The expected arrival of the Alpine-Caterham sports car is still a few years away, but Renault boss, Carlos Tavares, has already made it known that the sports car will compete against the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Lotus Evora. Tavares did clarify that the Porsche Cayman may be a little out of reach for the brand.
“It would be arrogant to say we could go head-to-head with Porsche and win,” Tavares told Autocar. “But I think Lotus and Alfa are realistic targets.”
Tavares also hinted that Renault, Alpine’s parent company, will give the latter the freedom to "express themselves", something that it wouldn’t be able to do as much if Alpine had to go through Renault regarding specifics about the future sports car.
Meanwhile, Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s chief of design, is hoping that the future sports car, which will be based on the A110 Concept, will be a springboard that will re-launch Alpine as a brand that will soon build and develop a range of other sports cars. Clearly, a lot is riding on the success of this model.
“We all love Alpine within the company, but this first car will be a measure for us of how much other people love it,” he said.
“If it is a success, then yes I can see space for us to expand."
Renault’s plans of establishing a name for itself in the sports hatchback market came to a head at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, as the French automaker debuted the Clio GT.
Unfortunately, the Clio GT doesn’t come close to approaching the performance credentials of the 200-horsepower Clio RS 200 Turbo that was introduced late last year. But fret not, because Renault and its sports car division, RenaultSport, did some justice to the car’s engine to justify giving it the GT name.
Although Renault said that the Clio RS 200 and the Clio GT 120 share similar technical credentials, including turbocharged downsized petrol engines, EDC dual-clutch six-speed multi-mode transmission, steering-column-mounted gear shift paddles, and specific chassis settings, the former’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine’s output of 200 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque is more powerful than the GT’s likely output of 120 horsepower.
In the Clio GT’s corner though is that its engine comes equipped with direct fuel-injection while also having an EDC transmission whose gear shifts deliver dynamic performance credentials. On top of all that, the Clio GT’s powerplant features significantly lower CO2 emissions of only 120g/km and a combined-cycle fuel consumption of just 5.2 liters/100km (45.2 mpg).
Aerodynamically, the Clio GT was developed with a slew of new components, including a new front bumper, a more pronounced grille, new door and mirror trims, larger air vents, and newly configured LED daytime running lights that now find themselves moved into the spoiler.
French automaker, Renault, is headed to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with a bevy of new models that, moving forward, will most likely head to production status.
One of them is Scenic XMOD, a B-segment MPV that provides crossover-type looks designed to attract a younger and hipper market, and who are we to go against the Renault’s strategy?
There seems to be growing clamoring for MPVs these days, although with the caveat that they’re not really some of the most fanciful vehicles available in the market. Still, there’s strong interest in the type and Renault wants to take advantage of it by offering a vehicle that passes the eye test in more ways than one.
Plus, it should also have a variety of engine options that will be right in line with what the market looks for. Having said all of that, the Scenic XMOD will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, where we’ll be able to know the full details about the vehicle.
For now, click past the jump to read about what we think about Renault’s new MPV. Full story
If you remember when Renault announced the new Captur it has also been confirmed a new, larger SUV based on the Nissan Quashqai is also under development. Today, we have what appear to be the first spy shots of this next SUV. At first look, this mule might look a lot like the next generation Renault Scenic, but at a closer look you will notice that this is not the case.
When the production version of the next SUV finally makes its debut you will notice it has nothing in common with the Scenic body this mule uses. There are, of course, some differences that make us sure this is a new SUV and not a revised Scenic. First of all, it rides on bigger wheels and rides higher than a normal Scenic. Also, it has some auxiliary weights on the roof and front fenders to simulate a higher weight distribution.
Just like Renault did with the Captur, we expect to see a first concept version later this year, with the production to be revealed at the Paris Auto Show in 2014.
Renault showed up to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with the cool Captur — a concept car with a very futuristic design language first seen on the DeZir Concept. Nothing much was said about this concept’s production, much like every other concept, but today Renault announced that the production version Captur will be unveiled in March at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The production version takes both the spirit and the name of the concept and combines them with elements from the new generation Clio hatchback.
The new Captur will be built on the same platform as the new Clio, but it will feature "a high-up driving position, large boot, modular interior and innovative stowage solutions." Under the hood the model will be offered with the same engine line-up as the new Clio, so customers will have to choose between both petrol and diesel engines.
After the Captur, Renault will be unveiling a larger SUV based on the Nissan Quashqai.
Updated 01/11/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs. Hit the jump to read more about the new Renault Captur. Full story
We have heard all kind of rumors about the relaunch of the Renault Alpine brand, including the possibility to develop a new sports car in cooperation with Caterham. Today, in an interview with AutoCar, Renault marketing boss Stephen Norman confirmed that a new Alpine sports car will indeed appear on the market inside of three years.
