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2017 Renault Megane Sport Tourer

2017 Renault Megane Sport Tourer

This is the season for cold weather testing, which is exactly why our photographers have been busy snapping spy shots. Just recently, we got pictures of the 2019 BMW 3 Series, the upcoming Peugeot 3008, the 2017 Audi A3 Hatchback, and we even got a glimpse of the 2018 BMW X5. Today, I am coming to you with new spy shots – this time we have pictures of what we believe to be the next Renault Mégane Sport Tourer.

The Sport Tourer is under heavy camo in these images, but it still looks like it shares a lot of the same design cues of the 2016 Renault Mégane Hatchback that was recently revealed back at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Well, that is until you get to the rear doors, and after that, the Sport Tourer takes on its own look. We aren’t aware of any set schedule of the Sport Tourer’s official debut, but with the Mégane Hatchback hitting showrooms soon, the Sport Tourer probably won’t be far behind.

Until we get the chance to see it without all of that deceptive camo, we at least have these spy shots. So, let’s take a deeper look at what we can see through the camo and what we can expect when Renault does lift camo off of this sporty wagon.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Megane Sport Tourer.

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Renault-Nissan Plans Autonomous Drive Technology Assault For The Next 4 Years

Renault-Nissan Plans Autonomous Drive Technology Assault For The Next 4 Years

Like electric vehicles, autonomous driving technology has grown quite impressively since its initial introduction to the world. Now every manufacturer is in a hurry to develop and produce the next best level of autonomous technology. Now

Renault

Nissan has announced that it is about to flood the market in full force, promising to hit a goal of launching more than ten different vehicles with autonomous capabilities in the next four years, with the primary markets being the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China.

The goal is to include this technology with mainstream cars without increasing the price to the point that the cars are unaffordable. Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan’s chairman and CEO said, “Renault-Nissan Alliance is deeply committed to the twin goals of ’zero emissions and zero fatalities. That’s why we are developing autonomous driving and connectivity for mass-market, mainstream vehicles on three continents.”

Reducing Fatalities and Emissions has been a huge success for the Alliance so far, with almost 300,000 all electric vehicles sold in the last six years, and a drastic drop in fatal and serious accidents in Nissan and Renault vehicles. Sometime this year, the alliance plans to improve on that success by introducing “single-lane” control – an autonomous feature that should bring autonomous highway driving to the masses.

The technology will allow cars to navigate within one lane and automatically steer around bends, while controlling the throttle and brakes automatically to accommodate changes in traffic. Come 2018, “multiple-lane control” should allow Renault and Nissan cars to change lanes and negotiate traffic even better. One 2020 hits, the alliance plans to debut “intersection autonomy” that will allow properly equipped cars to navigate through cities and heavy traffic without the need for driver input.

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2017 Renault Grand Captur

2017 Renault Grand Captur

We first saw the Captur Concept at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, then in 2013, Renault gave us the production-ready Captur at the same show. The car went on sale in France shortly thereafter and has been produced ever since. Because it’s so new, it’s not surprising we haven’t seen a facelifted model yet, but our spy photographers recently caught a Renault prototype testing under heavy camo, and we have reason to believe it’s the new Grand Captur.

According to our sources, Renault insiders have confirmed that a longer-wheelbase Captur is in the pipeline. With that information and these spy shots, it’s evident we’re getting a first look at that new model. As you can see, the car in camo has a lot of the same design cues as the current Captur, but it’s clearly bigger. Given the fact the car is already this far into testing, we could see it in showrooms for the 2017 model year – about the same time we expect to see the facelifted Captur.

So, let’s quit wasting time and take a look at the Captur’s younger (but larger) brother.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Renault Grand Captur.

