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Paris show: Renault finally sets Captur launch date

Better late than never: The Renault Captur has been delayed again, but is set for launch in early 2015.

Homologation delays push back Renault Captur crossover launch to early 2015

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Renault logo7 Oct 2014

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

RENAULT’S repeatedly delayed Captur will finally be released in January or February, following a series of unexpected hiccups related to meeting Australian Design Rules regulations.

Though pricing and specification details have yet to be confirmed, Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar revealed that the Holden Trax is clearly in his sights.

“I think it will be quite a success when it comes,” he told GoAuto at the Paris Motor Show last week. “The Captur will be priced and specced against the segment leader, being the Holden Trax.”

The latter ranges from $23,990, plus on-road costs for the LS 1.8L Ecotec manual to $29,990 for the newly released LTZ 1.4iTi turbo automatic flagship.

The delays have been frustrating for the Renault Australia team, with Mr Hocevar likening it “…to a plane waiting on the tarmac to take off while heavy fog clears”.

With the fitment of Australia’s unique child-seat restraint points holding up the production of locally bound vehicles for unspecified reasons, Renault Australia’s place in the queue was pushed back several times.

“The ADR situation has not made it easy,” Mr Hocevar said. “Everybody is jostling for production capacity at the moment.”

Compounding the logjam at the sole manufacturing site in Valladolid, Spain, has been growing international orders for the compact SUV, especially from South Korea where it is marketed as a Renault Samsung QM3.

More surprising to some observers has been the Captur’s rise to third place in France, which is an unprecedented achievement for this class of vehicle.

When the Australian press first drove the Captur in Spain back in May 2013, it was expected to have been on sale within 12 months of that time.

Based on the current Clio IV light car, the compact SUV is thought to be headed our way with the choice of two turbo-petrol engines driving the front wheels – a 66kW/135Nm 0.9L three-cylinder TCe 90 manual and an 88kW/190Nm 1.2L four-cylinder TCe 120 with a EDC dual clutch transmission.

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