Automotive

Renault goes Alaskan with pickup truck concept

Renault goes Alaskan with pick...
Renault Alaskan concept
Renault Alaskan concept
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The Renault Alaskan show truck rides on 21-in wheels
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The Renault Alaskan show truck rides on 21-in wheels
The Alaskan's "LED Pure Vision" taillights
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The Alaskan's "LED Pure Vision" taillights
The Renault Alaskan previews a production model to be revealed in 2016
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The Renault Alaskan previews a production model to be revealed in 2016
Paul the Photographer puts the Alaskan to work
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Paul the Photographer puts the Alaskan to work
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
The Alaskan has a stylized front-end with LED headlights and tow hooks
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The Alaskan has a stylized front-end with LED headlights and tow hooks
The central exhaust pipe is another distinct styling element of the Alaskan concept
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The central exhaust pipe is another distinct styling element of the Alaskan concept
Renault worked with Hasselblad to develop the concept truck
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Renault worked with Hasselblad to develop the concept truck
Designed for Alaska and beyond
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Designed for Alaska and beyond
Renault and Hasselblad imagine the Alaskan being used for photography gigs in distant places
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Renault and Hasselblad imagine the Alaskan being used for photography gigs in distant places
The Alaskan has a payload of more than 1 tonne
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The Alaskan has a payload of more than 1 tonne
From glacial cold, to desert heat
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From glacial cold, to desert heat
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
The Alaskan's bed includes three tie-down tracks
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The Alaskan's bed includes three tie-down tracks
The Alaskan is powered by a twin-turbo four-cylinder
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The Alaskan is powered by a twin-turbo four-cylinder
The production Alaskan pickup will be related to Nissan's recently revealed NP300 Navara
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The production Alaskan pickup will be related to Nissan's recently revealed NP300 Navara
The Alaskan has C-shaped headlights
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The Alaskan has C-shaped headlights
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
The Alaskan concept will appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where Nissan will also be showing the new NP300
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The Alaskan concept will appear at the Frankfurt Motor Show, where Nissan will also be showing the new NP300
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
Renault Alaskan concept
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Renault Alaskan concept
Renault introduces the Alaskan concept
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Renault introduces the Alaskan concept
The Alaskan concept previews Renault's second pickup truck
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The Alaskan concept previews Renault's second pickup truck
View gallery - 24 images

Renault isn't wasting time working its way into the pickup truck market. A few months after showing its first pickup truck, it's previewing a 1-tonne global pickup that it will launch in the first half of next year. The sporty Alaskan concept is ready for work, recreation and everyday driving.

Renault calls itself the number one light commercial vehicle brand in Europe, and pickups will play an important new role in its effort to become a global power. In June, the automaker introduced its first pickup truck, a South American-market production model developed from the Duster Oroch concept. Renault flipped the script on the old formula of pickup truck-based SUV by basing the pickup on the Renault/Dacia Duster SUV platform.

The new global model, a larger 1-tonne pickup previewed by the Alaskan concept, will extend Renault's pickup presence out of South America, helping it grab a piece of a worldwide pickup segment it identifies as 1/3 of the light commercial vehicle market.

The forthcoming production truck won't look exactly like the Alaskan concept, which has that raw concept car glow to it – as Renault calls it, "a head turner". Like what happened when the 2014 Duster Oroch concept moved to production, next year's Alaskan-based production truck is sure to change into a more conservative set of clothes, likely losing its conceptual front-end design, centrally mounted exhaust, and blue and yellow highlights.

What Renualt says will carry over to production is the concept's dimensions. Much like the Duster Oroch – both the concept and production truck – the Alaskan has a curvy, swept back shape, an alternative to the square, boxy pickup standard of other markets. It also brings a new set of strongly defined wheel arches to the styling table.

The Alaskan has a payload of more than 1 tonne
The Alaskan has a payload of more than 1 tonne

“The styling of the Alaskan Concept sticks to the rules of the pickupsegment, including impressive dimensions and a visual sense of powerand robustness," explains Laurens van den Acker, senior vice president of corporate design. "At the same time, we have dialed in specific Renault cuesin the form of an attractive, status-enhancing front-end design."

