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Future models - Renault - Scenic

Geneva show: Renault Scenic bypasses Australia

Bold design: Renault has changed tack with the new Scenic, with a more conventional hatch design compared with previous generations of the MPV.

New-generation Renault Scenic MPV debuts but won't come Down Under

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Renault logo2 Mar 2016

RENAULT'S larger, more fuel-efficient and tech-laden Scenic MPV has been revealed at the Geneva motor show, but the fourth-generation tall-boy hatch is a non-starter for Australia.

Compared with the model it replaces, the Scenic's dimensions have grown in all areas, with 40mm more ground clearance an extra 40mm to the length, 20mm to the width and 32mm more wheelbase.

Renault senior vice-president corporate design Laurens van den Acker said the company went for a more modern look for the new-gen Scenic.

“We wanted the new Scenic to break new ground,” he said. “It is a sexier and more modern take on the MPV which carries over the outstanding modularity that has been paramount to the success of the model’s three previous generations over the past 20 years. Its proportions and large-diameter wheels draw inspiration from the R-Space concept car.”

The R-Space was revealed at the 2011 Geneva motor show and while the Scenic borrows some of its styling cues, it carries a much more conventional hatch design than any previous generation.

Renault Australia corporate communications and sponsorship manager Emily Fadeyev said while the Scenic will be produced in right-hand drive configuration, the French car-maker could not make the numbers stack up for Australia.

“Yes it will be produced in RHD and we have looked at the possibility of introducing the new Scenic to Australia,” she said.

“It is a fantastic new vehicle and one that has a strong nameplate in Australia from the early 2000s. At this stage we can’t make the business case work for Scenic in Australia but as the inventor of the MPV, we at Renault are constantly reviewing the market potential to bring Scenic back in the future.”

Renault sold the Scenic locally in its first-generation from 2001 to 2005 before the second-gen model landed in 2005 and sold here for a few years.

The new-gen model has shorter rear overhangs, rides on 20-inch wheels that are standard across the range, has wider front and rear tracks and a rising belt line, all making for a more dynamic look.

Inside the spacious cabin, the instrument panel is positioned directly in the driver's line of sight, features a full-colour head-up display and is shielded by a curved visor.

There is a sliding centre console between the front seats and when in the forward position, sits under the large 8.7-inch tablet-like display, but when pushed back offers a more 'open plan' layout.

The Scenic is available with a two-tone paint job, with a black or grey roof, depending on which body colour is chosen.

Maintaining its reputation of interior flexibility, the Scenic has a One Touch Folding system that folds the rear seats away for a flat cargo floor. In some variants this can be operated by the R-Link multimedia system.

The two sections of the 60/40 split-fold rear seats slide fore and aft independently and some versions have a small table fitted to the front passenger seat backs.

The Scenic can swallow 572 litres of gear and Renault says its new hatch is the class leader when it comes to cabin stowage with a 63 litre capacity throughout the interior's various compartments and cubbies.

An array of active safety features will be offered including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, blind-spot warning, safe distance and traffic sign alert, a reversing camera, rear, front and side parking sensors, and park assist.

In Europe eight powertrain options will be offered, including a new Hybrid Assist electric option matched with Energy dCi 110 diesel engines that promises to combine “low fuel consumption and high levels of driving enjoyment, providing a boost of acceleration at certain speeds, particularly at low revs”.

In all, there are six diesel and two petrol variants on offer and depending on the engine will be matched with either a six-speed manual, six-speed auto or seven-speed auto. The Scenic also has five driving modes – Neutral, Sport, Comfort, Perso and Eco.

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