There were reports about Renault working on a new budget hatchback to slot under the Pulse. The French carmaker has codenamed this project XBA and is also developing a new 800cc motor to be used in it which will make its debut with this car.
This engine might use a twin-cam set-up and will breathe through four-valves per cylinder. Although, Renault is tight-lipped about this development, in all probabilities it might be a three-pot motor. The engine is being designed to strike a right balance between efficiency and power.
An Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) equipped variant might also be in the offing. There might be no diesel engines as the engine bay seems to have been designed for the petrol BR series engines. The XBA might also get a more powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine later. Expect the XBA to be pitted squarely against the recently launched Maruti Alto K10. The car is expected to be launched in early 2015.
Renault is entering this segment for the first time and this would give them the volumes to rise up on the sales chart. Currently, the Duster is the company’s bread and butter model and accounts for the majority of its sales. This might change with the introduction of the small car and Renault would bank highly on it.