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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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Renault's drop-top rocket ship

2006-09-08 06:46

The Renault Nepta comes with uprated Nissan 350Z power

The Renault Nepta concept car will be unveiled at the upcoming Paris Motor Show as a four-seater cabriolet, with a 313 kW direct injection version of the Nissan-Renault "family" 3.5-litre V6 which pushes it from rest to 100 km/h in a staggering 4.9 seconds.

No top speed is mentioned.

Featuring latest Renault design thinking, the Nepta has "wave-shaped" side panels enhanced by the special anodised aluminium colour treatment on the lower part of the body shell, the mud flaps and the front and rear spoilers.

The front end is simple yet expressive.

The car has LED headlights made up of three assemblies: daytime running lights, dipped and main beam headlights, and steering lights.

The light beam from the main headlights is reflected by crystal-shaped transparent blocks that are electronically controlled for more precise lighting. The quantity and distribution of the light automatically adapts to t driving conditions.


The innovative boomerang-shaped indicator lights, positioned at the top of the lighting units enhance the rounded forms of the front wings.

The long and tapered rear end, which is punctuated by the rear lights, has a longer overhang than at the front.

The Nepta has motor-driven gull wing doors, but these are likely to be replaced on a production version by more conventional offerings.

The doors are fitted with electronic obstacle detectors and an anti-pinch device for greater safety.

Inside the car the dashboard appears to be suspended, and the rev counter and cone-shaped instruments are surrounded by leather trim in a mixture of modern and retro with combined analogue and digital displays.

Each occupant can independently adjust the air conditioning controls located at each end of the dashboard and combine advanced technology and ease of use.

The centrally mounted, rotary gearshift is easy and comfortable to use. The conveniently positioned multimedia information controls can be easily reached, while the stalk switches and control paddles mounted on the steering wheel are designed to match the shape of the driver's hands.

Fixed seats

The seats are fixed, but the steering wheel and the pedals can be electrically adjusted to suit the driver.

The dashboard features special storage compartments for glasses and other personal objects, while the central console also has a sliding cubby located between the rear seats.

The red leather upholstery creates an impression of continuity between the vehicle interior and the engine compartment. Both bench seats are coated with leather decorated with printed patterns. The four comfortable seats are secured to the floor by aluminium struts reminiscent of sailing boats.

DVD screens with folding protective covers are installed in the upper sections of the backs of the front seats. The lower sections are decorated with elegant leather netting that is ideal for storing magazines.

The rear passengers are protected against turbulence by transparent air deflectors positioned between the front and rear seats.

Nepta's longitudinally mounted 3.5-litre V6 direct injection petrol engine is coupled to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with flick-shift controls mounted on the steering wheel.


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