Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Renault

Renault Ondelios concept

Renault has placed the emphasis on style, interior space and long-haul comfort in its new luxury crossover concept offering which is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. The 15.7 feet (4.8 m) long, 5.2 feet (1.6 m) high Ondelios - the name being an amalgam of the French 'onde' (wave) and 'helios' (the Greek god of the sun) - is powered by a by a hybrid system combining a 205hp (150kW) version of the 2.0 dCi engine with two 20kW electric motors at the front and rear which give it the capability of a 4WD vehicle. The initial pics reveal the standout elements of the design - a striking inset aluminum-finish grille, inwardly curved tail lights, seven-spoke, 23-inch aluminum alloy wheels and butterfly-style side doors hinged to the roof to enable easy access to the three rows of seats. There's also plenty of technological goodies on show including a collaboration with Samsung that lets the driver use a cell phone to unlock the door and engage personal settings like seat-adjustment and music.  Read More

Electronic four-wheel steering from Renault

April 9, 2008 Renault is set to introduce its new electronically-controlled Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering next month in new GT versions of the Laguna Hatch and Sport Tourer. Four-wheel steering systems of the 1980s were essentially mechanical, with the wheels linked at pre-determined angles to make up for a vehicle's tendency to understeer. Such systems were gradually superseded by the advent of ESP. In recent times some manufacturers have begun developing electrically- and even hydraulically-operated actuators, enabling handling to be fine-tuned even further.  Read More

A new type of car door? – the dragonfly wing

The common car door has seen many designs in the century-long history of the automobile, with distinctive looks such as the gullwing, scissor, suicide and butterfly each conjuring a landmark car. Now Renault has a new variation and perhaps a new landmark car - its Megane Coupe Concept showcar released in Geneva last night, has twin, two-part “dragonfly wing” doors. The quite beautiful design - which will form the basis of an upcoming model - also incorporates a wide array of technological features including mobile-phone operated ignition and door locks, plus four-zone climate control, touch-screen multi-media players and ‘stop and start’ system.  Read More

Renault's eco² at the Challenge Bibendium

The Logan Renault eco² Concept has achieved emissions of 71g/km while traveling a distance of 172.2km on just 4.69 litres of biodiesel at the 2007 Challenge Bibendum in Shanghai – an event created by Michelin in 1998 that promotes sustainable transport and the development of fuel-efficient, clean automotive technology. In NEDC combined cycle homologation tests for the eco² it achieved a result of 97g CO2/km and finished second out of 74 vehicles in a combined criteria test involving an acceleration test, a slalom test, noise emissions and a regularity run. To put the emissions results in perspective, a compact diesel achieves around 130g CO2/km and the exceptionally green smart fortwo diesel comes in at 88 grams of CO2 per kilometer.  Read More

Laguna Coupé Concept

September 11, 2007 Described as embodying Renault’s vision of a top-of-the-range grand tourer Coupé, the Laguna Coupé Concept strives to exude a mix of power and refinement through its flowing profile, long-nose and very short rear overhang backed by a newly developed 170-195kW (230-265hp) V6 dCi powertrain and Four-wheel Active Drive chassis.  Read More

Renault’s Twingo communicating city car concept

October 2, 2006 After previewing its spectacular Nepta Concept with motor-driven gull wing doors in the weeks leading up to the Paris Show, we figured Renault had played all its cards, but we were very wrong. At the opening of the show, Renault trotted out the youth-culture-inspired Twingo Concept, the most wired and desirable city car we’ve yet seen. The centre console features a USB port as well as sockets for devices like an Apple iPod and the Nokia Smartphone. A mixing deck built into the dashboard is ideal for partying with friends. The tiny city car is no slouch – powered by a turbocharged 1.2-litre engine delivering 73kW (100hp), the Twingo combines efficiency, response, power and environmental friendliness.  Read More

