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Renault reveals Alaskan Ute

Alaskan Malam-ute: Renault's first one-tonner is finally out in the open revealing a production car that has changed little from the concept version.

Production Alaskan finally takes Renault into the global one-tonner market

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Renault logo1 Jul 2016

RENAULT'S contender in the rugged one-tonne ute market is ready to roll out to markets around the world with the production Alaskan revealed in full ahead of its debut in Colombia in the coming weeks.

After launching in Latin America, the Renault-Nissan Alliance-designed and built ute will be coming Down Under, but while the French car-maker has not yet confirmed any local details, the reveal of the production version offers a hint of what is to come.

With the Alaskan freshly unveiled, Renault Australia corporate communications manager Melissa Cross said the new ute would be coming Down Under but it was too early to be talking about exact timing.

“We are still working to a plan but as we are only seeing the production model now, we will be working to bring it here as soon as it's available,” she said.

“I don't think we can be more specific”.

It is understood the Alaskan will touch down in 2018.

As touted by Renault, the showroom look differs little from the concept that was revealed in September last year, although only the top-end double-cab version has been unveiled at this stage.

More tradie-focused king-cab and single-cab versions are expected to follow the four door at a later date as was the case with the Nissan Navara on which it is based.

Gone are the roof-mounted pod, infeasible mirrors and mud-plugging tyres but other than that, the showroom version is virtually unchanged over the concept.

Its headlights, grille, foglight surrounds, pumped arches, tail-lights and profile are all unchanged in the transition from concept to road, while a set of side steps and roof rails are new additions.

Renault senior corporate design vice president Laurens van den Acker said the new arrival to the Renault family had styling that would allow the Alaskan to slot into hard-working or more leisurely roles.

“The Alaskan’s imposing front-end design and the muscular lines suggest power and strength,” he said. “Alaskan brings a breath of fresh air to the pick-up world and enhances the customer experience irrespective of whether it is used for business or leisure”.

With close collaboration with its Japanese partner, the Alaskan shares much of its underpinnings with the Nissan Navara ute, including its box-frame chassis, which can handle a payload of “over one tonne” 230mm ground clearance and 3.5-tonne towing capacity.

Like the Navara, Renault will be offering customers a choice of either hard-working leaf-sprung rear-end suspension for workhorse versions, while the double-cab variants get more comfort-focused coil springs.

Its flagship engine – a 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel – is also shared with the Navara and is sourced from Renault's commercial vehicle range, where it also powers some versions of the Master van.

Other engine options will be on offer, depending on the market, with a 119kW 2.5-litre petrol and a pair of 2.5-litre diesels producing 119kW and 142kW respectively. Torque is not specified.

Grunt can be sent to the rear wheels or all four, via a six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, depending on the variant and market. Four-wheel-drive Alaskans are given more go-anywhere ability with an eLSD electronic limited slip differential and a more conventional mechanical locking diff on the rear axle.

Hill start assistance and hill descent control is also offered for more off-road potential, as is ABS, EBD, brake assistance and electronic stability control across the range.

Inside, Renault says comfort is a key focus for the Alaskan cabin with room for five in the double-cab variant and up to eight-way power adjustment with heating for front occupants of top-spec Alaskans.

Keyless entry and start is available, while smartphone compatible features, Bluetooth connectivity, CD player and radio are accessed via the 7.0-inch touchscreen or steering wheel switchgear. A 360-degree camera is also available for some markets and variants for manoeuvring in parking spaces or negotiating off-road obstacles.

Second-row passengers are looked after with 589mm of knee room, 23-degree reclined seats and air-conditioning vents.

Moving further back, the 'heavy duty' load area can be supplied in either long or short specification depending on the market and has C-channel tie-down points and a 12-volt power supply.

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