New Logan will be inspired in the Renault Sandero and is expected to arrive by 2009

When Renault Sandero was presented in Brazil, it was evident that Logan, which receives the Renault badge in South America, would soon be subject to changes inspired on its hatchback version. Yes, that’s right. Although Sandero has a different appearance, it is built over the same B0 platform that is used by Logan, what makes it the hatchback option of Logan’s line, already composed by the sedan, the MCV, the Van and soon the Pick-up Truck.

The reason for the change in the sedan is also obvious. Logan is one of the biggest bargains the world has seen in the car market, offering the same space available in a Toyota Corolla for a fraction of its price, but it is not considered to be a beautiful car by many. In fact, even a Renault executive in Brazil has defined it as a useful shoebox, or, as a character in the movie “Crazy People” has once said (for the old Volvo cars, but it suits the Logan), it is “boxy, but good”.

Since appearance is the only thing that prevents Logan of selling even more, changing it would surely benefit Renault, worried about the brand’s still low sales in markets other than the European and ambitious about its plans to become one key player in emerging markets. Sandero seems to be the right pathway for this change. Check the front end of the car in the illustration, as well as the car in the spy pictures, heavily covered, but still visible, with Sandero’s images and try NOT to see the similarities.

Although the rendering shows a notchback model, with a wiper on the rear window, we would bet on a regular sedan body, more popular in emerging (and rather conservative) markets. Besides the engines the Logan already offers in Europe, Dacia is likely to include the 1.6-liter four-cylinder flex engines the car uses in Brazil, a 8V that pushes 95 cv on ethanol and 92 cv on petrol and a 16V that delivers 112 cv on the green fuel and 107 cv on the petroleum-derived one. The 1.0 16V is not likely to be offered in Europe, though it does a very good job carrying the car in Brazilian roads.

Besides the sedan version, Sandero is sure to influence a new MCV and a new small SUV that will face the Ford EcoSport, a Fiesta-based sport utility vehicle that has made a huge success in South American markets due to its appearance and low price (for a SUV). The sedan and the SUV are expected to arrive in 2009 and, as it has happened with Sandero, first in Brazil, a market that has grown 27.8% in 2007. And that promises an even better performance this year.

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