Last updated 14:57, June 2 2017
Double-cab pickup trucks are very much the thing in the Kiwi commercial market.
But Renault New Zealand will be showcasing a double-cab with a twist at this year's Feildays in Hamilton (June 14-17), with a specially configured version of its range-topping Master van.
The Master Double Cab is based on the "extra long wheelbase" platform, with seven seats and a large dropside tray that takes it to nearly seven metres in length.
The example specially ordered by Renault NZ for Fieldays is also four-wheel drive, with ground clearance of approximately 200mm and a fording depth of 300mm.
The electronic 4WD system can be shifted "on the fly" and locked at up to 25kmh. Above that speed the vehicle reverts to RWD.
The tray payload is two tonnes and the vehicle can tow three tonnes.
The show vehicle is designed to illustrate what's possible with the Master pickup truck, which will be offered here in single and double-cab, rear or four-wheel drive, with manual and automated transmissions.
Key applications for the Master Double Cab are forestry or deep-country work, where a combination of five-plus work crews and bulky equipment have to be transported across rough terrain.
Similar features can be fitted to the conventional Master van, with a combination of European specification and distributor-approved local modification. The ultimate is a 17-seat 4WD off-road version.
There are further upgrades coming across the Renault commercial range. The pint-sized Kangoo will be switching from a 1.6-litre engine to a new 1.2-litre turbo with six-speed automatic gearbox.
The plug-in Kangoo ZE is gaining a larger battery that gives about 50 per cent more range - a claimed 270km, or around 200km in real-world use.
Also on the way is a pure electric version of the full-size Master van. With range of approximately 150km it's designed mainly for urban pickup/dropoff and shuttle-bus work.
It can be specified as a load-lugging van or bus, with a 10-seat configuration most likely for NZ.
And of course there's the Nissan Navara-based Renault Alaskan one-tonne ute on the way. The Kiwi lineup will be focused on a 2.3-litre turbo-diesel model (the same engine used in both Navara and Master), with the volume expected to be in the 4x2 version.