True, what you see in these fresh spy photos from Europe may look like a Renault Grand Scenic at first, but pay closer attention and you will see some substantial modifications such as the shorter rear overhang, the larger wheels mounted on wider tracks on both ends, and an increased ride height.
In addition, Renault engineers have also added weights on the roof and the front fenders, likely to simulate a higher weight distribution.
If you're wondering why all these changes, it's because this is a test mule for a new compact SUV to replace Renault's current Koleos, which is manufactured by Renault Samsung Motors in South Korea.
The French brand's engineers are using the test mule for the first stages of development of a new chassis that will be shared with the next generation of the Nissan Qashqai.
Very few details are known about the new Renault SUV that will compete against the VW Tiguan and Ford Kuga, but expect the French carmaker to preview the model through a concept at an upcoming motor show in Europe, perhaps as early as the Geneva Salon in March or the Frankfurt event later in the fall.
Renault's new SUV will join the softer Scenic crossover, which is currently under development, and the new Captur small crossover that will make its first appearance in front of the public at the 2013 Geneva auto show.
Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoop