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Renault previews its first-ever truck with the rugged, Nissan-based Alaskan concept

Paris-based Renault has introduced a close-to-production concept dubbed Alaskan that previews its first-ever body-on-frame pickup truck.

The Alaskan’s front end falls in line with Renault’s newest design language thanks to styling cues such as a tall front end, sharp headlights, a three-slat grille and an oversized Renault emblem. However, a look at the sheet metal beyond the A-pillar clearly reveals that the truck is based on the Nissan Navara, a newly introduced compact truck with a global vocation.

With a 2,200-pound payload, the Alaskan is designed to appeal to both business and leisure buyers. On one hand, storage bins built into the sides of the bed make carrying loose items such as tools, spare parts and ropes a breeze. On the other hand, cameras integrated into the mirrors let the passengers capture their adventures on tape.

Power comes from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder diesel-burning engine that makes 165 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque from 1,500 to 3,000 rpm. Already found under the hood of several Renault models, the oil-burner is equipped with a small turbocharger that kicks in at low rpm and a bigger unit that takes over at higher rpm, a setup designed to essentially eliminate turbo lag.

The Alaskan is expected to spawn a regular-production model next year. The yet-unnamed truck will be largely aimed at overseas markets like Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, and it goes without saying that it won’t land in the United States, where Renaults haven’t been sold for nearly a quarter of a century.

Although the concept takes the form of a four-door, extended-cab pickup, the production model will be offered with several different body styles. Similarly, buyers will have access to a full range of four-cylinder engines and they’ll be able to pick either two- or four-wheel drive.

What’s next?

The production version of the Renault Alaskan isn’t the only Navara-based truck that’s scheduled to hit the market in the coming years. Surprisingly, Mercedes-Benz confirmed earlier this year that it is busily developing a premium truck built on the same basic architecture as the Navara. Tentatively called GLT, Mercedes’ upcoming pickup will not be sold in the United States.

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