Renault sparks Frendzy with cool LCV
Renault is ready for the Frankfurt auto show with its latest concept car, a family-friendly commercial vehicle called Frendzy.
BUSY BODY: The Frendzy concept is a panel van with a family-friendly twist. Image gallery
The latest concept follows the release of the DeZir, Captur and R-Space concepts in the latest wave from Renault.
The battery-powered Frendzy is described as "a commercial business vehicle” that doubles as a car. The panel van/MPV’s exterior is distinguished by a lack of B pillars and, on the passenger side, a 37-inch widescreen display on the side sliding door for displaying messages or entertaining the family over weekends.
The vehicle’s exterior designer Deyan Denkov said he was inspired by “unconventionally shaped aircraft such as the Airbus Beluga and Antonov 224”.
There are “work” and “family” modes for the driver, too. In “work” mode, the rear-view mirrors are vertical and the interior lighting green. When the latter is engaged, the mirrors swivel to horizontal and the ambient lighting switches to orange.
The busy Frendzy is said to reference camping trips too, with the generous use of wood throughout the cabin.
There’s a fabric roof to adapt to the shape of bulky vehicles and a modular stowage system, including a bench that folds into the floor and a front seat that folds forward to create space. The maximum load capacity is 2250 litres in a vehicle with an overall length just over four metres.
But the concept also plugs in to modern concepts with the addition of a BlackBerry Playbook that plugs into the dashboard and allows users to work and control several vehicle functions through one device.
Like the DeZir, first seen at the 2010 Paris auto show, the Frendzy is an electric vehicle (44kW/226Nm) although the focus this time round, according to Renault, was to tune the sound it produces to make the normally-silent EV more audible, particularly at low speed.
Renault and sound partner IRCAM went one further in the Frendzy, creating a range of sounds that are emitted both inside and outside the van to denote whether it is in work or family mode. Just how total strangers would know the difference, boggles though…
The Frankfurt auto show will run from September 13-25, 2011.