August 22, 2008

Renault: A Breath of French Air

By Ian Johnson

THERE is a breath of French air around this September with a raft of new models from Renault.

The maker's latest addition to its hot hatch family is the Twingo Renaultsport 133.

The tweaked Twingo comes with Renaultsport chassis and steering tuning as standard, ensuring it offers optimum performance and handling.

There is no wait necessary for the Cup chassis either as Renault Sport Technologies has developed this for Twingo from launch, along with a new 1.6 naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre VVT engine delivering 133hp at 6,750rpm.

Also ready to roll soon is the all-new Kangoo, which goes on sale next spring.

Launched in 1997, the original Kangoo's affable, expressive style revolutionised the leisure utility vehicle sector. Roomy and versatile, it has been a phenomenal success, selling more than 2,200,000 in 10 years. New Kangoo features even better practicality and interior space, with an all-new design giving it a fresh, modern look.

Renault's new 4x4 crossover, the Koleos, has just gone on sale priced from pounds 17,995. And with long-standing MPV experience combined with 4x4 technology already proved on current models from partner company Nissan, the Koleos benefits from plenty of expertise.

The Koleos is Renault's first entry into the growing crossover segment, with MPV levels of comfort and interior space combined with robust exterior styling and genuine off-road ability. Also new is the Clio Sport Tourer, which offers competitive pricing from pounds 12,095, impressive standard equipment, innovative features, greater load space and practicality, combined with all the style and exterior good looks the Clio is renowned for. The estate version is compact without compromising on interior space.

Ideal for customers who need the space and practicality of an estate car, but still want sporty and up-to-date looks, the Clio Sport Tourer has 50% more boot space than the Clio and is just pounds 850 more than the Clio five-door.

The Laguna GT, priced from pounds 21,050 for the hatch and pounds 22,00 for the estate, introduces the new 4Control chassis with four- wheel steering, developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies to give additional feedback, handling, dynamic response and steering precision.

The Grand Modus mini-MPV has a boot which is among the biggest in its class at 410 litres and its three-seat, sliding 60-40 split- folding rear seat, plus its bright, functional cabin and wealth of smart storage spaces make it absolutely family friendly.

It's priced from pounds 10,270.

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