Renault Wind: A breath of fresh air in the world of roadsters

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THURSDAY 12 FEBRUARY 2004 WORDS 971

RENAULT WIND: A BREATH OF FRESH AIR IN THE WORLD OF ROADSTERS

Renault will unveil its new concept car "Wind" at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show in March. This 2+1 roadster with a streamlined design and lively performance combines both flowing and structured lines. The interior is elegant in accordance with the "Touch Design" concept, boasting a cabin that seems to be cloaked in leather. The controls put the emphasis on ergonomics and simplicity.

The objective of Wind? To test public reaction to a compact, modern, charming roadster perhaps to be made by Renaultsport, who currently produce the high performance versions of the Clio and Mégane but, you may remember, whose first road car project back in 1997 was the Spider two seater race car which was made into a road car.

Undeniable charm and lively performance

"The exterior combines the sensuality of flowing lines with the dynamism of chamfered contours. The interior is reminiscent of a well-fitting glove. The result is a breath of fresh air in the world of roadsters," says Patrick le Quément, Renault?s Senior Vice President, Corporate Design.

Wind?s profile gives an impression of simplicity and consistency. It is made up of two defining lines. The first runs along the side of the car, curving into the front and rear wings and sweeping round the wheel arches. The second line, even more apparent, envelops the cabin and underscores the impression of protectiveness.

The powerful headlamps also contribute to Wind?s appeal. They extend along the bonnet, highlighting the car?s dynamism with a streamlined, elongated shape and take their inspiration from previous concept cars like Vel Satis and Talisman. Despite their simple looks, the headlamps conceal complex technology. A powerful jet of blue-tinted light flows through a long transparent tube stretching across vertical glass covers.

The almond-shaped rear lamps continue the body silhouette with their sharp edge. Two powerful LEDs light up parallel glass covers, creating striking beams of light to the sides and rear.

The arc of the panoramic windscreen extends around the sides of the car with a curve that incorporates the side windows. The cabin can be covered with a triple thickness fabric roof including a rounded rear glass window that continues the oval theme.

The colour of Wind's bodywork is Aquamarine.

A simple, elegant and secure interior

The cabin is moulded around the driver and passengers. A large sheet of Sienna-coloured leather forms an enveloping cocoon. The pleated leather seats, Tobacco in colour, are elegant and comfortable. They are fixed, in tune with the "roadster" spirit, while the steering wheel and pedal assemblies are adjustable and fold away automatically when the door is opened for easier access. Two folding leather-covered rollhoops form an extension of the rigid structure to which they are fitted.

Wind is a 2+1 roadster. The central section linking the backs of the two front seats is made of carbon fibre covered in foam and leather. It can be unhooked and turned inside out, forming a saddle shape that provides a third seat in the rear of the car. Despite its compact size (3.87 metres long and only 10cm longer than a Clio), Wind is extremely roomy. The boot, lined with embossed leather, offers reasonable luggage space (232 litres).

Simple, sophisticated controls

All the vehicle?s controls feature an anodised aluminium finish for a muted look. In accordance with the "Touch Design" concept developed by Renault over the past three years, they put the emphasis on ergonomics, simplicity and clarity. A circular, centrally mounted control panel provides access to each set of functions for communications, music, navigation and services by means of a button in the middle of the circle. Data is displayed on a screen at the top of the dashboard.

The gearbox mode selector is also in the centre of the dashboard. Gear shifting takes place using paddles on the steering wheel through a Quickshift 6 speed manual gearbox with automatic clutch.

The design of the speedometer-cum-rev. counter dial is both simple and sophisticated. With an anodised aluminium surround, it is cut into a glass cylinder. Data is displayed in both analogue (a needle indicating speed) and digital form. Patches of blue followed by red move around the cylinder as the engine speed increases.

In the driver?s door of the vehicle, a push-button cylinder incorporating the air conditioning controls swings out to display the temperature in the cabin.

The Wind roadster is fitted with a 136bhp 2.0 16V petrol engine producing 191Nm of torque. The compact dimensions contribute to the lightweight of the vehicle at 850 kgs, which in turn provides nimble handling and dynamic performance. 0-62mph takes 8.5 seconds.

One technical highlight includes two separate smaller radiators developed by Valeo mounted low at the front on each side allowing a lowering of the bonnet line.

Wind is a genuine concept car so don?t expect to see it in a Renault showroom in the next couple of years but if the public reaction is positive then Wind could bring a breath of fresh air to our roads!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

DIMENSIONS

Overall length 3,870mm

Width excluding door mirrors 1,750mm

Height 1,260mm

Wheelbase 2,395mm

Front and rear track 1,510mm

Front overhang 800mm

Rear overhang 650mm

Weight 850kg

POWERTRAIN

Engine Four-cylinder, normally aspirated 2.0 16V petrol engine (Euro 4)

Power 99kW / 136hp with maximum torque of 191Nm

Gearbox Six-speed Quickshift gearbox

WHEELS

Wheels 19-inch

Tyres 245-35 / ZR19 Michelin Pilot Sport 2

PARTNERS

Michelin Tyres

Montupet Aluminium wheels

Valeo Radiators (made of folded modules, which make them very flexible to use.

They are arched and can be adapted to the design of the vehicle?s front end).

 

 

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