Teased: Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault, Design/Style, Luxury

Renault 2013 Frankfurt concept car teaser

Nobody does ‘premium’ like Renault – and we do mean nobody. The French automaker has thrown all manner of projectiles at Europe’s luxury car market dartboard over the years, including the left-field Vel Satis and Avantime ‘coupe’ of the 2000s – models that looked more like MPVs than traditional premium cars. Today, Renault still offers its po-faced Latitude sedan, but the badge-engineered Korean Samsung SM5 hasn’t caught on – even among Francophiles. In fact, the whole idea of French luxury is almost nonexistent in today’s marketplace, with the Citroën C6 having recently gone out of production.

But judging by this teaser photo for next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault may not be willing to cede the upper end of the market just yet. Along with the tightly cropped image of the headlamp above, Renault has issued a statement saying it will unveil a “new concept car which embodies its vision of Premium motoring.”

There’s no further details to go on, other than a statement saying this is the “latest opus in Renault Design’s lifecycle-based series of concept cars,” all of which will be displayed at the show. That grouping of six showcars, we might add, was designed under Laurens van den Acker’s leadership, with such notables as the stunning 2010 DeZir coupe and scissor-doored Captur concept of 2011. Whatever this unnamed concept turns out to be, we’re guessing it’ll be unmissable.

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Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Teased: Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Filed under: Concept Cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault, Design/Style, Luxury

Renault 2013 Frankfurt concept car teaser

Nobody does ‘premium’ like Renault – and we do mean nobody. The French automaker has thrown all manner of projectiles at Europe’s luxury car market dartboard over the years, including the left-field Vel Satis and Avantime ‘coupe’ of the 2000s – models that looked more like MPVs than traditional premium cars. Today, Renault still offers its po-faced Latitude sedan, but the badge-engineered Korean Samsung SM5 hasn’t caught on – even among Francophiles. In fact, the whole idea of French luxury is almost nonexistent in today’s marketplace, with the Citroën C6 having recently gone out of production.

But judging by this teaser photo for next week’s Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault may not be willing to cede the upper end of the market just yet. Along with the tightly cropped image of the headlamp above, Renault has issued a statement saying it will unveil a “new concept car which embodies its vision of Premium motoring.”

There’s no further details to go on, other than a statement saying this is the “latest opus in Renault Design’s lifecycle-based series of concept cars,” all of which will be displayed at the show. That grouping of six showcars, we might add, was designed under Laurens van den Acker’s leadership, with such notables as the stunning 2010 DeZir coupe and scissor-doored Captur concept of 2011. Whatever this unnamed concept turns out to be, we’re guessing it’ll be unmissable.

Continue reading Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept

Renault teases ‘premium’ Frankfurt concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger

Filed under: Concept Cars, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Renault

We’re a little tardy in getting to this, but the engine notes will make up for the delay. When Renault revealed the Twin’Run concept at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix earlier this Summer, it didn’t reveal much of the engine note. This was an appalling shame, since the not-road-legal Renault 5 revival had a mid-mounted, race-tuned Nissan V6 that could soar to a practically unsilenced 7,000 rpm.

A few members of the auto journo cabal have corrected that, Top Gear being one of them by including the Twin’Run in its Speed Week festivities. Calling it “deafening, smelly, brilliant,” the verdict of Sam Phillip was that it “makes every car on Top Gear’s Speed Week… feel as woolly and distant as a tumble-dried sheep.” Them’s pointed words when “every other car” includes metal like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series.

You’ll can check out Top Gear‘s run around the Charade Circuit in France below. We’ve also included a longer clip of the Twin’Run doing some dynamic testing (worth it for the 360-degree-stunt alone), and an in-depth piece from Autoweek Holland.

Continue reading Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger

Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault promises new concept car and Dacia Duster in Frankfurt

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault

Dacia Duster front three-quarter

Renault and Dacia will be headed to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in a big way, with a new concept car from the French company and an all-new Duster from its Romanian budget brand. The new concept is particularly exciting, as Renault’s press release mentions a “new brand identity.” We can also count on this car being a bit higher on the luxury scale than Renault’s traditional offerings.

Dacia’s new Duster will have big shoes to fill when it hits the spotlights of Frankfurt. The current Duster (pictured), a small, handsomely rugged CUV, was introduced in 2010, and has been a critical hit in Great Britain, Russia, and India (where it’s called the Renault Duster). It’s also been a smash with customers, becoming Renault’s best-selling global model.

