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Renault Captur RS unlikely for now

Standard for now: No plans to give Captur the Renaultsport treatment.

Business case yet to add up for go-faster Renault Captur crossover

13 May 2013


RENAULT SPORT is unlikely to offer a hot RS version of the new Captur any time soon.

Although the case for a harder and faster version of the sub-compact crossover is still open, it appears that the project faces a number of logistical production and economic hurdles that have not yet been negotiated.

The acceptance of the mainstream Captur needs to be assessed before a decision is made on an RS, because high fuel prices and low emissions requirements means there will be little appeal for a turbo-petrol SUV hot shot in Western Europe.

Furthermore, the Valladolid facility in Spain that builds all Capturs for worldwide consumption is limited in capacity as Renault ensures a smooth start-up process, so it may struggle to meet orders should the mainstream models prove popular.

Speaking with Australian media at the Captur launch in Biarritz last week, the crossover’s program manager Christophe Pejout flagged his desire for a more driver-orientated Captur.

“The question is not closed,” he revealed.

“But they just don’t change the engine at Renault Sport. They make new axles, new brakes, and so they need a good business case.

“And we need to check the TCe (turbo-petrol) car’s success in overseas markets. In Europe (its carbon dioxide emissions) would be greater than 150 grams per kilometre, so its potential here is questionable. So we would have to look at its potential outside of Europe.

“But why not? It is a matter of image, after all. It is one of those things you can do to improve it.

“But a decision has not been made. Maybe it is under consideration at Renault Sport – but we’re still waiting.

“Good overseas success will give us a better prediction.

“The Nissan Juke (Nismo) – we’ve been looking at it and it has been a big success, but not so much in Europe.”

Meanwhile, a more powerful, non-RS version of the 1.2-litre TCe turbo-petrol engine is thought to be in the works.

“The 1.2 turbo has the potential to evolve with more power and torque,” Mr Pejout said.

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