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Two SUVs for Renault

Renault’s belated arrival in the SUV sector is likely to provide retailers with two, rather than one contender in the 4x4 market, both designed and sourced from its South Korean subsidiary, Samsung.

Due in the second half of 2007, a Honda CR-X-sized crossover, codenamed H45, has involved Briton Anthony Grade, design vice president for Renault-Samsung.

He says the newcomer is more of “softroader” than an “out and out 4x4.” It will use Nissan X-Trail running gear, and engines include Renault’s 130bhp 2.0-litre dCi diesel.

It is likely to be followed by a larger SUV, closer in size and concept to Lexus’s RX300. It is one of three projects under development by Grade’s design team.

Low production costs are expected to generate higher profit margins for manufacturer and retailer alike.

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