Renault Nepta joins Citroen C-Metisse in the French Ballet of the doors

September 8, 2006 Paris is renowned for the beauty of its springtime, but in autumn the spectacular sites around the beautiful capital are enhanced by the French automotive industry showcase, the Paris Motor Show. And this year the French have debuted some spectacularly elegant egress solutions offering doors that open in new ways. Yesterday we ran news of Citroen’s C-Metisse Concept – a diesel-electric, 4-seater coupe with a spectacular four door ballet command performance when the doors open to present the passengers to the pavement - the front doors open gull-wing style while the rear doors spin round. Now comes Renault’s Nepta concept car, a four-seater cabriolet with an equally dramatic and elegant egress solution in the form of motor-driven gull wing doors that open to reveal the interior and the engine. The doors pivot so high that they are fitted with electronic obstacle detectors. As is befitting the current F1 championship status of Renault, the Nepta is seriously fast with a 3.5-liter V6 powering a seven-speed automatic gearbox via F1-style steering flick-shift. The 420hp direct injection petrol engine combines outstanding performance, with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.  Read More

Renault presents research into fuel cells

June 14, 2006 Renault will be presenting the progress it has made in fuel cell research at the 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Lyons, France this week. The presentations will illustrate Renault's decision to opt for vehicles powered by fuel cells with reformers in order to apply hydrogen energy to the automobile. This technology directly produces the hydrogen on demand and on board the vehicle, solving the problem of very high-pressure or cryogenic storage. Since 2002, Renault, Nissan and Nuvera Fuel Cells have been working together on this solution, which can be used immediately, without waiting for a hydrogen distribution network to be established.  Read More

F1 Round 3: Renault F1 streets the field again in Melbourne

April 3, 2006 Reigning World F1 champion Fernando Alonso may be beginning to rue his decision to move to McLaren next year as the Renault F1 team again displayed complete dominance in yesterday’s third round of the Formula One World Championship in Melbourne. Alonso took his tenth career victory after starting from third position on the grid in an action-packed race which featured no fewer than four safety car periods. The Spaniard took the lead on lap 4 at the end of the first safety car period, in a perfectly-judged manoeuvre on pole-sitter Jenson Button’s Honda, and only relinquished it briefly during the first round of pit-stops. It was not so much the win that was scarey about the Renault peroformance – it was the ease with which Alonso drove away from the best of the rest whenever the safety car pulled off the track – the advantage is so great that Renault’s world championship already looks safe. Giancarlo Fisichella was forced to start from the pit-lane after his R26 stalled on the grid, but a determined, forceful drive saw him claim fifth position right on the line, overtaking Button’s stricken Honda on the finishing straight. The result leaves the Renault F1 Team with a nineteen point championship lead over its nearest rival, and Alonso leads the individual title by 14 points from his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.  Read More

Renault F1 takes 1-2 in round 2 and rockets to championship favoritism

March 20, 2006 A day can make a big difference in any form of sport, but perhaps none as pronounced as in Motorsport. Just a week ago, in the first round of the championship, the rule changes that will define a new era in Formula One appeared to have levelled the competitiveness of the field. Renewed pace from Ferrari, reliability from McLaren and Honda, and promise from Williams and BMW looked to have made for a season of intruige and a broadly contested title. But following the application of the Malaysian blowtorch, Renault now appears set to successfully defend its Formula One dual crown. The French team that gave Fernando Alonso his first Formula One crown last year has already demonstrated in 2006 that it has the speed and the reliability to run two cars at the front all year and yesterday was the first one-two for the blue and gold since Renault returned to the sport as a works manufacturer in the 2002 season and only its second in history. It was a day for technology too as Ferrari debuted a new brake cooling drum (technical details here) - an evolution of similar devices seen on cars last year, but Ferrari have taken it to its extreme. The cooling drum not only covers the brake disc and calliper, preventing heat being transferred to the wheel rim, it also completely fills the space inside the wheel rim, not only improving brake cooling, but also dramatically reducing the vortices generated by the rotation of the wheels, hence making this area more aerodynamically efficient. Other news included the coolest new helmet for some members of the Renault pit-crew and young lion Nico Rosberg who was once again the talk of the paddock with third fastest in qualifying before an engine failure wrecked his race.  Read More

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