Alaskan by name, French by design, and based on a ute made in Thailand by a Japanese company. If this isn’t a product made by a globalised world, then I don’t know what is. Well, that is when it officially goes into production. This is still a a concept after all, albeit a thinly disguised one.
A production version is due by 2017 and will be built alongside the Nissan Navara (which it will share a platform with) and the yet-to-be-seen Mercedes-Benz version. However, it won’t just be a simple badge-engineering job. Each manufacturer claims their versions will be engineered and designed to stay true to their brand values.
That’ll put the Navara as the honest-to-god workhorse, the Merc for those who have Jimmy Choo gumboots, and the Renault somewhere in the middle. They’re already aiming at the “private leisure-focused” user, whatever that means.
Power will come from a 2.3-litre 163bhp/119kW twin-turbo diesel as seen in the Renault Master van. Details are still scarce at this time, we should get more info after its Frankfurt Motor Show debut. At the moment the only figure Renault has given is a claimed fuel consumption of 7L/100km.
To set apart from the more ‘rugged’ Navara, the Alaskan Concept gets some fancy trinkets such as 21-inch wheels, full LED lights, satin paint, and a camera mounted on the door mirror to “film passing landscapre”. Mmm, just what every discerning ute buyer needs.
The styling combines Renault’s new face as seen on the new Espace MPV and Talisman sedan with the Tonka-truck look of the Navara. And it works, this is a good looking ute with more than enough of French style to make as cool as its the place its named after.
It’ll be likely the production version of the Alaskan will be sold in New Zealand, after it’s launched in Europe of course. It’s closest rival will be the VW Amarok but will also go head-to-head with the usual Hilux, Ranger, Colorado, BT-50, and Navara crowd. Would you consider an Alaskan? And no, Sarah Palin will not be included.