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After The Sports Car, Alpine Considers Building A SUV

After The Sports Car, Alpine Considers Building A SUV

We’ve been waiting for a long time for the debut of Renault’s new 2016 Renault Alpine sports car. The global financial crisis in 2009 caused a major delay in the revival of Alpine. In 2012 we were blessed by the 2012 Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept, and by the time we hit the middle of 2013, it was announced that Alpine planned to follow the footsteps of Porsche with a 911-type vehicle. We thought we would see the new sports car in 2015, but that was delayed due to design issuess, at which point it was assumed it would debut sometime next year. Finally, just two months ago, we learned that to make the “perfect sports car” its delay would yet again be set back to 2017. Now some new information has surfaced, and if you’re a fan of the Alpine brand from the past, you’ll be delighted to hear it.

This time I’m not reporting about another setback, but instead I’m here to tell you about future plans to introduce a second road-going Alpine model by 2018. This new model will be Alpine’s first foray into the SUV or crossover market, and speculation has it that the move to make an SUV was likely inspired by Nissan’s mission to morph its Z line into a sports crossover. Very few details have been released about the future SUV, but our sources indicate that its development is moving along ahead of schedule. Will the new sports car be a success? Will we see a new SUV or crossover from the Alpine line as planned? Only time will tell, but keep reading to see what I think we’ll see in the coming years.

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Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance Will Bring Compact Cars For Mercedes And Infiniti

Daimler and Renault-Nissan Alliance Will Bring Compact Cars For Mercedes And Infiniti

Five years after establishing a strategic cooperation, Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, and the Renault-Nissan Alliance have announced a joint effort to build a new manufacturing facility in Aguascalientes, in central Mexico.

The new collaborative effort, dubbed COMPAS (Cooperation Manufacturing Plant Aguascalientes) will be owned 50/50 between Daimler and Nissan, with the partnered companies investing $1 billion total toward its completion and operation.

The new facility will be located close to Nissan’s Aguascalientes A2 plant, which was built over two decades ago, and will come with an initial annual production capacity of 230,000 units, creating an estimated 3,600 jobs by 2020. According to a press release, the plant may see increased capacity in the future if demand and market development warrant (previous reports indicated figures of up to 300,000 vehicles per year, with 5,700 employees).

The plant will see the first production of Infiniti vehicles in 2017, and Mercedes vehicles in 2018. The companies refrained from stating exactly which models will be built at the new plant, but previous reports indicate the next-gen Mercedes GLA compact SUV and new Infiniti models are on the docket.

Daimler and Nissan will also produce the next-gen premium compacts at other locations around the world, such as Europe and China.

It was announced in June of last year that Daimler and Nissan would work together to create the next-generation of premium compacts for both brands, cooperating closely at each stage of the development process.

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2017 Renault Alpine Mule Caught Testing: Spy Shots

2017 Renault Alpine Mule Caught Testing: Spy Shots

Our intrepid snappers recently caught what we believe to be a 2016 Renault Alpine test mule doing its best impression of a 2012-2015 Lotus Exige S. While we can’t draw many conclusions about the Alpine’s final shape from this heavily camouflaged prototype, we can say with utmost certainty that the bulbous rear bumper is definitely not a stock Exige item. That and the vents in the lower portion of the blacked-out rear window indicate the Alpine could have a rear-engine layout like its ancestors.

What engine will be back there is somewhat of a mystery, but we have previously speculated that it will be the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the 2014 Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy.. It’s compact enough to fit behind the rear axle and light enough to not negatively impact weight distribution. It produces 271 horsepower in its hot-hatch application, but it’s mooted to produce around 300 horsepower for the Alpine. Either that or a newly developed 1.8-liter with up to 296 horsepower.

Renault unveiled a concept version of the new Alpine, called the 2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, but we also recently put together a rendering of what we think the final product will look like. The 1961-1973 Alpine A110 built between 1961 and 1977 is a clear influence, but it’s not overtly retro. Like the A110, it will have integrated fog lamps in the front bumper, compact dimensions and a sporty fastback profile that flows seamlessly into the rear.

Also like the A110, low mass is likely to be a priority. Expect a sub-2,400-pound weight, which should help provide exceptional agility and acceleration. This is one we’re really looking forward too.

