A SPY shot has leaked online claiming to show the Renault Alaskan trade ute that will take on the likes of the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux when it launches in Australia sometime next year.
This single image, published on a Russian website this week, is believed to show a production-ready version of the Alaskan – Renault’s unique spin on the Nissan Navara ute launched in Australia last year.
The Alaskan will also share its underpinnings with the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLT, which will bring a Benz level of luxury and car-like ride and handling to a class of vehicle more closely associated with hose-out interiors and bags of cement in the load space.
The Alaskan is expected to use Renault’s 2.3-litre turbocharged diesel engine shared with other models in the French brand’s commercial vehicle range, as well as the Navara, producing 120kW and up to 360Nm (manual versions of the engine are limited to 350Nm). That will send power to either the rear, or all four wheels via either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a six-speed robotised manual.
The Renault-badged ute – which we’ve officially only seen in concept form so far – is expected to closely mirror the range of Navara bodystyles, including one-tonne pick-ups, 4x2 and 4x4 single-cab chassis, as well as range-topping dual-cab versions.
The Mercedes-badged version of the Navara is likely to use a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, pitching it against the range-topping Volkswagen Amarok Highlander due in Australia in October – the only other worksite tradie in Australia that will feature a bent-six engine.
While Mercedes-Benz has hinted the Mercedes-Benz GLT (pictured above) will attract the attention of its AMG tuning arm, there’s no word yet on whether Renault Sport is also interested in rolling out its own performance-honed spin on the Alaskan.