Renault brings an off-road version of the Kwid to the 2016 New Delhi Auto Show

In May of 2015, the Renault unveiled the Kwid, a model that would help strengthen its presence in the Indian Market. The model went on sale a few months later and was a huge success, with Renault selling more than 70,000 models in just two months. The Kwid is just a hair bigger than the Renault Twingo and is underpinned by a platform shared with Nissan.

With the immediate success of the Kwid, Renault saw fit to develop two new concepts for the 2016 New Delhi Auto Show in India. One was called the Renault Kwid Racer, and then there is this one – the Renault Kwid Climber. Built on the same architecture as the Racer Concept, the Kwid Climber is said to have “all the qualities of an off-roader.”

At first glance, we can see that the Kwid Climber is the exact opposite of the Kwid Racer Concept. It sits higher than the road-going Kwid, and has certain modifications to protect it, should things get a rough on the less-beaten path. We’re not sure if the Kwid Climber will ever go into production, but let’s take a deeper look at it anyway and see just what it brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault KWID Climber Concept.

Exterior

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The Kwid Climber isn’t really that far of a departure from its standard sibling. Up front, we see most of the same design cues, but with a little twist. The headlights on the Climber have a protective insert over them for protection, and down below a skid plate that protects the undercarriage wraps over the end of the front fascia offering protection for the weakest portion of the fascia. To accommodate the skid plate, the air dam is cut higher into the fascia than the standard model. It also looks like there is a tow hook of some sort protruding from a square hole next to the air dam’s trim. The fog lights are the same as on the standard model, but in this case, they are accented with blue – just like the side view mirrors.

The wheels appear to be the same size as those on the standard model but are clearly of a different design and are wrapped in bigger tires.

To the sides, we see the same blue accenting around the wheel arch trim and outlining three spokes of the six-spoke rims. The wheels appear to be the same size as those on the standard model but are clearly of a different design and are wrapped in bigger tires. The body profile on the Climber is the same as the standard model, however, the trim around the wheel arches is bigger, offering more rugged protection. The bottom of the doors also took on the flat-gray-colored trim with blue outlining as well. The roof rails are also finished in the same flat gray paint.

To the rear, that flat gray trim covers the lower portion of the rear fascia. Surprisingly it doesn’t wrap around and connect with the wheel arch trim. Otherwise, the only other significant differences in the rear are the larger overhang on the top of the hatch, and the protectors that cover the taillights. The Flame Orange finish really stands out and is a great choice for this concept.

Interior

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Interior
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Flame orange accents tie the exterior to the interior, with the steering wheel spokes, vent handles, door handles, HVAC control knobs, and floor mats all painted in the unique color.

The interior isn’t all that far of a departure from the standard model, with most changes coming in the form of color accenting. The seats look to be a combination of cloth and leather. Black cloth inserts cover the center sections of the seat cushion and seatback, with an orange stripe dominantly accenting the white leather and black cloth. The Kwid Racer had an interior wrapped heavily in Alcantara, but that isn’t the case here. Here, the dash and door trim is made of black plastic, while the front-most section of the dash and the upper portion of the door trim is white plastic.

Flame orange accents tie the exterior to the interior, with the steering wheel spokes, vent handles, door handles, HVAC control knobs, and floor mats all painted in the unique color. The instrument cluster and infotainment system carry over from the standard model, but the airbag housing on the passenger side has been changed. An “oh crap” handle has been sculpted out of that airbag housing and is also accented in Flame Orange. The word “Climber” has also been applied in white to the door trim, just behind the door handles.

Oddly, this is a really nice design on the inside. I tend to fancy the softer interior wrappings of the Kwid Racer, but I can’t deny that Renault did a good job with the color scheme and accenting on this Concept. At first, all the plastic comes off as being cheaply made, but upon closer inspection it’s very clear that Renault took its time designing the interior – even if it doesn’t have the finer materials.

Drivetrain

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Renault has remained silent when it comes to what powers the Kwid Climber. That leaves me to believe that it may have the same powertrain from the standard Kwid – an 800 cc, three-cylinder engine that puts out just 54 horsepower and 53 pound-feet of torque. That power is routed to the wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. The is no word on whether or not this concept has four-wheel drive, but given its off-road nature, it would be a huge disappointment if it didn’t.

Should this concept turn into some kind of production model, I would like to see the same 1.2-liter engine from the Kwid Concept under the hood and some four-wheel drive action. At least then, the Kwid Climber would have decent horsepower and torque numbers to facilitate actually climbing a rock or two.

Conclusion

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Exterior
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As I’ve always said, I’m not that interested in small SUVs like the Kwid. To me, they are always too cramped and never that comfortable to drive for longer distances. That may be the truth as far as I’m concerned, but I can appreciate what Renault did with this concept. The styling is well thought out and executed even better. The addition of a skid plate and lens protectors on the lights is brilliant. The thing I like the most, however, is the effort that went into the design of the interior. The combination of black, white, and orange is executed well. There is almost too much orange, but considering it matches the exterior color, and there is plenty of black to offset it, I can certainly look past it. At the end of the day, this is a fun little concept, even if it is probably underpowered. Good job Renault, you finally convinced me to say I like something about your tiny SUV.

  • Leave it
    • * Probably very underpowered
    • * Does it have four-wheel drive?
    • * Some roof lights would be nice for off-roading

Press Release

Since its launch last autumn, the KWID has hit the ground running in India. At the 2016 New Delhi Auto Show, Renault is taking the wraps off two show cars, namely Renault KWID Climber and Renault KWID Racer. While the former is bred for venturing away from the beaten track, the latter is more at home on the asphalt of race circuits, providing still more evidence of the potential of this unique model.

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Exterior
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RENAULT KWID CLIMBER

Renault KWID Climber stands tall as an off-roader. With its high ground clearance, wide track, short overhangs and the specially designed pattern of its tyres, this car is built for adventure off the beaten track. It has all the qualities of an off-roader, including a compact footprint, high ground clearance, big bumpers, side protective mouldings, and generous, diamond-effect wheels. Its deep Flame Orange finish underscores the sculpted lines of the body.

2016 Renault KWID Climber Concept High Resolution Exterior
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The wheel arch extensions are highlighted in electric blue. This draws attention to the robust features which have become the Renault KWID’s hallmark. The special protective housings of the car’s lights heighten its all-terrain feel. A born off-roader, the Climber draws on the DNA of the Renault KWID to develop its SUV capability to the extreme. The result is a very distinctive personality which suits all types of adventure.

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