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Renault Alpine Pushed Back To 2017 Because It Needs To Be Perfect

Renault Alpine Pushed Back To 2017 Because It Needs To Be Perfect

Delayed several times due to development drawbacks and the unexpected split with Caterham, Alpine’s first modern-day sports car and the brand’s revival could still be 18 months away. Originally scheduled to arrive in 2016, Alpine’s first car in 20 years is now being pushed into 2017. The news comes straight from Alpine boss Bernard Ollivier, who told Motoring that the launch has been delayed yet again, so the French can be sure that the vehicle will be "absolutely perfect."

Ollivier argues that the new Alpine is more than just a car, as it will also mark the relaunch of the brand. That said, he made it clear that the production version of the 2015 Renault-Alpine Celebration Concept won’t arrive before 2017.

"We will have only one shot; one shot because when we launch this design, we are not launching one car, we have to launch one car and [the] Alpine [brand]. The future of Alpine is based on this car. So we have only objective today – the success of this [first] car," he said.

"[But] Sorry, the date cannot be before [2017] clearly... And if we need some more [time] to realize the success of the car, we’ll take it. The main point is to be sure our car will be absolutely perfect," Ollivier added.

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Renault Alpine Could Get New, 296-Horsepower 1.8 Turbo

Renault Alpine Could Get New, 296-Horsepower 1.8 Turbo

Renault’s upcoming Alpine sports car will reportedly use a newly developed turbocharged, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine offered with three outputs. That’s the word from Automotivpress, which claims the new powerplant, developed by Renault and Nissan, is derived from the 1.6-liter unit currently available in the 2013 Renault Clio RS.

According to the report, the base model will get a version tuned to crank out 250 PS (246 horsepower), while the mid-range engine will deliver 275 PS (271 horses). The most powerful Alpine will hit dealerships with 300 PS (296 horsepower), as well as different cylinder heads, a revised cooling system, and optimized engine mapping.

The French outlet also claims the Alpine will get its very own transmission in the form of a bespoke dual-clutch unit. Whether this new EDC will be shared with other models remains unknown, but it seems the Alpine won’t be the only vehicle to use the new 1.8-liter four-banger. This unit will also find its way into the upcoming Megane RS, as well as in Nissan’s future Golf GTI competitor, the Pulsar Nismo.

As previously announced, the first Alpine of the 21st century will arrive for the 2016 model year. However, it’s not yet clear whether Renault plans to sell it in the U.S. What I do know for a fact is that the production version will borrow most of its styling from the 2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept launched ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Renault Alpine Concept Car Will Be Unveiled This Saturday

Renault Alpine Concept Car Will Be Unveiled This Saturday

After 20 years of collecting dust, it appears as though the Alpine name, Renault’s famed racing and sports car subsidiary, will get a reboot at the launch of the 24 Hours of Le Mans this Saturday. The speculation stems from a cryptic countdown that announces “a beautiful surprise” to be revealed on June 13th as part of a celebration of “Alpine’s 60th birthday.”

That surprise is most likely a near-production concept of the new mid/rear-engine, two-seat coupe Renault has in store to rival the Audi TT, Porsche Boxster, and Alfa Romeo 4C. It’s allegedly called the AS1 (Alpine Sport 1), and the final road-going car is expected to bring with it a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine churning out 250 horsepower. Curb weight should be less than 2,500 pounds. 

According to Automotive News Europe, the AS1 will most likely source a variety of technologies from Renault’s partners, Daimler and Nissan. Production is slated to begin at the end of 2016 with 3,000 units per year, bumped to 5,000 units annually if demand is high enough. Asking price would be in the 30,000 to 35,000 euro range ($33,857 to $39,499 at current exchange rates, 2015). 

This teaser should come as a relief to fans of the legendary make, as the Alpine revival has undergone a number of ups and downs thus far. The revival first got underway in 2012, when Renault and British sports-car maker Caterham teamed up to develop the new coupe. However, the collaboration ended last year, when the two manufacturers split over financial issues. Caterham is reportedly still working on its own version of the car.

