have been released, we do know that the Trafic outputs a peak of 158bhp and a healthy 280lb ft of torque. In comparison, the Renault Duster Oroch (which debuted in Buenos Aires earlier this year) gets 1.6-litre and 2-litre engines - we’d expect a production Alaskan to receive a similar line-up.
Given that Renault is also an advocate for electric commercial vehicles – it was the first carmaker to sell electric LCVs in the Kangoo Z.E and Twizy Cargo – we wouldn’t be surprised to see an all-electric pick-up added to the line-up in the future too.
The Alaskan’s light weight ensures it falls into a global market that accounts for 17 per cent of LCV sales. The one-ton category is the biggest outside of North America (where full-size pick-ups still reign as best sellers), with the class’ significant growth perspective of 19 per cent between now and 2019 a clear motivator for the Alaskan’s creation.
It was only three months back that Renault unveiled the production-ready Duster Oroch to the South American market, a car that appears to share much of its underpinnings with the Alaskan in a less glamorous package. But with a more premium image, the Alaskan targets an entirely different buyer – notably one with a more free time and money. For any confused Brits who associate the Duster nametag with Dacia, in Brazil it’s badged as a Renault.
South America looks set to get a production version of the Alaskan first in 2016, with the European market following in 2017. We'll meet the concept in the metal in Frankfurt later this month. Check back here for updates.