A rodeo-themed unveiling event in Columbia saw the official launch of the Renault Alaskan. Essentially, this is simply a production version of the concept car that was first shown last September and represents the Paris-based carmaker’s first foray into the Pick Up market.
The Alaskan is based on the latest Nissan Navara, but certainly upholds the characteristic Renault design cues with LED daytime running lights, an impressive bonnet and the prominent silver diamond-shaped logo. The latest addition to the Pick Up category will be in direct competition with its sister, the Nissan Navara, as well as the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.
Drawing from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the Alaskan will feature the 2.3-litre twin-turbodiesel engine that is deployed in the Renault Master van range. A 2.5-litre diesel and a 2.5-litre petrol engine will be available for this model; however, they are unlikely to make it to the UK. What we are expecting to receive are 158bhp and 187bhp versions of the 2.3-litre twin turbodiesel engine, which Renault claim produces the “best in segment” fuel consumption figures.
As standard, the Alaskan is rear-wheel drive but the option of four-wheel drive is available. Similarly, customers are able to choose between a six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed automatic gearbox.
So, what of the Alaskan’s actual capabilities when it comes to being a pick-up truck? Renault claims that it can tow trailers of up to 3.5 tonnes. In addition, its load bay includes a number of hooks enabling you to secure loads safely and quickly; and the actual design of the load bay incorporates C-channels with a 12V power supply.
While Renault’s original concept sported 21-inch wheels, the Alaskan now comes with a 16-inch wheel size as standard with 18-inch wheels as an option for the more expensive derivatives. Buyers will also have a range of choices when it comes to the cab with single cab, double cab and chassis cab body configurations all on offer.
Once you have settled on which cab to have, there are a number of features including a five-inch TFT display with smartphone compatibility, Bluetooth and an audio system with CD player. The Alaskan also comes fitted with wheel-mounted controls and keyless entry. A seven-inch sat-nav and 360-degree top-down camera system will also be included on selected models.
The Alaskan is aiming to capture the business user, the leisure user and the everyday motorist as it displays a rugged and tough appearance while also being capable of keeping pace with an active lifestyle. Initially, it will go on sale in Columbia and is expected to hit the UK market in the first half of 2017. Although pricing has not yet been announced, it is expected that the Alaskan will position itself similarly to the NP300 Navara which starts in the UK at £22,000.