As the trend for dollied-up dual cabs continues unabated, Renault has revealed the production version of its Alaskan ute that’s set to join the local range in 2017.
It will become only the second European brand after Volkswagen to tap into the segment, though Mercedes-Benz is planning to join the fray in 2018 or 2019 with the GLT.
Meanwhile, both Ford and Toyota are enjoying strong sales of the range-topping versions of their Ranger and HiLux models, while Nissan and Isuzu are also performing strongly.
Renault has taken full advantage of its alliance with Nissan to get the Alaskan up and running in just two years; the concept itself was only revealed last September, and the production version echoes it pretty faithfully.
Style-wise, the new nose clip has survived the journey from concept to reality almost intact, with almost all elements carrying over. The wild rear LED taillights from the concept have been switched for more conventional items, though, while the roof pod and massive mud tyres are gone.
Inside, the Alaskan is almost all Navara, aside from a handful of centre console switched and the steering wheel crash pad. Top-end Alaskans will score niceties like heated and powered seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and 7.0-inch multimedia screens.
A 360-degree camera will also be fitted for some markets, though it hasn’t been confirmed for Australia. As the Navara is rated five stars by ANCAP, it’s likely the Alaskan will also score highly in the safety stakes.
Based on Nissan’s new NP300 Navara chassis and body structure, the Alaskan will use a variety of powerplants, including a headlining 2.3-litre single- or twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine that’s used locally in the Master commercial van.
It makes 120kW in single turbo form, while the sequential-turbo version makes 140kW.
Range-topping dual cabs will have 3500kg towing capacity, along with “over a tonne” of payload capacity.
A 2.5-litre petrol engine and a pair of 2.5-litre diesel motors will also be offered in other markets, including Latin America, where the Alaskan will debut in a couple of weeks’ time.
The Alaskan will be built in a full array of body styles including cab-chassis, single-cab and dual-cab. As with the Navara, dual-cab variants will come equipped with coil-sprung rear suspension, with leaf springs used for the other, more commercially orientated types.
Both two- and four-wheel-drive variants will be offered, with Renault revealing that the range-topping dual cabs will have 3500kg towing capacity, along with “over a tonne” of payload capacity.
A six-speed manual or automatic transmission will be offered, depending on the variant and market. Four-wheel-drive Alaskans will score an eLSD electronic limited slip differential and a conventional mechanical locking rear diff.
Renault Australia has said previously that the Alaskan is a sure thing for our ute-mad market, but it has not settled on specs or prices yet.
Will the Renault Alaskan take the dual-cab duel to Toyota and Ford? Tell us what you think in the comments below.