Slated for a reveal at the upcoming Moscow motor show, Renault says the Russian market will be the first to receive the company’s new soft-roader. However, that means this vehicle likely won’t be marketed under the Captur name in that country – our Russian cousins already have a Captur of their own (called the Kaptur, naturally), and it’s built on the larger Dacia Duster platform and occupies a different segment altogether. Having only launched in 2016, the Russian Kaptur is too young to be replaced.
Rather, Renault’s new crossover may be marketed under a different name in Russia, and may boast a sleeker, fast-backed bodystyle to set it apart as a sportier alternative. Unfortunately this front-on teaser doesn’t show anything of the car’s silhouette, but that’s clearly a deliberate strategy to maintain some mystique ahead of its unveiling.
It certainly looks sporty though, and channels much of the Megane’s styling in its grille, bumper contouring and headlamps. Its pronounced C-shaped daytime running light graphic is also a clear visual link to the Megane and Koleos – and far more aggressive than the comparatively dull front-end of the Captur.
It’s still too early to say whether Renault’s as-yet unnamed crossover ‘coupe’ could head our way, but Renault’s brief press release does identify it as a global model. Are Australians ready for a style-driven small SUV in the mainstream segment? One look at the Toyota C-HR’s sales figures suggests we well and truly are: Toyota’s slope-backed SUV has sold more than 3600 cars so far this year, compared to the Captur’s meagre 171 sales.
A coupe-like crossover could be just what Renault Australia needs to claim a more meaningful slice of the SUV sales pie, because right now the thoroughly unloved Captur just isn’t cutting it.