Renault India is finally launching the Duster All Wheel Drive (AWD) on the 24th of this month (Wednesday of next week). The 4×4 version of the SUV was awaited from day one as fans not only knew the Duster’s off-road potential, they had also read fine reviews of the Duster 4×4 on international sites, forums, and magazines.
The vehicle was already being manufactured in India but it was only for the export markets and carried the “Dacia” logo. Now, that it is finally getting launched, it would come with the 110 PS engine and will be available in not only the top of the line versions but also at least one lesser trim.
Though we had told you earlier about how the Duster’s all-wheel-drive system is different from the other 4WD and AWD systems, we’ll pay a revisit to help you understand the same better.
Nissan makes some of the best 4x4s in the world and Renault has certainly benefitted from the Jap’s expertise in this field as the Duster AWD’s 4×4 transmission and associated electronics have been sourced from Nissan.
The system offers three drive modes:
2WD: Unlike permanent AWDs, in which you just cannot drive in 2WD mode, the Duster AWD comes with that option – in fact, city dwellers would be driving in this mode 95 per cent of the time. The power would be going to the front wheels ONLY and NO power would be sent to the rear wheels in this mode at any time. Choose this mode on dry city roads and save fuel.
Auto: This mode will have your Duster functioning almost like a permanent AWD vehicle in which the power goes to all four wheels. However, here also (like the 2WD mode) the power would normally go to the front wheels only but, unlike the 2WD mode, the rear differential would be summoned when the system detects front wheels losing traction. In other words, the vehicle will perform like a front-wheel-drive vehicle but the system will automatically send power to rear wheels as well when needed. I would use this mode on mountain roads…
Lock: This allows you ‘permanently’ send power to all four wheels. You would want to choose this mode while traversing through slushy terrain or even on a steep and slippery incline.
So there you have it – a vehicle that will function like a ‘normal’ two-wheel-drive car in the city; an all-wheel-drive on the hills, and a decent mud-plugger on your off-road excursions. Expect Renault to charge around 50 thousand rupees premium (variant to variant) for this one.