After half hearted attempts with the Scala and Pulse models, it would be safe to peg Renault India as a one hit wonder (Duster) in the market, but now it seems they’re on to something big- enter the low-cost, Alto800 rivaling hatchback. A prototype of the same was spotted doing the rounds by Motoroids reader Vicky in faraway Himachal Pradesh.
Low-cost intents: The XBA will ride on twindly, Ceat rubber wrapped around three-lug steel rims
Code-named the XBA, the sub-4 lakh/sub-4 meter hatchback will be based on the Renault-Nissan’s highly flexible India-specific CMF-A (Common Module Family – Affordable), but the catch here will be a slightly crossover-centric styling, much like Datsun’s redi-Go, which’ll also be based on the same platform. A raised ground clearance will ensure that the XBA takes on Indian roads with aplomb, while the XBA is also expected to be high on space efficiency, and will feature a robust and very stiff body-shell.
Low cost intents: Large, single barrel, clear-lens head-lamps
But the main talking point here will be the drive-train. While the motor, code-named the BR-8, will be an all-new 800cc, three-cylinder unit, featuring a twin-cam, four-valves-per-cylinder setup, it might also come with the option pairing itself to an automated manual transmission (AMT), pitting it directly against the new Alto K10 AMT. Interestingly, both the Redi-Go project (code-named as the Datsun I2), and the XBA are being developed here in country at the RNTBCI (Renault Nissan Technology Business Centre India). While the redi-Go will reportedly come to the Indian market by May 2015, priced below INR 3.8 lakhs, the XBA is expected to follow soon.
The interiors have been party spied too, and shows a high mounted, traditional center console, two-tone fabric upholstered seats along with a Duster sourced gear lever.
The camouflaged rear throws up a prominent ridge on the bumper.
Low cost intents: Single windshield wiper and old school wing mirrors