2016 Renault Kaptur 4x4 Crossover Teased, to Be Sold Only in Russia

2016 Renault Kaptur 4x4 Crossover teaser 1 photo
Photo: Renault Russia
Russians love crossovers and SUVs. Every time YouTube suggests to watch a dashcam video from Russia, I can’t help but wonder how in the world are there so many 4x4s in the Russian Federation. Additionally, the number of Lada Niva and Riva owners seems to dwindle with each and every day.
The thing is, there’s a paradox happening with Russia as far as cars are concerned. While the country is wrestling with an economic crisis and mass-market car sales are dwindling, premium and luxury automakers are blooming in the country of Tolstoy and vodka. As Russia sinks deeper into recession, sales of Lexus, Porsche, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce cars continue to mount.

Thanks to a weak rouble which has lost approximately 20 percent against the U.S. dollar last year, premium and luxury cars are cheaper in Russia than in the United States. But then again, the Russian bourgeoisie isn’t all about expensive cars. Some of them want a perfectly normal car, something that is a little more inconspicuous than a full-size limousine with a three-pointed star.

Renault has a solution for those individuals and its name is the Kaptur. You’ve heard that right - it’s with a K, not a C like the European model. But why? According to Renault, “a survey among Russian customers that showed the ‘K’ underscores the Russian Touch of the new model.” Uhm, the what?

The ridiculousness goes even further. “In addition, ‘K’ is associated, in Russian, with the key characteristics of the vehicle: Kaptur is a high quality, comfortable and good-looking crossover.” You know what else starts with a K? No, not kilogram. Kalashnikov! Sorry, I know that was a bad joke, but the explanation for the name change is half arbitrary and half simple-minded.

So what’s the deal with the 2016 Renault Kaptur? Well, the French manufacturer highlighted that it will be a 4x4 crossover tailored to the Russian market. The teaser doesn’t reveal anything other than Captur-inspired design cues, although the bones differ from the Captur.

The Nissan B platform that underpins the Captur is front-wheel-drive only. For the Kaptur to be all-wheel-drive, I suspect that Renault borrowed the Dacia B0 platform from the Duster. Anyway, more information on the mysterious Kaptur will be revealed by the end of March.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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