Renault's low-cost XBA is more crossover than hatch

Renault is ready to unveil its Maruti Alto-rivalling budget car, the XBA, on May 20th. Designed to take on the Alto and Eon, but from a slightly different angle, the XBA will be more a crossover than a regular hatchback. This is clear from the spy pictures taken of the car in India, and elsewhere. The car has a high bonnet, a high waistline and as you look towards the rear you can clearly see a muscular bulge over the rear wheel arches. The car's silhouette is in fact not too far from that of the upright Datsun Redi-GO show car, and is likely to be built on the same platform as well.

Of course, the detailing up front is pure Renault. There's Renault's smiling grille, with the lozenge-shaped badge placed up high, and the slot-like headlights are tagged on to either side of the grille, forming a single unit. A large crossover-like air dam is used with a big air inlet placed low as well, and though other SUV-like bits like body cladding may not be used, better-equipped versions could get roof rails and scruff plates.

There are enough signs to classify this as a low-cost car. There's only a single wiper, the mirrors look like they are non-adjustable, the wheels are secured by only three bolts and the doors don't even have pull-type handles. The tall body however, does have its benefits. To begin with, the car will look big, and then there'll be plenty of useable Wagon R-like vertical space on the inside, with the high-seating position making it really space efficient. Renault insiders also say that unlike the Datsun Go, the interiors won't be low rent, but will they be able to match those on the Eon? That's the big question. Renault's new car will also be built on an all-new platform. Based on the company’s highly flexible CMFA architecture, the XBA is expected to be high on efficiency and will feature a robust and stiff bodyshell. The big wheel arches will allow for sufficient wheel travel, making it well-suited to rural roads.

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