Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Renault

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

Formula One season gets underway - Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Honda on the pace

March 13, 2006 The 2006 Formula 1 season erupted to life yesterday with strong indications that four teams will contest the win at each Grand Prix, and three, maybe four drivers will contest the title. 2006 champion Fernando Alonso won the race narrowly in his Renault but it was the renewed pace of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher that gave everyone heart, with an all red front row on the grid for the first time since the 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix as the Scuderia Ferrari driver equalled the record of 65 pole positions set by the late Ayrton Senna. The performance of the day though was that of Kimi Raikkonen who drove through the field from dead last in his McLaren Mercedes to take third. Honda’s 2006 challenge appears credible after a year from hell in 2005, with Jenson Button missing the podium by just six tenths of a second. Finally, the first race performance of seventh place by Nico Rosberg (son of Keke) was a ripper, particularly considering the rookie cut the fastest lap of the race in a Williams Cosworth which was nowhere near the fastest car.  Read More

Renault Altica sporty estate concept car

February 4, 2006 Renault has taken the wraps off its latest concept car, Altica, a sporty estate car with a spacious interior. Described by Renault's Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, Patrick le Quement, as “a successful balance between flowing and sporty lines,” the Altica is designed to combine the practicality of an estate car, the sports appeal of a coupe and a high standard of travelling comfort. The interior of the car is where most of the advanced concepts are employed, with a suspended drive station held in place by four profiled rods that hint at the world of Formula 1. Similarly, the seats are fixed, and the drive station and pedal assembly adjust to match the driver's physique via a motorized mechanism. Altica's sports pedigree is reinforced by its scissor doors, the form of which ensures easy access to this low vehicle.  Read More

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