DELHI SHOW: Global debut for latest Renault concept
Kwid pro quo: Renault would have to make a lot of compromises to make the Indian business case for this clever concept
Renault's Kwid concept at Delhi is the company's first show car to be given a global introduction outside Europe.
Design chief Laurens van den Acker admitted it was inspired in part by the flamboyance of Bollywood movies and said the decision to reveal it in India was a sign of the company's commitment to the market.
Kwid has a grey and yellow paint finish, prominent wheel arches and hubs, an interior inspired by a bird's nest and an unusual five-seat layout that has a front bench for three and one behind for two. The driver sits centre front, slightly ahead of the people either side, which means the car is suitable for right- or left-hand-drive markets without modification.
It also has a small helicopter-like device called a Flying Companion which can be launched to look ahead for obstacles or traffic jams or used to take photographs. This can be sent on a pre-programmed flight or controlled by a tablet computer.
It is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine but could just as easily take an all-electric powertrain, said van den Acker.
There is no suggestion that Kwid is being considered for production. Although it is based on a new platform which Renault will use for a small car for India next year, a car of Kwid's complexity would be too costly. But van den Acker admitted that a small crossover is in the company's thinking given the success of the Duster, which has become the top-selling SUV in India after just 18 months on sale.
"We are not blind to the success of the Duster," he said. "It is no secret we are looking to build a line of SUVs because we were extremely late. It is on my Christmas list, but to hit a price below EUR5,000 would be a tremendous challenge."
Kwid - the name is a play on English slang for a pound and the Latin word for "what?" - was created with input from interior designers and colour and trim specialists at Renault's Indian studios but completed in Paris.
Van den Acker said design teams were given totally free rein to see what they could do.
"Some of our concepts have to be kept very tight because they have a reason but this is a true concept so we weren't risking much," he added. "I wasn't going to hold them back. I was curious to see what ideas they might think up."