Renault India has been riding on the success of the Duster for quite some time now but the launch of the Creta, S-Cross and others in the segment have forced Renault go back to the conference rooms. To deal with the fall in sales, it is well known that Duster facelift is planned but with that the company is also going to plonk an AMT gearbox to widen its appeal. We had the initial hints, but were sceptical of the tech for an SUV of this segment.
But now these spyshots published at Autocar India confirm that Renault is testing the Duster with an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) (as seen in the recently concluded Frankfurt Motor Show) and not the full-fledged 6-speed dual clutch automatic DCT unit which it sells in Europe. AMT over the more complicated DCT is clearly an outcome of the cheaper costs for the former.
Even after this, the report goes on to state that the price difference between the manual Duster and its corresponding AMT variant may end up being Rs 1 lakh. The DCT box would have costed more! Expected to be called as the Duster Easy R, the AMT variant will be available only in the 110 PS variant. It is also expected to get some cosmetic changes which may include new head lamps, bumper and front grille.
The company is also set to increase the localisation level of the Duster to save on the manufacturing costs. As per a report on Autocar Professional, Renault intends to take the localisation of Duster to 80 per cent from the current level of 70 per cent. Though not explicitly mentioned, but is Renault planning to reduce the costs with the facelift to fight against the competition?