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Renault’s 1.3-litre Turbo-petrol Engine Gets Mild-Hybrid Tech, Could Come To India

Modified On Oct 20, 2020 09:14 AM By Sonny

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A more efficient turbo-petrol engine would be the perfect replacement for the diesel

  • Renault has confirmed that its 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engines will get 12V mild-hybrid tech too.

  • This engine was recently introduced in India with the Duster and its Nissan sibling, the Kicks.

  • It is tuned to produce 156PS and 254Nm with the choice of a 6-speed manual of 7-step CVT automatic.

  • Renault is offering this mild-hybrid engine in Europe first.

  • The mild-hybrid turbo-petrol engine could come to India in 2021.

Renault recently introduced the new 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine option for the Duster SUV in India. However, this engine made its global debut back in 2018 and is available in various states of tune depending on the model and the country. The carmaker has now updated this engine to be offered with 12V mild-hybrid technology as well.

Mild-hybrid tech allows the petrol engine to be more fuel efficient and less polluting overall. It’s a more affordable option than a full-hybrid system or a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Renault 1.3 TCe engine made its Indian debut at Auto Expo 2020. This engine does duty in models offered by Nissan too as part of the brands’ alliance.

Renault Duster Turbo Launched; Prices Start At Rs 10.49 Lakh

In the Duster turbo, this engine is offered with the choice of a 6-speed manual and 7-step CVT automatic. It is tuned to an output of 156PS of power and 254Nm of torque, making it the most powerful in the compact SUV segment, matched only by the Nissan Kicks which gets the same engine. The Duster Turbo has an ARAI claimed efficiency of 16.5kmpl with the manual gearbox and 16.42kmpl with the automatic. However, it falls short in our real world mileage tests. Updating the engine with mild-hybrid tech would make it more fuel efficient and that’s always been a consumer concern in the mass market.

Since Renault has become a petrol-only offering in India since April 2020, a mild-hybrid turbo-petrol engine would be a perfect replacement for the diesel engine which was popular for its torquey performance and high fuel efficiency. Given that the compact SUV space is still one of the most popular segments in India and shows no signs of slowing down, Renault could capitalise on this opportunity by being the first to offer this kind of powertrain. It is only a matter of time before segment leaders Hyundai and Kia offer similar tech in the Indian automotive scene themselves. Maruti already offers the S-Cross with mild-hybrid tech for the automatic variants though its 1.5-litre petrol engine lacks the performance of its rivals. 

A Renault SUV with the turbo-petrol mild-hybrid powertrain could arrive here by 2021 and the Duster is the most likely candidate to offer it first. It would be nice if this new engine was housed in the next-gen Duster but that is something less certain. Currently, the turbo-petrol variants of the Renault compact SUV are priced between Rs 10.49 lakh and Rs 13.59 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Mild-hybrid tech is likely to attract a small premium.

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