He described the new sports car as "not soft", but at the same time "not more hardcore than a Mazda MX-5." However, the new Alpine sports car will have the DNA of a French car and will be aimed at buyers who are “either French or Francophile."
The new Alpine will take aim at models like the Porsche Boxster and high-performance versions of the Audi TT. This means the model should deliver at least 250 horsepower and will be priced at less than £50,000 (about $80k at the current exchange rates). Expect the Alpine to arrive by late 2015.
How many of you remember the old Renault Scenic RX? For those of you who don’t remember, it was an attempt – a rather unsuccessful one — made by Renault back in 2000 to give the Renault Scenic an off-road look.
Renault has decided to apply the same treatment to the new-generation Scenic, but slightly toned down. When compared to the old RX version, which had a spare wheel mounted at the back of the car and offered a four-wheel-drive system, the new version will just have robust-looking bumpers, wider wheel arches and a slightly raised suspension.
Since the "Cross" look is getting more and more fans and more manufactures than ever are expanding their lineups with "Cross" or Allroad versions, Renault is also jumping on that train and its new model will most likely carry the same name.
Expect to see the new Renault Scenic "Cross" launched in March 2013 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Renault has just added a new Megane Limited Edition to its lineup for those customers who want to combine the practicality of a station wagon with sporty performance. The new model will be initially offered in France and will then move on to 11 other markets from Europe to Japan — sadly it won’t make it to the U.S.
The new Megane Estate GT 220 is powered by a Renault Sport 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 220 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. The engine is combined with a Stop/Start function that helps it deliver a respectable 32 mpg.
This model will ride on the same sport chassis as the Megane R.S. and will be offered with a sport-tuned suspension, performance brakes, and specifically calibrated electric power steering.
Customers will identify the Megane Estate GT 220 special edition by its gloss-black touches on the door mirrors, diffuser, front air scoops, and roof bars. If those extra gloss-black accents aren’t a dead giveaway, the "GT 220" badges sure will give it away. This model will be offered with an exclusive set of gloss-black 18-inch "Serdard" wheels. On the interior, it will add a specific steel gear lever knob and a numbered "GT 220" plate.
Over the years, we have seen the Renault ZOE make its way into various car shows as a concept car, but nothing ever really came of it. Here we are approaching the 2013 model year and finally, Renault is announcing that it is releasing its first production bespoke EV car in the form of the oft-teased ZOE. Sure, it’s no Ferrari or Lamborghini, or even a Tesla for that matter, but it is progress toward removing ourselves from exhaustible oil.
It is rather surprising to see electric vehicles taking their sweet time developing in European market, as those countries have been hit the hardest and longest with inflated gasoline prices. European buyers and automakers have been relying more on building high-efficiency diesel and gasoline engines, while us folks in the U.S. have focused more on the EV and hybrid routes.
The real question here is can the Renault ZOE make enough of an impact to pull buyers away from these ultra-economical petrol and diesel models? And can the ZOE help start the domino effect that the Prius did here all those years ago?
Click past the jump to read all about the Renault Zoe and get answers to these questions. Full story
Renault just unveiled its all-new Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo road-going car in Paris and we all knew it was in for big things. Well, now we know exactly what plans Renault had for it, as the French automaker has announced that a racing version, the Clio Renaultsport Cup will be offered for competition in time for the 2014 British Touring Car Championship.
The Clio Renaultsport Cup will feature an Oreca Magny-Cours-tuned 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-banger that pumps out a stout 220 horsepower and 270 Nm (199 pound-feet) of torque mated to a 6-speed sequential gearbox via an AP Racing clutch. The power is delivered to the wheels via a limited-slip differential. Buyers can opt for a paddle-shift interface, if they desire.
Bringing this high-performance Clio to a halt are 320 mm (12.6-inch) AP Racing front rotors, which are squeezed by quad-piston calipers. One-way ZF-Sachs adjustable dampers are on the corners with custom-built aluminum wishbones. Also on the corners are 17-inch Speedline Corse alloy rims, wrapped in performance rubber to keep the Clio glued to the track. Keeping up with the times, Renault will fit the Clio Cup with a data acquisition system integrated into a color TFT screen, so the driver can pull all of his race data immediately.
The body boasts a large rear spoiler that puts down about 40 kg (88.2 lbs) of down-force at 125 mph, helping keep the tires on the ground at high speeds. The press car is draped in white with checkered livery, but we figure you can snag up the Clio Renaultsport Cup in a variety of color schemes.
There’s no mention of pre-installed safety equipment, so we are left to assume that this is something that you need to install to fit whichever racing series you choose to run the Clio Renaultsport Cup in.
This awesome racer will be ready for delivery in the UK in September 2013, so we have a while to wait. You’ll need all of that extra time to save up the whopping €37,800 (about $49,286 at the current rates), plus VAT, attached to this hot hatchback.
Click past the jump to read Renault’s presser.