New models - Renault - Megane - Coupe-Cabriolet
First drive: Renault lets the light in
Bigger new Coupe-Cabriolet arrives with improved structure and roof operation
1 Nov 2010
By JOHN WRIGHT
RENAULT’S new Megane Coupe-Cabriolet officially went on sale in Australia on Monday, priced from $45,990 and featuring a roof that is 10 per cent larger than before – making it the largest glass roof in the segment and allowing even more light into the cabin.
With the windscreen header rail moved 60mm forward, Renault claims that with the roof lowered passengers enjoy a greater sense of being exposed to the elements as well as being less hampered getting in and out of the car due to the less-steeply raked windscreen.
Buffeting has been reduced by the standard fitment of a glass wind deflector and a mesh one that can be clipped over the rear seats when only the front ones are occupied.
The roof comprises two glass panels that fold into a ‘V’ as the unit is retracted into the boot and was developed by global cabriolet roof specialist Karmann, which manufactures the whole mechanism in Germany and delivers the roofs to the Renault plant in Douai in northern France (where the Coupe-Cabriolet, alone among Meganes, is made).
Opening or closing the roof is said to take only 21 seconds.
In addressing the vital convertible issue of torsional rigidity, Renault made a number of structural improvements to the new CC, which is 130mm longer than the previous model.
The bulkhead between the rear bench seat and the boot is now a welded one-piece panel that is attached more strongly to the sides of the body, the door sills boast extra strengthening and have larger cross sections, the rear seat floor cross-member is a heftier unit with flow-on side-impact benefits, and a hydro-formed steel pillar is enclosed within the A-pillar.
As well as safety features such as ABS with Brake Assist, electronic stability control and anti-submarining airbags incorporated into the seats, there are pyrotechnic roof arches that pop-up in the event of a rollover to provide protection to the occupants.
Other standard features include automatic headlights and wipers, fog lights, daytime-running lights, a tyre pressure monitoring system and rear parking sensors.
Coupe-Cabriolet trim levels are comparable to the Megane and Fluence ‘Dynamique’ variants, so you get cloth seats instead of leather, but there is a faux leather material used on the bolsters.
Additional features include an upgraded sound system, standard satellite navigation neatly integrated into the centre of the fascia, cruise control with speed limiter, dual-zone climate control and a heated, electric height-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment.
The exterior mirrors are finished in gloss black, are heated and can be folded flush with the sides of the car, 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, the parking brake is automatic and, like all its Megane/Fluence siblings, it boasts Bluetooth connectivity.
Metallic paint, bi-xenon headlights with cornering dipped beams, and charcoal leather are optional.
Renault is offering the Coupe-Cabriolet in one guise, powered by the same 103kW/195Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the new Megane Hatch, mated with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to return average fuel consumption of 8.1L/100km.
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