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Renault Alaskan ute concept revealed | video

Renault Alaskan ute concept

Renault gives us a first taste of its upcoming HiLux rival with the Alaskan concept.

It may feel like it’s becoming the ‘year of the ute’, but Renault is keen to prove there’s plenty more to come in the ultra-competitive light commercial utility class, and there’s a very good chance we’ll see its entry Down Under.  

The French brand has released the first images of the Alaskan concept version of the new ute, ahead of the new Megane small hatch's debut at the Frankfurt motor show later this month.

Like many concepts these days, the Alaskan looks to be a thinly veiled version of the upcoming production model, with realistic proportions augmented by oversized 21-inch wheels, stylised head and taillights, along with other details. 

The production version is set to be based on the recent NP300 Nissan Navara ute, and the Alaskan appears to match the dual-cab pickup version of the Nissan’s proportions, including its beltline and glasshouse. 

Beneath the Alaskan’s stylised facade, the basic shapes of the Renault-flavoured grille, head and taillights also likely point to the production ute.

Reinforcing the concept’s near-production appearance, Renault says the showroom model will feature the same dimensions   

The NP300 Navara is also set to spawn a Mercedes-Benz light commercial ute, with the trio resulting from the Renault-Nissan Alliance and its deal with the three-pointed star which has already created the Renault Kangoo-based Mercedes-Benz Citan, Mercedes-engined Infinitis and several other Renault and Nissan passenger vehicles that share engineering.

Renault has confirmed the production version of the Alaskan will share manufacturing facilities with the Nissan across several global plants. 

Reflecting the changing buyer profile of the safer, more dynamic and efficient light commercials available these days, Renault teamed up with Swedish photographic brand Hasselblad to emphasise its suitability for business, leisure and everyday use.  

The concept features clever storage solutions in the tray, along with special features like door-mirror housing cameras ‘to permit the filming of passing landscapes’. 

This last detail hints that the production model could score 360 degree parking cameras, ironically missing from the Navara but available on most Nissan passenger models. 

Reinforcing its near-production appearance, Renault says the showroom model will feature the same dimensions, but the central tailpipe will make way for a more towbar-friendly asymmetric outlet.

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  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
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  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
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  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
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  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept
  • Renault Alaskan ute concept Renault Alaskan ute concept

A broad array of bodytypes and powertrains are promised, suggesting the lineup will include the Navara’s single, extra and dual cab bodies. 

Under the bonnet of the concept is a twin-turbo engine, which claims to achieve class-topping fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.

This points to a version of the NP300 Navara’s high-spec 2.3-litre Renault-Nissan Alliance turbodiesel engine, which would be a logical choice for the showroom model.  

Renault has been the top-selling light commercial brand in Europe for the past 17 years, and is banking on the new ute to make it a big player on the global commercial market.  Motivating this plan is the fact that utilities currently make up more than a third of global light commercial sales. 

Australia is yet to be confirmed as a destination for the production version of the new ute, but our proven love for all things with a tray makes us an almost certainty among this global target.  

Renault has also recently sharpened its focus on local commercial sales by appointing several specialist Renault Pro+ dealers around the country.

The production version of the Alaskan is due to make its firsat appearance in the first half of 2016.