Friday, May 30, 2008

The New Renault Koleos












Renault is proud to present Koleos, its first ever 4x4 crossover. Ideal for escaping the everyday routine, Renault Koleos is comfortable, easy to drive and boasts genuine off-road ability. It has been designed to be versatile too, offering the same reassuring drive when motoring in and about town, on open roads and on motorways as it does when it is taken off the beaten track. Meanwhile, Koleos delivers the same standard of comfort as that expected of a hatchback, as well as cabin space worthy of a compact MPV.

Designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors' Busan plant in Korea, Renault Koleos is the fruit of extremely close collaboration between teams from each of these Renault-Nissan Alliance brands. Koleos will be on show at the Geneva Motor Show from March 4.

The launch of Renault Koleos marks a decisive step in the brand's development, not only in Europe but across the world. The release of its first 4x4 crossover is a sure sign that Renault has the capacity to take its own genuine stance and completely fresh approach in segments from which it has traditionally been absent. Renault Koleos offers a unique standard of safety and comfort, a parameter that has become a recognised Renault hallmark which is not only clear for all to see but also highly affordable.

Latest-generation powertrains

Renault Koleos will be available with two types of Alliance engines in the UK. The latest-generation 2.0 dCi Euro 4 diesel engine (M9R) is available in a choice of two power outputs, 150hp or 175hp. The engine has already been seen on Renault's M├ęgane, Laguna and Espace, Nissan's Qashqai and New X-Trail and Renault Samsung Motors' QM5. It features the very latest diesel engine technologies, including piezoelectric injectors, common-rail 1,600-bar fuel injection, a water-cooled variable-geometry turbo and a periodic regeneration particulate filter. The 2.0 dCi engine is available with a broad, useful rev band, with peak torque of either 320 or 360Nm (depending on version) available from low engine speeds. The dCi 150 can be ordered for either the 4x2 or 4x4 versions and mated with either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission. The 175hp version of the 2.0 dCi engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and all-wheel drive.

Comfort and space worthy of an MPV

Renault Koleos has everything required to travel in outstanding comfort, and particular attention has been paid to one of the most essential comfort-related preconditions: effective damping of both mechanical and road noise.

The dCi engine represents a benchmark in the domain of minimising vibrations and noise thanks to its balancer shafts and twin-mass flywheel damper. Meanwhile, road noise has been slashed thanks to a package of special features and soundproofing, including an acoustic windscreen and engine subframe filtering, as well as the presence of soundproofing materials between the engine compartment and cabin, under the floor and in the wheel arches. These solutions combine to give Renault Koleos a genuine edge on the acoustic comfort front.

Renault Koleos passengers are also pampered in terms of cabin space, including record headroom and kneeroom for front occupants in the SUV, 4x4 and crossover categories, while rear passengers benefit from a pleasing balance between vertical and transversal space. Given Koleos' contained overall length, access to both the front and rear seats is astonishingly easy, with ample room for legs and hips alike.

The Renault range has long boasted the biggest panoramic opening sunroofs available on the market and the Renault Koleos sunroof features a total, transparent glazed area of 0.75 square metres which is unmatched in the SUV and crossover market. For optimal thermal comfort, the high density-weave sunblind can be pulled shut to any position. The sunroof itself comes with an anti-pinch function and, thanks to the hands-free card, automatically closes if the driver walks away from the car. The combination of a brightly-lit cabin and the promise of wind-in-the-hair motoring with clear views of the sky overhead stand out as one of Renault Koleos' truly appealing features.

To ensure first class travelling comfort for all occupants, Koleos is equipped with an automatic dual-zone heating and climate control system that incorporates specific vents for the rear seats. The driver and front passenger can consequently select the cabin temperature of their choice, while rear passengers, who also benefit from sunblinds, can adjust ventilation using the control located at the rear of the centre console.

Music lovers will be won over by the comprehensive range of audio systems that are available for Renault Koleos, including a top-end system developed by Bose®. Specifically tailored to the acoustic properties of the cabin, it comprises a digital amplifier, seven loudspeakers and a woofer. The outstanding hi-fi quality means that occupants are able to profit from their favourite music whether it is delivered by the radio, the six-CD/MP3-compatabile multi-changer or an external source such as an iPod® connected to the fascia-mounted jack plug.

Driving pleasure is enhanced by an array of comfort-enhancing features, from the front and rear proximity sensors for easier parking to the automatic parking brake which is applied whenever the engine is switched off, and then automatically released when the engine is started. Renault Koleos can also be equipped with a Carminat Navigation and Communication system incorporating three functions: a GPS navigation system with 7-inch, 16/9 screen and DVD atlas, a radio and six-CD multichanger and controls for a hands-free Bluetooth® telephone. The controls for these functions are located within easy reach on the centre console.

For enhanced night-time vision, Koleos is available with bi-xenon headlamps and cornering lights. These additional lights illuminate the inside of corners, thereby permitting the driver to spot a possible hazard or obstacle much sooner. This feature vastly improves the field of vision in risk situations (junctions, corners) and consequently enhances night-time safety and driving comfort.

A new-generation automobile

Evolutions in consumer demand and the world's growing awareness of environmental issues have led carmakers to rethink their leisure vehicle line-ups. The traditional 4x4 vehicle, which tends not to be widely accepted by society, has come of age. As a consequence, so-called 'crossover' vehicles have been gaining ground in recent years.

The presence of SUV-type vehicles can be observed in all segments, in the same way that MPVs spread to other categories in the late '90s. Indeed, the notion of segment is no longer clear-cut in the minds of customers. Today, SUVs account for five per cent of the total market worldwide compared with less than one per cent 15 years ago.

The SUV/compact crossover market is constantly expanding in the top five Europe countries and strong growth in the past five years has seen all-makes sales double from 222,500 to 522,000 vehicles (see appendix). This trend can be observed across Europe: in a total market of approximately 15 million vehicles, the SUV/compact crossover category accounts for almost five per cent, with more than 700,000 vehicles of this type sold in 2007. The sector is extremely competitive, too, with 25 models available. The launch of Koleos, Company's first 4x4 crossover, sees Renault complete its line-up with a new vehicle that benefits from the maturity and expertise of the market's leading players.

European SUV/compact crossover customers come essentially from the C and D segments. The majority of them already own a vehicle of this type (25%), while 22% come from the D segment and 13% from the C segment. Former MPV owners account for eight per cent of SUV/compact crossover buyers.

Renault Koleos is a sign of the group's ongoing international expansion. The newcomer goes on sale in the UK in July and will be available in almost 40 countries on five continents by 2009.

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