A Renault Sport executive says the French brand is facing a “catch-22” as it considers creating high-performance SUVs bearing the RS badge.
Speaking to GoAuto.com, Jean Calcat, who holds the position of Renault Sport general manager of sales, said “it would probably make sense” for the Boulogne-Billancourt-based brand’s performance arm to look into SUVs.
“When you look at the development of cars around the world, SUVs are a big thing, electric is a big thing, so it would probably make sense in the future for Renault Sport to look at SUVs and EVs,” he told the Australian publication.
However, he added that offering the right balance was key.
“I would say, short term, the catch-22 situation we are facing, is the strong point of RS handling and road-holding, which is slightly paradoxical with what an SUV is all about,” Calcat explained.
“So, say we’re Porsche: we’re German, we need big engines for the autobahns, and German drivers will go flat-out on the autobahns whenever they like to. So, for Porsche to do a Cayenne or Macan with a big engine, it makes a lot of sense. But I would say that for us French manufacturers, it is a little bit more difficult to find the right solution.
“So, right now, we are looking into it, but we haven’t as yet [taken] a firm commitment in that direction. But we are not stupid, you know; we are looking at what Alfa Romeo is doing, Volkswagen, Seat … but as I speak, there is no official product in the pipeline.”
Calcat went on to reveal that the brand might instead offer GT-badged SUVs (likely with suspension upgrades) rather than going all out with high-performance RS versions.
“I would probably say GT rather than RS,” he admitted.