Sunday, November 20, 2011

Renault confirms new standalone coupe model

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Renault confirms new standalone coupe model; will be influenced by the Renault Dezir concept

Renault confirms new standalone coupe model

By Ben Pulman
Motor Industry
13 September 2011 22:30
Renault has confirmed that it’s working on a new coupe model, to sit above the Megane Coupe, but to be sized and priced below the existing Laguna Coupe. Work only began late in 2010, but there will be a Renaultsport version and the Alpine name may feature.

What do new know about this new Renault coupe?

The current Laguna Coupe has been both positioned and priced too close to cars like the A5 Coupe, admitted Renault’s product planning boss Beatrice Foucher. Work is underway on the next-gen Laguna and Sport Tourer estate, but a replacement for the good-looking Coupe isn’t in the pipeline.
Instead, Renault is developing a new standalone coupe model, to sit below the Laguna Coupe’s existing price point, but above that of the Megane Coupe. It will utilise the new Renault-Nissan flexible, modular C/D platform that will underpin the Laguna (and next Megane), but it won’t have the same wheelbase as the bigger saloon and estate.
‘We always need at least one coupe in the line-up,’ said Foucher. And Renault knows it needs this sporty, dynamic coupe to act as a halo model for the rest of the range, which are starting to be imbued with Laurens van den Acker’s new emotional design language. The facelifted Twingo was unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show, the entire Megane and Scenic ranges will be revised next year, and the first all-new van den Acker car will be the new Mk4 Clio. (The new Clio – to be revealed at the 2012 Paris motor show in 12 months time – will only be available as a five-door, while the Megane will continue as both a three-door Coupe and five-door hatch). Expect the new coupe to stylistically borrow very heavily from the Dezir concept car (pictured, right).

What about this Renaultsport connection?

Renaultsport has been involved in the project from the start – rather than coming in at a later date as has been the norm – helping to set the suspension, wheelbase and other requirements (we hear the combined dimension of the tyre and alloy wheel will be a maximum of 700mm, or 27.5in), but RS won’t develop the new car like it did the Wind. Instead, Renault’s technical department will handle the engineering. It’s still in discussion, but the Alpine name has been mooted inside Renault for this car.  
Renault sets the volumes and prices for its models four to five years in advance of production, but Foucher wouldn’t reveal anything. However, expect something around £20k-£25k for the base models, with prices pushing towards £30k for the confirmed Renaultsport version. The new car will be front-wheel drive, but it’ll be a rival for the Toyota FT-86. Renault will renew and relaunch its mainstream models before it launches this new coupe, so don't expect to see anything until 2014 at the earliest.

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