Category Archives: Renault News

Renault Alpine A110 revealed ahead of full Geneva Motor Show debut

After a lengthy teaser campaign and a ‘Save the Date’ invitation for its Geneva Motor Show unveil, the first images of the new Alpine A110 sports car in production form have landed.

The new images show the finished front and side profile of the car – from Renault’s sporty new sub-brand – for the first time. As expected, it looks virtually identical to the Alpine Vision Concept that made its debut in 2016, with exactly the same lightweight aluminium bodywork and the distinctive dual front LED lights.

Only small details such as the mirrors are more conventional than the concept’s, and while we’ve yet to see the changes made to the rear end, bosses have previously assured us that it won’t change much. The wheels, covering the distinctive Alpine-badged blue brake calipers, are different in their design, too.

We’ve yet to see the interior, however. Alpine has previously released images showing the production car’s racy Recaro seats, but the final dash design is still under wraps. While the concept featured a futuristic and racy look with a TFT dial display, a raised central infotainment screen and a swooping centre console, we’ll have to wait until next week to see if any of those elements will be toned down.

It’s highly likely that the Alpine A110 will be powered by a mid-mounted 1.8-litre four cylinder turbo petrol engine, just like the concept. We expect the sports car to produce around 250bhp, delivered to the rear wheels through a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It will be extremely light, too, with engineers confirming a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds.

300bhp Alpine Renaultsport model could follow

It appears the brand could make an even hotter RS version of the near-production model. The standard Alpine A110 sports car will feature an all-new 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine with around 250bhp. But later on, a racier model, tuned by Renaultsport, could bump that figure up past 300bhp.

While that might not sound like much, Renault promises the focus will be on low weight to worry the likes of Lotus. The extra power will be made possible by tweaks to the ECU and cooling system, with larger air intakes at the front and in the doors.

Other exterior changes will reportedly include swollen rear wheelarches to allow wider tyres to be fitted, boosting grip and stability. Racier alloy wheel designs will also debut, and the front end gets cross-hatched LED lights to distinguish it from the regular car.

Speaking to Auto Express at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, Renault vice-president Bruno Ancelin told us the advent of the first model will spawn further Alpine efforts. “We are working on the first car, and out of [that] we are working on the line-up,” he said.

Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar recently gave us an update, building on what we reported earlier this year.

Most interestingly, he said to expect a starting price of between $75,000 and $90,000, billed as its “natural place” based on the concept car presented.

Hocevar said the big challenge was establishing the brand, which he admitted has almost no presence in Australia, given it was never sold through official channels.

Bigger , Bolder Koleos

 

The new KOLEOS boasts a powerful stance, with muscular exterior lines that set it apart from rivals, and it provides a refined, comfortable interior with class-leading cabin space, including 289mm of rear knee room for occupants. Featured tailored by market include a heated steering wheel and easy defrosting for cold climates and a cabin air filter that cuts pollen, dust and unpleasant odours.

A protective interior
The new KOLEOS offers an elevated driving position with excellent visibility. Compared to a traditional sedan, the new KOLEOS’ driving position is 150mm higher than traditional sedans, a reassuring feature that is highly prized by SUV buyers. Hand grips on either side of the centre console echo the world of off-road motoring while imbuing the interior with a sporty feel.

Flagship SUV
Best in class, user-friendly 4×4 technology features all mode 4×4-i technology, an all-wheel drive system that makes it easy to switch back and forth between 2WD, 4WD AUTO and 4WD LOCK modes. The new KOLEOS 4×4 transmission also guarantees enhanced safety and stability by neutralising understeer and oversteer and by optimising grip in difficult conditions. The new KOLEOS also delivers all-terrain ability, with ground clearance of 213mm.

Connected on-board experience
A key feature of the new KOLEOS interior and travelling comfort is R-Link 2, a connected, personalisable experience. This system serves as a connected control centre to coordinate functions like BOSE audio, infotainment, navigation, hands-free telephony, radio and driver aids.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
Depending on the market, the new KOLEOS comes with a large array of driver assistance capabilities and options, all of which can be controlled via the R-LINK 2 tablet.