Both the new Duster and Renault’s latest concept will hit the stage in Frankfurt on September 10.

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Renault promises new concept car and Dacia Duster in Frankfurt originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

Filed under: Car Buying, Nissan, Renault, Electric

2013 Nissan Leaf - maroon - front three-quarter view

The electric vehicle has gone gold at Renault-Nissan, clocking 100,000 sales in a three-year period that began with the first Nissan Leaf being sold in Silicon Valley, California in 2010. Since then, the Leaf has become the EV champion of the world, selling more than 71,000 units so far, the majority of those in the US. The 100,000th EV sold by the Alliance was also a Leaf and also sold in the US, but on the other side of the country, in Georgia.

By comparison, Renault has sold 30,000 electric vehicles since late 2011, looking after other segments of the EV market with the Kangoo Z.E., Zoe, Twizy and Fluence Z.E. The alliance estimates that its efforts have been driven 5.2 million ion-powered miles and saved 14 million gallons of oil since they appeared. For a bit of sobering context, the US averaged 18.83 million barrels of oil per day in 2011, which is almost 791 million gallons. Per day.

So we’re getting there, albeit slowly. Quietly. There’s a press release and a video below with more details on the achievement.

Continue reading Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video]

Renault-Nissan zero-emissions car sales whir past 100,000 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Renault Alpine mule captured wearing Lotus duds

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Renault

Renault Alpine mule caught on test track - front three-quarter view

A curious, heavily modified Lotus Exige has been spotted lapping the Nürburgring, and, to hear our spy shooters tell it, the car is actually a disguised Renault Alpine A110-50 out chassis testing with Swedish suspension company Öhlins. It was spotted in the company of several key performance cars from Renault Sport, including the Megane RS and Clio. These spy photos confirm that Renault is serious about making the Alpine a production reality and suggests that it needed more than its alliance with Nissan to help foot the development bills.

Caterham became Renault’s partner in this venture last year, and rumors have suggested that this Lotus-disguised Alpine will be mid-engined, with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine offering about 1.6 liters of displacement and making around 270 horsepower.

We have reported in the past that Renault, Infiniti and Lotus were developing a gas-electric hybrid together, and the Renault version could become the Alpine (with Lotus building the production versions of all three cars), but we don’t truly know what the future holds for Renault’s reborn performance division.

Got all that? Neither do we, so we’re going to sit tight and see where the chips fall, but we’ll be sure to let you know when that happens.

Renault Alpine mule captured wearing Lotus duds originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault Twizy Cargo is an EV and shopping cart in one

Filed under: Coupe, Europe, Renault, Design/Style, Electric

​Renault Twizy Cargo EV - bakery service

Renault Twizy Cargo EV - cargo doorWe’ve always maintained a quiet appreciation for Europe’s appreciation for small cargo conversions – panel-back versions of small passenger cars like the Opel Astra, Ford Fiesta and such. They might not be able to hold great volumes, but for light-duty nimble urban schlepping on the cheap, we can see the value. Here in North America, smaller commercial conversions like the Chevrolet HHR Panel and even the larger Ram C/V have gone largely unappreciated, but that’s due to any number of factors – cheaper fuel, more road space, etc.

But even then, it takes some thoughtful head-scratching to appreciate this new Twizy Cargo EV from Renault. No, it’s not the Twizy’s downed helicopter fuselage shape. While it’s a bit zany, we can see why the single-seat electric quadcycle might be desirable in Europe for things like postal service duty and small delivery operations (pizza, anyone?), particularly along narrow cobblestone streets where a larger size can be a major disadvantage. While the standard Twizy features a two-seat tandem arrangement, Twizy Cargo eschews a spot for passengers in favor of a lockable, watertight trunk with 6.3 cubic feet of storage, about a cube larger than the trunk in a 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata.

The Twizy Cargo EV will be available in two basic formulas, one with a 5-horsepower electric motor, and the other with 17 hp – the former is limited to just 45 kilometers per hour (28 mph) and the latter can zoom up to 80 kph (50 mph). Renault claims “real range” works out to about 50 miles in eco-minded driving and 30 miles or so under “extreme conditions.” That all sounds fair enough for a dedicated urban center vehicle, but the pricing gives us pause: the Twizy Cargo will start at 8,080 euro including taxes (around $10,500 USD), which means this runabout is priced higher than many larger, more traditional vehicles offering similar cargo space along with more seats. Scroll down for the official press release.

