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A happy anniversary with Sunliner 40

Renault renno: The new 40th Anniversary Sunliner starts life as a Renault Master, which has been specially tailored for motorhome retrofitting.

Sunliner turns Renault Master into luxury 40th anniversary motorhome


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22 Sep 2014

SUNLINER is celebrating 40 years of building Australian-made motorhomes with a special limited-edition model the Sunliner 40, based on Renault’s Master light commercial van.

The ultra-luxurious $169,900 40th anniversary Sunliner is the flagship of a Renault-based range and will only be available to the first 40 customers, but the line-up will offer more affordable variants in less limited numbers.

Master-based Sunliner variants kick-off with the entry-level Vibe from $104,000 and intermediate variants are available with the $123,000 Pinto and $133,000 Holiday.

Sunliner says it struck the deal to use Renault’s Master thanks to its “car-like driving experience and superior fuel economy” and the agreement continues the French manufacturer's advancement into the light commercial vehicle segment.

The Sunliner 40 starts life as a bare Renault master cab chassis, which is shipped in by Renault Australia as a unique open-backed cab variant, intended for motorhome conversion.

Under the bonnet is a 2.3-litre diesel engine which produces 110kW and 350Nm of torque and drives the dual rear-wheels via a lockable differential and choice of either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

With a sub-4500kg gross vehicle mass (GVM) and van origins, the Sunliner 40 can be driven on a normal car driver's licence.

Sunliner’s retrofitting process adds a significant amount of extra equipment, but the blank Master canvas comes with all of the features found in top-spec versions of the van, including trip computer, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, cruise-control, satellite navigation, CD/MP3 stereo with Bluetooth and two 12-volt sockets.

The base Master cab chassis also has a number of bespoke features for motorhome applications such as extended chassis wiring with additional 12-volt plug-in connectors, a deleted cab rear panel, swivel seats and special Continental motorhome tyres.

As with all Renault light commercial vehicles, the Renault-based Sunliner range is also covered by Renault’s three-year or 200,000km warranty and three years roadside assistance, which Renault and Sunliner say gives owners the confidence to travel to any part of Australia.

But it is at the Sunliner factory where Renault’s Master receives its most significant equipment.

The fibreglass accommodation is retrofitted at Sunliner’s Victorian facility and houses an advanced computer control system, en-suite bathroom, galley and sleeps two.

Sunliner says the 40th anniversary model’s glossy interior was inspired by super-yachts and has features some fixed residences would be proud of, including a concealed television, which electrically lifts out of the galley bench, advanced climate control and feature lighting.

Its en-suite bathroom has a 900mm by 900mm shower and more energy efficient lighting, while the galley has a full-sized fridge freezer, microwave, three-hob stove and oven.

Space in the living area is maximised by a clever drop-bed, which rises into the ceiling space when not in use, and a slide-out wall, which boosts interior volume when extended.

Both front fabric seats are reupholstered by Sunliner to match the living area seating and are available in a variety of colours to match the interior theme.

The exterior of the Sunliner 40 also has features to allow owners to spend time enjoying the surroundings, with a one-touch roll-out awning, LED lighting and a fold-down table that reveals another television.

Speaking at the launch of the new Renault range, Sunliner Managing director Nick Hunter said the anniversary model was not created to “appeal to the masses”, but instead stands as a “bold style statement”.

Sunliner deliberately chose a more accessible vehicle as the celebratory model rather than creating something palatial on a more expensive platform like its largest light-truck-based Monte Carlo offering.

“Australian motorhome owners are not impressed by size. Most of our customers love compact, easy to manoeuvre motorhomes, so we have chosen to make the anniversary model just under 24 feet,” said Mr Hunter.

Sunliner's network of seven dealers will hold limited stock of the new range, but with an extensive list of customisation options, the motorhome builder expects most buyers to order their vehicle.

Established in 1974 Sunliner competes with more than 110 Victorian caravan and motorhome manufacturers, but the company says that it keeps ahead of the competition with the latest manufacturing techniques learned over its 40-year history.

Renault's reputation and Australia-wide network of service and parts centres were two elements that lead to the deal being struck with Sunliner and the French manufacturer is exploring other possibilities in the motorhome industry.

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*Excludes on-road costs.

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