The release of Renault’s new off-road MPV crossover, the Koleos, marks the start of a concerted effort by the French manufacturer to enter the 4x4 sector.
Thanks to its partnership with Nissan, Renault has access to a wealth of 4x4 technology, and the Koleos is the first to take advantage of that, being built on the X-Trail platform.
Renault is not going to rush to bring new 4x4s to market, but a source within the company said that it would not be unreasonable to expect concept versions of new vehicles in that sector within the next couple of years.
The official line on whether further products will also be Nissan based is that it “remains to be seen”, but the source said it was likely.
Renault’s corporate team is not undergoing major changes to approach potential customers in the market for off-road vehicles, but will be putting the Koleos on fleet lists for existing corporate customers, including rescue and emergency organisations, wildlife trusts and so on.
A Koleos event for fleet customers is planned for July and will feature both on and off-road elements.
Responding to questions about whether Renault 4x4 products could compete with those offered by Nissan, a spokesman said: “Renault and Nissan are an alliance.
"We are different companies with different products, but shared technologies.
"Therefore, we will continue with this strategy.
“We haven’t trodden on each other’s toes to date. We retain our individuality and that is one of the key elements to our success.”
The Koleos arrives in UK showrooms on July 4.