Renault highlights versatility on its concept pickup design, showing how the truck is optimized for leisure, business and everyday commuting. It worked with Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad to create a truck around a hypothetical freelance photographer named Paul and his time spent working, playing and cruising with friends.

Paul takes advantage of the Alaskan's bed and tie-down tracks and side cargo boxes when on photography gigs and when adventuring with his mountain bike, camping gear or skis. When relaxing around town with his friends, Paul is happy to have a five-passenger cab and a stylish pickup that feels as comfortable at the valet parking stop as it does in a foot of mud. Or something like that.

We're not so sure Renault needed the whole Paul the Photographer yarn to illustrate the straightforward concept of a work/play/commuting truck, but there is at least one concrete fruit from the Renault-Hasselblad partnership. Mounted within its side mirror housing, the Alaskan carries a camera meant to capture continuous footage of the passing landscape. This feature is similar to the action cams that were integrated into the 2014 Duster Oroch concept. We'll assume Paul is going to take a few road trips down scenic, empty roads and not just spend his time stuck in highway traffic.

The Alaskan's bed includes three tie-down tracks
The Alaskan's bed includes three tie-down tracks

Oddly, Renault's rather detailed press kit about the Alaskan and its LCV strategy in general doesn't address the concept's most striking feature: that box atop its roof. At first we thought it was a cargo box, but a closer look shows that it's more of an electrical component with top-mounted solar panel, antenna (Wi-Fi?) and integrated LED lighting up front. Perhaps Renault will explain it at the truck's Frankfurt Motor Show debut – we don't expect the automaker to ignore it twice, but It's obviously just show car jewelry, so who knows.

The Alaskan concept's 21-in wheels are powered by a twin-turbo four-cylinder engine, with a small turbo aiding low-rev acceleration and a larger one for higher engine speeds. Renault promises best in class fuel economy.

Renault will develop the production 1-tonne pickup and reveal it in the first half of next year. Nissan will donate some parts from its new NP300 Navara, with which the Alaskan shares a very similar look. Expect the new Renault to have the concept's multi-use focus and come in a variety of body and powertrain options.

Source: Renault

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7 comments
andyfreeze
As its based on a nissan navara, will it also come with rear drum brakes? If so, how does it advance the species?
ivan4
While the idea is good what we see is nothing but a Chelsea Tractor. There is no way that I would take that up some of the mountain tracks around my home or even try and take it through some of the narrow winding village roads - I would be too afraid of the cost of removing the dings in the bodywork. Also the skinny tyres would be useless in areas of sharp rocks.
Yes, it will be at home in the city for the school run or the odd weekend out to the stables but I wouldn't want to pull a double horse box with it.
Anne Ominous
I don't think Renault gets the idea of an American "1 ton" pickup. They're made for hauling. It's pretty darned hard to pull that off with a short-bed.
bergamot69
@andyfreeze,
Nothing wrong with the Navara's brakes- disc brakes are not inherently more powerful than drum brakes- the advantage of discs is that they can shed heat more readily, and are therefore less prone to fade.
Bear in mind the vast majority of pickups in Europe and the Developing World have manual gearboxes, usually the driver will make use of copious amounts of engine braking to limit speed down hill rather than using the brakes too much.
@ivan4, in snow and in certain off-road conditions, skinny tyres are preferable to wide tyres. No different there than with the famous Land Rover Defender, which comes with relatively skinny tyres as standard- they are easily upgraded for specialist duties, eg high flotation tyres for sand or boggy ground.
Craig Jennings
Looks brilliant. Has rear disks (photos people). I wonder if they've gone the coil spring multilink rear suspension as well which makes for a MUCH better ride and doesn't affect towing capacity. (just load capacity but who's putting a tonne in the back anyway?) I'd suggest it's probably the 2.3 td and possibly rated at 3500kg rated tow capacity, same as the np300. The problem with smaller capacity engines and towing is...... engine braking which is VERY handy with towing. It's why I like the 3.2 5 pot in the Ford Ranger. Even though it's a frenchie, I'd consider it.
Ricochet
Renault is fighting its way into the market to be recognized as serious OEM. In Europe they are Running als the cheapest OEM at the market. Low quality, worst materials. They try to get profit from Nissan. It will take decades, until Renault will offer quality Cars. Better take Peugeot or Dacia, which will offer better value for the Money they want.