Pickup trucks are big in Australia right now, and in quite a few other countries as well, particularly those in Asia. Indeed the great majority of pickups sold in Australia are built in Thailand.

As well as workhorse pickups, double-cab bodies with sporty looks and accessories are all the rage at the moment, leading to the unlikely fact that they frequently appear in the top 10 sales list in Australia. So it’s no surprise that more makers are keen on getting part of the action.

Renault Alaskan is one result. Photographs shown before its global launch at the Frankfurt Motor Show describe it as a concept vehicle – but it looks to be pretty close to the real thing to us.

Alaskan’s big clamshell bonnet features a cutout for the Renault diamond badge that seems to become bigger with each redesign. The grille certainly stands out and it’s interesting to see the definite division between the rear of the cab and the tray.

Since Renault formed an alliance with the ailing Nissan company in 1999 an increasing number of models have been shared, at least under the skin. The Alaskan looks to us suspiciously like the Nissan NP300 Navara pickup that’s to be launched in Australia in November this year.


With a variety of body types – single, extended and dual-cabs – and powered by a choice between two turbo-diesel engines the new Navara is aiming for big things in Australia.

Renault-Nissan has recently signed an agreement with Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, on sharing a new factory to be built in Mexico. Mercedes is known to be in the early stages of designing a pickup (true!) so there may be some crossover there as well.

After its Frankfurt debut Renault Alaskan will be shown in production guise in the first half of 2016, possibly with changes that result from feedback from its first public showing.


Another strong possibly is a station wagon body built on the Renault Alaskan chassis / platform, in the manner of the recently introduced Holden Colorado and Isuzu MU-X and the soon to be launched Toyota Fortuner and Ford Everest.

Without revealing too much, Renault Australia tells us the Alaskan is certainly a part of its product planning. Stay tuned and we will bring details as they become available.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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