French carmaker Renault on Monday unveiled its first compact SUV, a "crossover" vehicle it hopes will cater to the tastes of urban drivers in Europe and China and rival the popularity of Nissan's Qashqai.
"Our range has been enriched with a masterpiece," said Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn as the car was unveiled to reporters in Saint-Denis, in the northern suburbs of Paris.
He added that the new mid-size crossover, a mix between a passenger car and an SUV that will go on sale later this year, would allow Renault to continue its "development in a market in full expansion".
Renault did not say how much the five-seater car would cost and gave few technical details other than that the Kadjar was slightly larger than the Qashqai and would be available with either two- or four-wheel drive.
With the Kadjar, Renault completes its line-up of crossover cars, which already includes the smaller Captur, the larger Koleos and the fifth generation Espace.
Crossover cars "represent practically every one in five cars (sold) in the world today," said Jerome Stoll, Renault's commercial director. "In Europe we are already more at a ratio of one in four, and in China at between one in four and one in three," he added.
The Kadjar will be assembled at Renault's Palencia factory in Spain. From 2016 it will be also produced in Wuhan in China, where Renault is building a factory with the Chinese Dongfeng group.