  • To reassure: Active Emergency Braking System.
  • To alert: Lane departure warning, safe distance warning, traffic sign recognition with excess speed warning, blind spot warning, tiredness detection.
  • To assist: rear view camera, automatic high/low beam, headlights, front, rear and side parking sensors, and easy park assist.

New KOLEOS completes Renault’s high-end range that now includes the Espace crossover, the Talisman large saloon car and Talisman Estate station wagon. It also completes the design renaissance of the Renault range. New KOLEOS is instantly recognisable as a top-of-the-range Renault, thanks notably to its front-end design that incorporates a prominent Renault logo set at the centre of a broad chrome grille.

New KOLEOS will be produced at two plants – Busan in South Korea for all markets except China, plus Wuhan, China for the Chinese market. Both facilities meet Renault’s stringent manufacturing quality standards and currently produce vehicles built on the CMF-C/D architecture for brands belonging to Groupe Renault.

 

Renault’s Upmarket Barnstormer to face off Porsche Cayman

Renault has been working for some time at rebooting its long-dormant Alpine brand with the launch of a new sports car. But we’re glad to report that the wait is finally over. Almost.

What you see here is the Alpine Vision. It’s the latest in a string of concept cars that have sought to forecast what the new model will look like, following the A110-50 concept of 2012, the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo design revealed last year, and the more recent Alpine Celebration concept presented this past summer. As you can see, this latest concept looks close to production-ready to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C.

Renault hasn’t revealed much in the way of technical specifications, except to say that it packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine made by the folks at Renault Sport that ought to propel the coupe to 62 in under 4.5 seconds. Today’s announcement in Monte Carlo is clearly more about the design that draws its inspiration from the legendary Alpine A110 that debuted in 1969. The shape looks familiar from the previous Alpine Celebration concept, but without the flashy details, the Vision concept gives us a clearer idea of what to expect. Those round auxiliary headlights are pure retro rally and the proportions classic, but the detailing is strictly modern – particularly at the tail end.

The project faced setbacks after Caterham pulled out of the joint venture, but Renault promises we’ll see the finished product “later this year.” Production is set to take place at the historic Alpine factory in Dieppe, France, where the Renault Sport division was based until recently. Sales are scheduled to commence next year in Europe, to be “followed by other markets worldwide” – The word is that it will be available downunder – fingers crossed!

Renault goes Full Impact with its new F1 colour scheme

NewF1ColourScheme

Renault has revealed its definitive 2016 livery two days ahead of the start of the new Formula 1 season.

In early February Renault launched its works team return with what it described at the time as “a show car” featuring a predominantly black livery with flashes of yellow.

The team, which took over Lotus towards the end of last year following protracted negotiations, ran with that look throughout the two pre-season tests at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit.

But it has always been Renault’s intention to return to its more traditional roots in terms of its colour scheme.

The RS16 now sports a matt yellow body, with the front and rear wings in black and some small touches of gold towards the rear.

“Today is about what’s in the season to come, and the important thing is the colour, that it says a lot about your identity and who you stand for,” said Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul at the livery launch in Melbourne’s docklands area on Wednesday.

“Tonight is about our identity and what Renault stands for.

“I look around and it looks like people are trying to disappear from the Tarmac, so we’ve gone for something different.

“I think it works well. We’ve gone for yellow, which has been the colour of Renault since 1946, so we’ve been true to our history.”

The colour is similar to that used on the Renault RS01 sportscar for its launch.

It is believed the matt finish across the entire car means a weight-saving of almost half a kilogram compared to the use of gloss.

Renault Captur – High riding fun wagon

Renault Captur has finally arrived in Australia. On sale in its home market since May 2013, you might say the Captur is fashionably late to the local market – though it certainly won’t be the last to arrive, with at least two more competitors expected before the middle of the year.

Already it has racked up impressive sales in Europe – approaching 200,000 units – but its arrival has not been without some controversy. New European NCAP crash testing rules and the Captur’s absence of curtain airbags have cast some shadows over the car’s introduction, but to dismiss Captur from your shortlist on this account would be foolhardy. Make no mistake, the new Renault compact SUV brings with it unexpected practicality and impressive value.

In terms of its physical size, the front-drive only Captur sits at the bottom end of the Small SUV segment locally, competing with such rivals as the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Peugeot 2008. Renault says its latest high-riding hero combines all the best bits of an SUV with the practicality of a people-mover and the footprint of a hatch, and considering it shares its underpinnings with the Light segment Clio, it’s that last point that is arguably most pertinent.

