What do you picture when you think of a French car? Something small and comfortable with funky styling? Maybe it's able to travel very, very quickly in reverse? Whatever you imagine, it's probably nothing like the new Renault Alaskan concept, which is a pickup truck.
See, France doesn't usually do pickups. It'd be like America doing a perfect ratatouille or building something as beautiful as the Palace of Versailles. But with the Alaskan, Renault looks to tick all the pickup truck boxes.
The double-cab sits ahead of the decent-sized bed. Between the two, the Alaskan can haul up to 2,200 pounds and five passengers. There are big, knobbly tires and an elevated ride, both of which should give the Alaskan a degree of off-road prowess, although Renault claims that "user-friendly driving comfort" is still a priority. The overall look is rather brutish and tough for a French vehicle, with a high rear bumper and ample protection under the front bumper, giving the Alaskan what we'd imagine is an impressive approach and departure angle. The grille is suitably in your face, although the refined look of the headlights is a bit jarring when compared with the rest of the vehicle.
Power for the small truck should still be impressive, owing to the twin-turbo, four-cylinder diesel engine situated under the hood. According to Renault, the powerplant will deliver best-in-class fuel economy.
Renault claims the production version will adhere closely to what we're seeing here. The dimensions should be the same and the design "will be similar in spirit." And unlike competitors like the Volkswagen Amarok, Renault will situate the production Alaskan as something more in line with American pickups, offering it as a vehicle for "business and leisure use, as well as for everyday motoring," rather than as a work horse. So don't count on seeing this thing bounding around the vineyards of Bordeaux, a bed full of grapes.