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Future models - Renault - Megane - Coupe-Cabriolet

First look: Renault lifts lid on all-new Megane CC

Glass house: Redesigned Megane CC continues with a unique two-piece folding glass roof.

Redesigned Megane coupe-cabrio emerges with Renault’s first dual-clutch gearbox

Renault logo8 Feb 2010

By TERRY MARTIN

RENAULT has thrown the covers off its new-generation Megane Coupe-Cabriolet, which continues to offer a unique folding glass roof and is the first model from the French marque to feature a dual-clutch automatic transmission.

At this stage, the new six-speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) gearbox is restricted to one of three Euro 5-rated diesel engines on offer with the Megane CC from launch in Europe – an 80kW 1.6-litre dCi unit.

Higher-output 95kW and 118kW diesels will drive the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox (also available on the 80kW), while the petrol range includes a 104kW 2.0-litre engine with a step-less CVT transmission.

A hot-hatch GT version using a 130kW-plus version of the 2.0-litre should also soon materialise.

The Australian line-up is still to be confirmed ahead of its launch here in the final quarter. Priced from $46,490, the current model is restricted to a 98kW 2.0-litre petrol engine, with either auto or manual transmission.

Making its world debut alongside the smaller Twingo-based Wind coupe-convertible, the all-new Megane CC benefits from a host of other engineering improvements, including a stiffer chassis – torsional rigidity of the bodyshell has increased a claimed 80 per cent – and a revised electric power steering system.

More refinement with the roof down is claimed with the windscreen repositioned (the header rail has been pushed forward 60mm) and a fixed glass wind deflector installed behind the rear headrests.

35 center imageRenault claims the vehicle now enables four people to experience “draft-free driving” at speeds of up to 90km/h, while two occupants can travel “free from buffeting whatever the speed” when a removable mesh deflector screen is put in place behind the front seats.

Renault also singles out the increased attention to detail across the four-seat convertible, including high-gloss black and satin-effect chrome exterior detailing. The large two-piece glass roof, for example, is finished in a high-gloss black colour that contrasts with a satin-effect chrome windscreen frame.

The interior also now includes three trim choices: dark charcoal, light beige and, when leather seats are ordered, a charcoal and red two-tone finish.

The fully automatic, electro-hydraulic glass roof has a transparent glazed area of 0.47 square metres (claimed to be the largest in its segment) and can be lowered in 21 seconds – one second quicker than the current model.

Renault claims the glass ensures a well lit cabin and heightened sensation of space. Compared to a traditional fabric roof, it also has high levels of “acoustic and thermal comfort” and “greater protection from vandalism”.

Maximum boot volume has been sacrificed, dropping from 490 litres in the current model to 417 litres in the new generation when the roof is closed, although with the lid stowed there is 211 litres of luggage space available – 21 litres more than is the case now.

The boot can be automatically closed and the sill height (590mm) and aperture with the roof down (258mm) are described as best in class.

There are obvious mechanical and design similarities with the all-new X95-series Megane hatchback – due for release in Australia around July – although Renault has highlighted other specific features unique to the CC. These include a ‘butterfly wing’ door trim panel and sportier front seats with additional lateral support.

Features common to the Megane hatchback upon which it is based include keyless entry/start, an automatic park brake, dual-zone climate-control air-conditioning, bi-Xenon headlights, colour-coded cruise control/speed limiter interface, a high-grade stereo, and programmable settings for functions such as daytime running lights.

As with the Megane hatch and coupe, the CC uses a MacPherson strut-type suspension design at the front end and a torsion beam at the rear.

The front struts are attached to a ‘horned’ subframe that is said to have more than three times more lateral rigidity than the current Megane CC, while the lighter, closed-profile rear beam is designed to deliver more torsional stiffness.

The new electric power steering system is said to be more responsive and refined than the electric system used in the current model.

Other features available on the model include automatic headlight and windscreen operation, ABS with EBD and brake assist, ESC (with ‘understeer control’), tyre-pressure monitoring, anti-whiplash front head restraints, and at least six airbags.

Automatic rollover protection hoops are also onboard.

Australian versions of the redesigned Megane CC will continue to be sourced from Renault’s Douai plant in France, despite the new hatchback being imported from Bursa, Turkey.

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