After a pitiful year of sales for Renault in the UK in 2012 (they plummeted 40% in figures out yesterday), the French are fighting back with a baby SUV designed to repeat the success of inhouse rival the Nissan Juke.
It comes a day after local rival Peugeot announced its new 2008 crossover, another rival in this shrunken crossover/SUV contest.
What's the Renault Captur based on?
Renault has so far issued only this solitary shady teaser image. Underneath the metal lie the innards of the Nissan-Renault alliance 'B' platform, aka the platform underpinning the Nissan Juke and new Renault Clio.
Spiritually, the new small SUV follows in the footsteps of the Renault Captur concept car revealed at the 2011 Geneva motor show. It's the first in a long line of new additions from the French manufacturer after it cut the Espace, Laguna, Kangoo, Modus and Wind from the UK showrooms owing to dwindling right-hand drive sales.
What can we expect from the Captur?
Well to start, those theatrical scissor doors and 21in rims are unlikely to make it onto the showroom models, but a jacked-up ride and quirky design features will make the cut, judging by this teaser. The new SUV – still unnamed, but rumours suggest it should keep its Geneva motor show title.
Sharing hardware with its supermini sibling, you expect the Captur to follow Clio/Juke engine choice and tech. Power is likely to come from either a 1.5 or 1.6-litre diesel, with petrol engines likely to shrink with downsized turbos boasting capacities as low as 1.0 litre.
Will there be a ‘hot’ version?
We hope the Renaultsport engineers may get their hands on the Captur, but HQ doesn’t seem so keen on the idea. Nissan has cooked up some fairly hot versions of the Juke, finished with a sprinkling of body tinsel in the nutty Juke R, so perhaps Renault may eventually come round to Nissan’s way of thinking.
Renault is set to launch its new smaller SUV in summer 2013; look out for more details on 11 January.