Ahead of launch, European carmaker Renault revealed its compact seven-seater, Triber in India last month. Triber is the outcome of a joint project between Renault teams in India and France and is a world-first vehicle specifically designed for the Indian market. The car will be exported from India. Triber measures under four metres in length and, barring the Datsun Go+ MPV, is the only sub-four-metre offering in India to get three rows of seats.
“India is a key market for Groupe Renault. We are young to India, yet our ambitions are high. In line with our ‘Drive the Future’ strategic plan, we aim at doubling our sales by 2022. For that reason, we are bringing Renault Triber, another breakthrough concept, targeted for India’s core market. Renault Triber was conceived, developed and produced in India, for the Indian customers first, before we take it to the world. It is a real game-changer,” Thierry Bolloré, CEO of Groupe Renault, said at the unveiling of the vehicle.
Groupe Renault aims to increase sales by over 40 percent, with a target of more than five million vehicles by 2022 and aims to double the sales volume to 200,000 units annually over the next three years in India. The vehicle will be manufactured at the Chennai plant and sold at a competitive price in the Indian market from the second half of 2019.
Triber is a modern, spacious yet compact, ultra-modular, fuel-efficient vehicle with attractive interiors which boasts of many modern and practical features. Renault Triber has the largest boot capacity of its category, in five-seater configuration. It can accommodate one to seven adults in comfort in less than four metres.
Triber’s engine is perfectly suited to the Indian market, which balances performance with fuel economy, the company said. It is fitted with a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine generating 72Ps with 96Nm torque. It can be paired with five-speed manual transmission or five speed EASY-R AMT. It has a global powertrain already used on Groupe Renault’s B-Segment cars like Clio and Sandero in Europe and South America Equipped with modern technology like a dual VVT system, the engine delivers optimum response at all revs. Torque is available from low revs which ensure optimum acceleration, ideal for driving conditions in India. The engine offers a right balance between performance and economy with good fuel efficiency and low maintenance cost.
Triber’s vibrant look is reflected in its sleek and taut lines as well as in its inclined windscreen and rear window and slight roof drop. This is further accentuated by the body-fold which joins the door handles and extends onto the sculpted wing shoulders. The new front-bumper expresses sturdiness and modernity and suggests a greater capacity to cope with the most difficult roads. Ground clearance of 182 mm reinforces the impression of robustness, as do other features such as the sculpted bonnet, front and rear SUV skid plates, roof bars, and black plastic wheel arch protections and lower protective door panels, giving the vehicle an adventurous look and making it suitable for all types of roads.
Triber has a contemporary and sophisticated front-end that includes signature Renault design features such as LED daytime running lights circled in chrome and black headlamp masks. The two-part rear Eagle beak tail lamps extend onto the outside of the wings and taper to point to the centre of the tailgate, making the vehicle seem wider. The SUV skid plates extending up to the bumper emphasises its robustness.
To ensure passenger comfort, a refrigerated central storage area and cup holders are accessible to everyone between the first and second seats. In addition to the lower glove compartment, which is also refrigerated, there is an upper glove compartment with a capacity of more than four litres. Renault’s new car features the best level of storage compartment of up to 31 litres, more than double of what is usually available on similar-size hatchbacks.
Triber’s 20.32 cm touch screen features the MediaNav Evolution connected multimedia system. With its smartphone replication feature, it is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and their numerous driving and entertainment apps. The multimedia system also allows videos to be played through USB plug.
With horizontal lines that make it look wider, the dashboard features a multimedia touch screen for greater comfort. The fully digital LED instrument cluster (a first in this segment) with an 8.9 cm LCD screen is framed by three virtual gauges for the tachometer, fuel level, and engine temperature. It features rear parking sensors and reverse camera providing drivers with improved visibility and precision for safe rear manoeuvring and parking.
Triber complies with all the safety requirements for the Indian market and even goes beyond to protect both passengers and pedestrians. Its platform provides it with robustness and a high level of passive safety. Active safety is ensured by three-point belts in all rows, with those in rows one and side seats in row two equipped with a retractor. The driver’s belt is also equipped with a pre-tensioner and load limiter. It is fitted with four airbags: driver, passenger, and front sides.
Groupe Renault has a line of electric vehicles globally, and it appreciates India’s efforts to move towards electric mobility. “We are leaders in Europe in EV and we are on the offensive to bring EVs to the market. With our experience we know how important the ecosystem is. You can design and engineer, but it’s also different to sell and maintain EVs. This ecosystem is as important as the car itself. And that is why our strategy should embed the global ecosystem as value proposition and not necessarily only the car,” Bolloré said. “I cannot judge whether 2030 is a good enough deadline because that depends on each country’s determination. But I can appreciate it. This is the trend,” he added.
The official said that it is competitive in India because they make the vehicle here. There is no reason why it should be different for EVs. “If you really want to serve such a massive market like India you have to be in India,” Bolloré said.