What Renault has done to maximise the available space of the Clio platform with the Captur is most impressive. Sure the mechanical package is largely unchanged with engine and transmission choices, and suspension, steering and braking components, all common to the Australian-spec hatch. But the rear seat room and cargo area is remarkably generous, and when viewed against its nearest competitors appear gigantic.

Sat behind a 180cm-tall adult, I found rear seat head, leg, knee and toe space to be more than adequate and the high-set bench also provides a good view out of the windows. The bench is, however, just that, and is quite formless and rather firm. Meantime, the Captur’s stiffer suspension set-up does little to foster a comfortable ride.

But this is one small downside in a long, l-o-n-g list of upsides.

Not only is the Captur spacious inside the cabin – easily accommodating four adults – it’s also very practical. The cargo bay offers a split-level floor which is not only double-sided (the removable panel is carpeted on one side and vinyl on the other), but can be set at a 45-degree angle to save your shopping from self-destruction on its trip home.

The rear bench can slide longitudinally through 160mm which, in conjunction with lowering the cargo floor, expands cargo space from 377 to 455 litres. On top of that, the rear seat splits 60:40 and the parcel shelf, of course, is removable. All up, Renault says the Captur delivers up to 1235 litres of cargo space, which places it in the enviable position of being up there with next-segment (larger) SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan QASHQAI.

Equipment levels are equally generous with even the base model Captur Expression (from $22,990 plus ORCs) offering more standard kit than even some of its high-grade rivals. Headlining the list are cruise control, sat-nav, auto headlights and wipers. You can also expect 16-inch alloys, idle stop-start, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push-button start, LED daytime running lights, single-zone climate control and front and rear foglights as standard.

The base audio system includes Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, AM/FM tuner and MP3/AUX/USB connectivity, all accessed via a full-colour 7.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen.

The up-spec Captur Dynamique adds a static cornering function to the foglights, washable and removable seat covers, two-tone paintwork, chrome trim garnishes, additional window tinting and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also features Renault’s premium R-Link audio system with Arkamys 3D sound at no extra cost.

A long list of personalisation options is also available.

abin storage is also admirable with seatback straps to hold tablets, maps and folders, door bins for loose items and bottles, a trio of cupholders in the centre console and a removable bin between the rear footwells. The slide-out drawer that replaces the glovebox on left-hand drive models is not available in Australia, with right-hand drive models scoring a regular ‘lidded’ glove compartment.

The pragmatic interior is also rather quiet compared to segment rivals, and though some additional road noise is transferred on 17-inch wheeled variants, is otherwise disturbed only by a slight amount of wind rustle off the wing mirrors.

This makes the experience at the wheel rather pleasant, as does the good driving position ergonomics and clear sight lines, excepting the upswept rear quarters (fortunately the standard rear-view camera eliminates any blind-spots when reversing).

Depending on variant, the Captur is offered with a choice of drivetrains, including a 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol in base model Expression and 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol optionally in Expression and standard on Dynamique.

The smaller TCe90 (90hp) engine provides 66kW and 135Nm and is available only with a five-speed manual transmission. It returns 4.9L/100km on the ADR Combined cycle and expels 113g/km of CO2. While the larger TCe120 makes 88kW and 190Nm and is available exclusively with a six-speed Getrag-sourced dual-clutch transmission, which adds $3000 to the base model’s price.

The latter engine and transmission combination is also offered exclusively in the high-grade Captur Dynamique, which tops the range at $27,990 (plus on-road costs).

Renault says the figures are enough to provide the TCe90 with a 0-100km/h time of 13.0sec en route to a v-max of 171km/h. The TCe120 will hit triple figures in 10.9sec and max-out at 192km/h.

The Captur tips the scale between 1134-1215kg, depending on grade, and can tow up to 900kg (braked), should you be so inclined.

Both grades of Captur are of front-wheel drive configuration with a strut (front) and torsion beam (rear) suspension arrangement. Both trim grades are halted by disc (front) /drum (rear) brakes, a combination common in this vehicle segment.

The set-up endows the Captur with tenacious levels of road-holding, though the ride may prove too stiff for some.

