SPIED: Renault Clio crossover
CLIO CROSSOVER SPOTTED: Renault's next MPV based on the Clio will be launched in 2013.
Who can forget the Renault Modus? The quirky mini-MPV failed dismally to take off.
The sad fate of the Modus can be explained by one senior manager from Renault's Paris HQ who admitted to how ugly it was: "I was in England and needed to rent a car. It was either a Modus or a Nissan. I took the Nissan. I just couldn't bear to be seen in a Modus."
Instead of repeating the Modus mistake, Renault will focus on creating a new crossover based on its latest generation Clio.
TAKING ON THE JUKE?
Renault turned to designer Laurens Van den Acker for its latest Clio derivative, which borrows elements from the French automaker’s current model range such as the Dezir-inspired front end.
The new crossover is codenamed J87. Renault is said to have considered naming the model "Clio Clio-something” but decided it would be different enough to be given its own moniker.
The Renault J87 naturally has the same overall design as the Clio though the panels are different. The front is more assertive, it has more detailing on the sides, SUV-style plastic arches and an optional colour-contrast roof.
The J87 won't be available with all-wheel-drive, unlike the Nissan Juke.
The new model promises to be a practical vehicle as it’s roomier than a Qashqai and larger than the Juke. Renault will add a line-up of diesel and small turbo petrol engines.
Inside, the J87 has a tablet in the dash and using Renault's online service, drivers will be able to download apps for it.
The Renault J87 will be launched in the middle of 2013.