- Renault Alaskan is the company's first one-tonne pickup for Europe
- Features a 2.3-litre engine with 160hp and 190hp outputs
- Will be based on 2016 Nissan Navara and production starts May 2016
UPDATE: contrary to earlier indications, the UK launch of the Renault Alaskan has been delayed, and it now won't arrive until 2018.
For full details of this development, read the news story on Parkers Vans by clicking here.
Renault announced that it was going to enter the one-tonne pickup market in 2015, and Parkers Vans was invited to Paris to view the Renault Alaskan concept, which the company said firmly resembled the finished product.
Now though, the official images have been released and, minus the accentuated styling cues, there is a strong similarity. Despite being based on the Nissan NP300 Navara, the Alaskan has a lot of Renault identity and features a restyled bumper, headlights, bumper and bonnet.
“This stunning pickup will fulfil the needs of professional users and individual customers across the world,” said Ashwani Gupta, global head of light commercial vehicles. “With Alaskan, we are on track to take Renault’s LCV range forward from being a top regional player to a top global player.”
Inside the cab
Like the Navara, the Renault Alaskan cab lacks good all-round visibility due to its high bonnet, although it is very spacious. The front seats are up to eight-way adjustable and can be heated, while in the back, the second row for passengers provides 589mm of knee room and the rear seats are reclined to a comfortable 23 degrees.
There are a lot of intuitive storage spaces including a central console tray, doors bins, bottle holders and under-seat storage. Renault has packed quite a lot of creature comforts like automatic air-conditioning with dual-zone climate control, adjustable vents for rear passengers and an eight-inch touchscreen display with satellite-navigation, a reversing camera and a bird's-eye parking aid.
Engine and driveline
Under the bonnet is the Renault-Nissan 2.3-litre dCi unit, which has been developed specifically for commercial vehicle applications, and has been powering the Renault Master, Nissan NV400 and Vauxhall Movano vans since 2010.
There will be two outputs initially offered: 160hp/403Nm and 190hp/450Nm, and a choice between a six-speed manual and a seven-speed automatic transmission. For off-road applications, there is an electronic limited slip differential (eLSD) while 4WD delivers a safer, more surefooted drive. This advanced system uses braking sensors that constantly monitor wheel speed.
Loading and towing
The load area measures a respectable 1,578mm long by 1,560mm wide, which makes it one of the largest load beds in the class. In terms of weights, there is a maximum payload of 1,050kg and a towing capacity of up to 3.5t (joint best in class).
While Renault is some time off confirming the official prices and specs, we have been told to expect a starting price of between £19,000 and £21,000. Production is expected to start in around May or June 2017, with the first deliveries to UK dealers arriving in time for September 2017 registrations.