On the plus side, the lack of pitch and roll provides the Captur with exemplary cornering grip, and in combination with appropriately weighted and accurate steering, adds a lot of confidence to the drive. The braking performance is adequate, but not outstanding, though the pedal weight and feel, much like the steering, cooperates well with driver input.

We also found the manual model’s shift a little notchy and the throw a little long. The good clutch feel helps, but it’s not the sort of car where gear changes can be rushed.

This is a little bit of an issue when trying to maintain pace, with maximum power delivered (and best maximised) through a rather narrow rev band. Keeping the Captur here, and accessing this ‘band’ for overtaking, is an exercise in concentration if you’re trying to keep ahead of traffic, and also eats into fuel economy (we averaged 8.6L/100km on test).

If you’re content to plod along at the back of the pack, however, the three-cylinder engine’s thrum is a great companion with which to enjoy the passing scenery.

It’s obvious, then, that the four-cylinder variants are the pick of the bunch. The pace of the engine, and its delivery via the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, are more in keeping with the orientation of the car; and are likewise better suited to open-road driving.

The TCe120 engine feels at home both in and out of the city whereas the TCe90 is a better metropolitan companion. Sure, the ‘auto’ can be a little slow from the get-go, but once on the move is quite enthusiastic, managing winding roads and inclines capably.

The Captur’s 45-litre tank should cost just over $40 to fill, based on present petrol prices, and with the average fuel economy of both models on test close to 8.6L/100km, we reckon you should be able to comfortably travel more than 500km between fills.

As an agile and tenacious mover with enough space for young families to make the most of – not to mention that five-year warranty and roadside assist, decent capped-price servicing program and strong equipment list – the Captur seems to have been worth the wait.

 

THE CLIO R.S. 220 EDC TROPHY

Inaugurated on the Clio R.S. in 2005, the Trophy badge symbolises sharper handling and increased performance coupled with exclusivity and distinctive styling. In the slipstream of the Mégane R.S. Trophy’s 2014 launch, the Clio R.S. 220 EDC Trophy now features the same winning ingredients and joins this limited-edition series of high-performance models that reflect the passion of Renault Sport’s engineers… and fulfill their exacting demands.

  • Engine: Thanks to revised engine mapping, it now has 10 percent more power and up to an extra 40Nm of torque. It also benefits from a larger turbo, an air intake designed to minimise pressure losses and a revised exhaust system to accommodate the latest Euro6 catalytic converter (and minimise back pressure losses).
    – Maximum power has been increased to 220hp at peak revs, 6,250rpm. – Maximum torque rises to 260Nm (a gain of 20Nm), although a figure of 280Nm is possible thanks to a ‘torque boost’ feature in fourth and fifth gears. – By stepping up to meeting Euro6 emissions standards, the car’s CO2 output improves by six grams, to 138g/km.
  • Refined EDC transmission: gear changes are now up to 30 percent faster. – Down changes are now more rapid, thanks notably to reduced travel of the steering wheel paddles.- There is greater flexibility in ‘Sport’ mode to be able to combine driving enjoyment in built-up areas and on open roads. – A Stop&Start system works in ‘Normal’ mode but is deactivated in ‘Sport’ and‘Race’ modes.
    – Ultra-quick steering: a new, faster rack (with ratio reduced from 14.5:1 to 13.2:1) makes steering even more precise and incredibly direct – the best system on the market. -Tyres: the Clio R.S. 220 Trophy EDC is fitted with high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport 205/40R18 rubber.
  • A lower, stiffer Trophy chassis: the Clio is lower by 20mm at the front, 10mm at the rear (unladen). Firmer shock absorbers have been fitted and are coupled with hydraulic bump stops.

Weaponizing Albert Park on Thursday March 12

The hardcore Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R is set to become the fastest commercially available production vehicle to lap Melbourne’s Albert Park Formula One circuit.

The lightweight, two-seat Renault Megane RS275 Trophy-R will be let loose onto the full Australian Grand Prix circuit to set the first-ever production car lap record of the 5.3-kilometre racetrack ahead of this month’s 2015 Formula One season opener.

Read more at here.