The split followed the departure of Carlos Tavares, the project’s primary supporter, who left Renault as COO in 2013 to become CEO at Peugeot. However, Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn approved a brand investment of 600 million euros earlier this year, reportedly enabling the Alpine preview to go forward. 

Official details should be revealed over the weekend.

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2015 Renault KWID

2015 Renault KWID

In a move intended to consolidate its position in India and abroad, French automaker Renault will offer its new Kwid compact crossover as an affordable city car with SUV-like exterior styling, fuel-efficient drivetrain, and segment-beating interior appointments. The Kwid debuts the new CMF-A modular architecture, a joint offering from Renault and Nissan, and promises versatility and tons of features for very little outlay.

The Kwid is the latest step in Renault’s effort to grow its presence in international markets: “With Kwid, Renault continues to pursue its strategy of accessible mobility for all to step up its international growth. Using a new Renault-Nissan Alliance platform and following the trail blazed by the Duster, the Kwid will enable Renault to continue its expansion and address the needs of customers who want a vehicle that is stylish, robust and easy to use,” said Renault chief exec Carlos Ghosn.

Created specifically to meet the needs of the Indian marketplace, the Kwid will join the Fluence, Koleos, Pulse, Duster and Scala as the sixth new model in Renault’s expanding presence in the country. So far, the strategy seems to be working: Renault sold almost 45,000 vehicles in India last year, up from the 1,500 sold in 2011. “In the space of just a few years, Renault has made greater gains in terms of recognition and visibility than rival brands present in India for 10 years,” Renault boasts in a press release.

Read on to find out how the make plans to extend this track record of success.

Continue reading to learn more about the Renault KWID.

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Renault Prepares Audi TT Competitor

Renault Prepares Audi TT Competitor

After two decades on the shelf, it looks as though Renault is reviving its racing and sports car subsidiary Alpine with a mid/rear-engine coupe designed to take on the Audi TT and Porsche Boxster. As a prologue to an upcoming production version, the French automaker may bring an Alpine concept to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race scheduled to take place next month.

French publication Challenges is reporting that Renault could go forward with the preview now that CEO Carlos Ghosn has approved a brand investment of some 600 million euros.

The final production car is expected to boast an output of 250 horsepower and cost somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 euros ($34,058 and $39,735 at current exchange rates, 2015). Citing an unidentified source involved with the sports car’s development, Automotive News Europe is reporting the new Alpine will be lightweight and source several technologies through Renault’s corporate partners of Nissan and Daimler. Production is scheduled to begin at the end of 2016, with 3,000 units rolling out annually, up to 5,000 per year if demand dictates.

So far, the Alpine restoration has suffered several setbacks, first when Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares, the project’s primary supporter, moved to Peugeot as CEO in 2013, then again last year, when Renault ended a partnership with Caterham to develop the Alpine over financing issues.

Meanwhile, Renault remains tight-lipped, declining to comment on the Challenges report.

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Alpine Planning Sports Car Family And SUV

Alpine Planning Sports Car Family And SUV

Newly reestablished automobile brand Alpine (not to be confused with Alpina) hasn’t launched a new product in more than two decades, but the French are already pondering an entire family of sports cars, as well as an SUV. That’s the word from Renault executive vice president Bruno Ancelin, who hinted that the Alpine badge could be used to enable Renault to compete with premium manufacturers such as Audi and Porsche. Now that’s a mighty big plan for a firm as small as Alpine!

Although Ancelin refused to elaborate on the matter, he did say Alpine will turn to alliance members Nissan and Daimler for know-how. As for establishing a full lineup of sports cars, the project is still in its infancy, as Alpine has yet to determine its priorities in the market and which new products would make sense financially. What’s truly relevant right now from Ancelin’s statement is that Alpine’s first sports car, due in 2016 for the 2017 model year, will be called the AS1, which stands for Alpine Sport 1.

"We are working on the first car, and out of the first car we are working on the line-up. So model number one, which we call the AS1 – Alpine Sport 1– we need to see further and [then we’ll] look to the complementary models we will have in the line-up," he told Auto Express.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Renault Alpine models.

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