The Renault Captur is answer to the Range Rover Evoque. The Captur was unveiled at last month’s Geneva Motor Show, and follows on from the all-electric DeZir sports car. It previews a future small crossover that will be based on Nissan’s Juke.
Renault’s Captur, a small crossover concept unveiled last month at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, will be developed into not one but two showroom models, say company insiders.
The R-Space concept provides some hints as to the next-generation Renault Espace and Scenic people movers.
Renault’s next showcar, a small yet sexy passenger van, is expected to debut at this fall’s Frankfurt auto show.
The Renault Captur is the second model in a series of six ‘life’ concepts, with the DeZir representing love, the Captur exploration and the R-Space (driven on Page 36) family. We reckon the design is as striking as the Juke’s. Curvy lines and a face borrowed from the DeZir will both find their way on to the production car, but the scissor doors, matt-finish wings, rear-facing cameras and huge 22-inch wheels will be left behind.
Axel Breun, head of concept car design, says the two-door layout is likely to be offered when the car makes showrooms, in an effort to bolster the Captur’s sporting credentials. Inside is a typically futuristic layout, with the seats made of stretchy bungees. The rear chairs fold out from the sides of the car, and when not in use allow for a flat load area or hammock.
Renault’s designers apparently envisaged a sprinter on the starting blocks when drawing the Renault Captur, with the final design referencing ‘protective gear used in radical sports’. Like helmets.
It gets the DeZir’s face and adds the now ubiquitous coupe-SUV body, ushering in some practicality. 22in rims, ‘butterfly’ doors and a removable hard-top make it an interesting design, if a little terrifying.
Little of what makes up the interior will ever follow through to a production model, but the spacious feel and high driving position reveal why Renault is so keen to introduce a car into this segment. The Captur features a futuristic sat-nav, called VisioDrive. This projects navigation information on to real-life pictures of the road ahead, transmitted to the cabin by forward-facing cameras.
In addition, the newcomer boasts a hi-tech powertrain. Renault envisages the Captur will eventually feature a twin-turbocharged 158bhp 1.6-litre dCi engine. We have tried the 128bhp single-turbo version of this motor, and with a broad range of torque and smooth running, it will be perfect for cars of this size.
Officially, the firm claims the Captur will be able to cover 0-62mph in eight seconds while emitting only 99g/km of CO2. And although the car is front-wheel drive only, Renault’s innovative RX2 system – which can apportion power to either of the driven wheels if one loses grip – should help with off-roading.
From behind the wheel, the Renault Captur feels like a one-off concept. A lack of sound deadening means a huge amount of engine noise, while the suspension is very firm. But none of this matters, as it has no bearing on how the final car will handle. And with the production model’s chassis borrowed from the Juke, we can expect an agile supermini-SUV complete with head-turning looks – and a cut-price Evoque experience.