Renault Sport R.S. 01 – Renault’s Gruntfest

Renault is restating its passion for motor sports with the Renault Sport R.S. 01, a racing car of spectacular styling and exceptional performance. With a design inspired by the world of concept cars and governed by an absolute pursuit of aerodynamic downforce, Renault Sport R.S. 01 is a radical expression of the brand’s sporting DNA.

rs_01_03

Its technical specifications reflect the best of Renault Sport expertise. With a carbon monocoque chassis for a weight of less than 1,100 kg and an engine developing over 500 hp, it is able to reach a top speed of over 300 kph. From 2015, Renault Sport R.S. 01 will be one of the stars of World Series by Renault in a new championship, the Renault Sport Trophy, a springboard for the professional GT and Endurance championships.

#Under 8 – Megane 275 Smashes it!

renaultsport

When I say does it, it doesn’t refer to the it in most minds but rather the time it took the new Megane RS to complete a lap at the Nurburgring. Over the months we were teased with images of a new version of the Megane RS and we found out that Renault Sport was gunning for the lap record for a front wheel drive car around the northern ring, the renowned Nordschleife.

Renault_58828_global_enThe car used is of course Renault’s new Megane RS 275 Trophy and this has been the talk of our local Megane RS community and fans where they expect the new 275 to come fully kitted out with Ohlins suspension and Akrapovic exhausts. If that were the case, I am sure it will cause a bit of stir. The pressure was high and the last Megane RS Trophy edition only managed a lap time of 8′ 07″ 97 around the ring. Renault Sport wasn’t going to rest on their laurels ever since SEAT stepped up their game with the LEON CUPRA.

RenaultUnder8

Congratulations to the Renault Sport team in being able to achieve a new record for a front-wheel drive production car at the ring. The timing is indeed fast! But again, speed is relative and here is a chart to show what other cars has gone through the same ring around the Megane RS 275 Trophy time.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 10.55.18 PM

Lap times obtained from http://nurburgringlaptimes.com/lap-times/lap-times-top-100/

Thanks to http://www.autofreaks.net

Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy

202kW limited edition hot-hatch is model’s most powerful ever

The new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy will take its place atop the benchmark hot-hatch’s range later this year, armed with technical and aesthetic upgrades and the performance model’s highest-ever power output.

Up 7kW – to now reach 275hp – but with torque maintained at 360Nm, the new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy is based on the new-look Megane range due to start arriving on local shores in July (of which Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar said late last month would again be topped by the Renault Megane RS 265).

Underpinned by the Megane RS’s Cup chassis and featuring a limited-slip front differential as standard, the hottest-ever Megane also brings with it reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of 0.7 litres per 100km and 16 grams per kilometre respectively – now 7.5L/100km and 174g/km.

With its sights clearly set on reclaiming the Nurburgring lap record for the fastest front-wheel-drive production car, Renault has further increased the RS275’s potential by fitting a lightweight carbonfibre-tipped titanium exhaust system as standard. Sourced from exhaust specialists Akrapovic, and coming with the promise of a “more raucous bark”.

Enthusiasts will also have the option of fitting up adjustable Road and Track dampers with steel springs from suspension gurus Ohlins and black 19-inch Speedline Turini wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres.

Renault-Megane-RS-275-Trophy-3

Distinguished by its Trophy-branded Platine Grey F1-inspired front blade and numbered door sill plates, the limited edition Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy also gains side-body Trophy decals and door-mounted Platine Grey chequered flag graphics.

Inside, the RS 275 Trophy has Renault Sport-stamped red-stitched leather and Alcantara Recaro front bucket seats and a red-stitched rear bench seat. An Alcantara-trimmed steering wheel, handbrake and Zamac gear lever all continue the theme.

To be sold in 20 countries across five continents, including Australia, the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy follows in the footsteps of other limited edition Megane RS-based variants such as Red Bull Racing specials from 20112012 and 2013.

Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy-11

Once again hinting at the brand’s upcoming attack on the Nurburgring record it claimed back in 2011 but lost earlier this year, the French car maker says more details related to its #under8 social media campaign will be released on June 16.

Orders for the new Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy open in France on June 3, with prices starting at 38,000 euro ($55,488).

Locally, the cheapest way into a current-spec Renault Megane RS 265 is via the LSD-free RS 265 Sport, priced from $36,990 driveaway. The most expensive is the RS 265 Trophy+, which is listed at $51,640 plus on-road costs.