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Renault's RAV4 rival: info, photos

2008-02-12 08:49
Forget the eye-sore that was the Scenic RX4, Renault's first 4X4 crossover SUV makes its world debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show.

One of the 26 key models identified by the French manufacturer to drive its growth, the crossover will see Renault aggressively pursue this new segment.

"Koleos has a strong personality. In our programme, it is a unique model that stands out from its rivals thanks to its raked rear screen which is suggestive of propulsion," notes Renault's director of design, Patrick le Quement.

Envisaged as being comfortable, easy to drive and versatile too, Renault's Koleos is also functional. It has a ground clearance of 188 mm, approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively and skid plates, while Koleos' chunky styling adds to its rugged appeal.

Renault X-Trail?

The crossover shares its McPherson front suspension and fully independent multilink rear suspension with the next-generation Nissan X-Trail, so off road capabilities should not be a problem.

However, Renault assures the dampers and springs have been tuned to meet the Koleos specific requirements, striking a firm balance between comfort and handling.

The first Renault with four-wheel drive from launch, the Koleos sees torque delivered to the front wheels in regular driving conditions. But the torque split between the front and rear axles is automatically calculated and should less grip be detected, up to 50% of torque is transferred to the rear wheels via an electronic coupler.

However, Koleos will also be made available in front-wheel drive only. Powertrains include the latest generation 2.0 dCi turbodiesel engine already in use on several models in the Renault-Nissan alliance, with outputs of 111 kW and 130 kW, and the 1.5 dCi powerplant. These are mated to either a six-speed automatic or manual gearbox.

Spacious cabin

The cabin is said to be driver-friendly with a "practical" dashboard layout and easy-to-use controls.

In terms of versatility, the Koleos is said to be packed with features and equipment, including a split-opening tailgate and the modular "super fold" system with a 60/40 rear seat split.

All the seat backs, apart from that of the driver, can be folded flat and the boot volume is extendable from 450 litres to 1 380 litres with the rear seat folded. Underfloor stowage adds a further 28 litres.

A true project of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Koleos is designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and built by Renault Samsung Motors in Korea.


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