Friday, February 11, 2011

Renault Captur: Juke-Sized Crossover Convertible Concept Demonstrates New Design Language

Remember the Renault DeZir sports coupe concept from the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show? If you don't, you can refresh your memory here, but in short, the two-seater study herald the French firm's new and more curvalicious design strategy on a sports car. Fast forward to today, and Renault has unveiled a new concept model called the Captur, which applies the DeZir's design philosophy on a three-door small crossover with a removable hardtop.The Captur will receive its world premiere at the upcoming Geneva Salon.

“It takes as its basis the fundamental design language introduced on the DeZir concept car but adds a more technical dimension – more functional but still highly sensuous," said Renault's director of concept cars, Axel Breun,

The French firm said that for the exterior designer, the main sources of inspiration were athletes and radical sports with styling references to equipment such as helmets, gloves and other protective gear.

The Captur, which is close in size to alliance partner Nissan’s Juke, is crafted from carbon fiber and features a removable hardtop that allows it to transform from a coupe to a convertible crossover. Other highlights include the butterfly doors and extra-large tires fitted to 22-inch black and white rims.

The colorful and futuristic-looking interior that can seat four passengers features fluorescent highlights picked out by a constant stream of light. "My main sources of inspiration were the human body, outdoor sports and urban styling," explains the colour and trim designer, Kana Watanabe. "I wanted Captur to radiate warmth and dynamism."

Power for the Captur comes from a 1.6-liter twin-turbocharged diesel engine concept with 160HP, developed from the new Energy dCi 130HP that will eventually replace the firm's current 1.9 dCi unit. The oil-burner is paired to a dual clutch EDC gearbox, and according to Renault, it emits less than 99g of CO2 per kilometer.

The Captur also comes with numerous technological advancements including a new RX2 mechanical self-locking differential and the Visio-System with a forward-facing camera mounted at the top of the windscreen providing driver-assistance functions.

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