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Renault Twizy Cargo is an EV and shopping cart in one originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Renault-Nissan debuts new Common Module Family for future vehicles

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Technology, Nissan, Renault

Renault-Nissan Alliance's Common Module Family platform - exploded parts diagram view

Platform sharing is nothing new for the 14-year-old Renault-Nissan Alliance, but this partnership is set to introduce new modular platform components that will eventually underpin 11 Renault models and three Nissan vehicles by 2020. Rather than being a typical platform, the Common Module Family (CMF) actually represents five segments of a platform that can be used in various applications, and one of the first vehicles to use this architecture will be the 2014 Nissan Rogue (spy shots of which are shown below) when it arrives “in late 2013.”

As pictured in the image above (click to expand), CMF is composed of four chassis component, principally the front underbody, rear underbody, engine bay and cockpit as well as a common electrical system. Besides the next-gen Rogue, future Nissan models to share CMF will include the Qashqai and X-Trail, while Renault models will start using the platform next year on vehicles including the Scénic and Laguna. The CMF architecture is expected to help the Alliance reduce the parts cost of a vehicle by up to 30 percent and reduce the entry cost by up to 40 percent. The official press release with more details about CMF, and what it means for Renault-Nissan, is posted below.

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Renault-Nissan debuts new Common Module Family for future vehicles originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Jun 2013 10:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Nissan Americas’ Tavares becomes Renault COO on heels of spy scandal

Filed under: Europe, Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Nissan, Renault

Carlos TavarasRenault has a new chief operating officer. Carlos Tavares, formerly the Chief Executive Officer for Nissan Americas, will now fill the void left by former Renault COO Patrick Pelata. Pelata left the French automaker amid a botched spy scandal investigation that saw a rash of Renault executives lose their positions. Taveres has a long history with Renault, having served with the company for 24 years before being assigned to the U.S. with Nissan Americas in 2003. His move back to Renault has been rumored for some time and the company hopes that its new executive can help point sales in a better direction.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Tavares’ old role will be handled by many hands. Colin Dodge will serve as chairman of the Americas in addition to retaining his title as Executive Vice President, Chief Performance Officer and Chairman of Nissan operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. Dodge will be joined by Bill Krueger, who will now take up the mantle of Vice Chairman.

Krueger previously served as the Head of Manufacturing, Purchasing and Supply Chain Management for Nissan. TheDetroitBureau.com reports that Krueger will move farther up the chain should he be able to prove himself in his new role. Click past the break for a look at the full press release.

Continue reading Nissan Americas’ Tavares becomes Renault COO on heels of spy scandal

Nissan Americas’ Tavares becomes Renault COO on heels of spy scandal originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 May 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Renault and Nissan imagine a world where gas powers everything

Filed under: Hybrid, Sedan, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Hatchback, Chevrolet, GM, Nissan, Renault, Electric

Nissan gas-powered everything

Nissan’s “Gas Powered Everything” ad – Click above to watch the videos after the jump

What would the world be like if everything were powered by gasoline?

Renault-Nissan has kicked off a massive advertising campaign intended to highlight the advanced technology of electric vehicles with the debut of a pair of videos that bang home the point that consumers depend upon electricity to power items used everyday and that using gasoline is, in some instances, utterly ridiculous.

In one spot, a middle-aged man wakes up for work to the burning whistle of his gas-powered alarm clock and with a few fierce tugs at his coffee maker’s rip cord, manages to fire up the gas-gulping machine. That same man, while at the office, walks up to a miniature gas pump to refuel his laptop computer.

Oh, and the owner of a Chevrolet Volt, while standing at the gas pump refueling his plug-in hybrid, watches in envy as another man across the street unplugs his Nissan Leaf and drives off as onlookers watch in amazement. Yep, that’s how Nissan sees the world if “Gas Powered Everything.”

Since the videos are, in our humble opinion, absolutely hilarious, we’ll refrain from revealing too much. Hit the jump to view the clips clip. Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Continue reading Renault and Nissan imagine a world where gas powers everything

Renault and Nissan imagine a world where gas powers everything originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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