The Brazil-spec Renault Kwid will not only get improved body shell, but it will be heavier and safer than the Indian model.
In a bid to make cars affordable in India, carmakers compromise on the safety. The contradiction in Global NCAP ratings for Duster (with driver side airbag) for the India-spec model and for the Latin American Duster was concerning. Another model from Renault that points towards compromised safety levels for the Indian market is its stellar model Kwid. As per claims by Brazilian media, the new version of Kwid, that is slated to launch soon in Brazil, will witness structural changes and will get additional safety features.
If reports are to be believed, the Brazil-spec Kwid will not only get improved body shell, but it will be heavier and safer than the Indian model. The hatchback will reportedly receive changes to the chassis, to abide by the stricter safety and crash protection norms in Brazil. This will in turn increase the total body weight by up to 140kgs. The increase in weight would aide better performance at the crash tests, details of which will be shared soon after the tests are conducted. Renault was expected to launch the car in Brazil earlier, albeit the launch has been deferred to September or October this year.
The hatchback will additionally get airbags and ABS in line with Brazil Government’s regulation (in effect since 2014)to equip dual front airbags and ABS as mandatory features on all passenger vehicles. It is to be noted that the Renault Technology Americas (RTA) has made changes to the Brazil-spec Kwid to meet the sterner Latin NCAP crash test laws. As a part of the package, the Brazil-spec Kwid will receive primary safety features including four airbags, anti-lock-braking system (ABS) and ISOFIX child seat. These features might as well be offered as standard.
First launched in 2015, Kwid has been a game-changing model for Renault India. The carline is currently available with a 800cc and 1.0-litre engine options with a standard manual and optional AMT unit. In terms of safety, the hatchback gets only an optional driver side airbag. Moreover, the hatchback scored zero stars for the adult protection in the Global NCAP test conducted in May 2016 and then few months later in September.
The latest version of Kwid crash tested by Global NCAP had a driver side airbag and seatbelt pretensioner. Officials at Global NCAP have already raised their concern over poor safety levels with Renault-Nissan Global. As Indian government is working towards making cars safer for India, we hope to see these changes on the India-spec model as well in the coming months.