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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2008 Renault Koleos: In Detail

Koleos benefits from the Alliance's extensive active and passive safety expertise

Active safety

Safety is a fundamental feature built into all Renault models, and Koleos has been engineered to provide impeccable performance on both the active and passive safety fronts. Its active safety is based on its carefully engineered chassis and big brakes which bring the model to a standstill from 100kph in just 42 metres, one of the shortest stopping distances to be found in the SUV/crossover segment.

In emergency braking situations, when taking avoidance action or when grip is lost, Renault Koleos can count on ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESP with understeer control. Even before the latter kicks in, the all-wheel drive transmission control system intervenes to adjust the front-rear torque split as soon as the first signs of oversteer or understeer are detected.

Passive safety

The fact that Renault's range includes eight models that have been awarded the maximum five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating speaks volumes for the brand's expertise when it comes to passive safety. It goes without saying that Renault Koleos has benefited from the years of extensive research that have gone into studying real-life accidents. Its very structure has been engineered to include programmed crumple zones both at the front and rear, while the design of the cabin's structure allows it to serve as a protective cell in the case of an accident. Furthermore, Renault Koleos comes with a long list of equipment committed to optimizing occupant protection, including six airbags (including two adaptive front airbags which adapt to the passenger's build), load limiters for the front and outer rear seat seatbelts, front seatbelt pretensioners and Isofix child seat anchorage for the outer rear seats.

The dynamic lines of a saloon with 4x4 styling cues Renault Koleos' lines were designed to be both distinctive and expressive. Koleos is unmistakably an 4x4, yet its looks are in no way aggressive and its styling is appealing without being ostentatious. The front end features the logo of the brand flanked by air intakes and modern elliptical headlamps, notably the module which incorporates Xenon headlamps and additional cornering lights.

The side design of Renault Koleos including high ground clearance and prominent wheel arches betrays its 4x4 calling. "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. The distinctive lines of its hatch form a movement that flows from the bottom of the rear window to converge on the logo which sits on a gloss black finish plaque.

The cabin and drive station are purposely intuitive and the interior design is based on a series of elegantly flowing curves. The bottom of the dashboard forms a wave-like line which gives the impression that the cowling is actually floating on the dashboard. The form of the centre console, which houses all the vehicle's principal functions, contributes to an inescapable sense of well-being. This is further compounded by the quality of the materials selected for Koleos and by the careful attention that has been paid to the play and mating between panels and components. "The carefully-honed interior of Koleos is of a very high quality," observes Patrick le Quement. "Its graphic design is very pleasing, while special attention has been paid to perceived quality."

For customers who wish to personalize their vehicle, Renault has developed a range of customization accessories, some of which underpin the all-terrain calling of Koleos.

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.

A vehicle intended to win over new customers

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. 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 the availability of 25 models. The launch of Renault Koleos, the range'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 Europe in June 2008 and will be available in almost 40 countries on five continents by 2009.

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Related entries:

Renault Koleos Concept Unveiled at Paris


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