2009 Renault Koleos news, pictures, and information
Koleos, the first 4x4 crossover from RenaultRenault is pleased to present Koleos, its first ever crossover. Ideal for escaping the everyday routine, Renault Koleos is comfortable, easy to drive and boasts genuine off-road ability. It has been designed to be versatile, too, offering the same reassuring drive when motoring in and about town, on open roads and on motorways as it does when it is taken off the beaten track. Meanwhile, Renault Koleos delivers the same standard of comfort as that expected of a saloon car, as well as cabin space worthy of a compact MPV.
Designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors' Busan plant in Korea, Renault Koleos is the fruit of extremely close collaboration between teams from each of these Renault-Nissan Alliance brands. Renault Koleos will be on show at the Geneva Motor Show from March 4, 2008. The launch of Koleos marks a decisive step in the brand's development, not only in Europe but across the world. The release of its first 4x4 crossover is a sure sign that Renault has the capacity to take its own authentic stance and a completely fresh approach in §egmènts from which it has traditionally been absent. Renault Koleos offers a unique standard of safety and comfort, a parameter that has become a recognised Renault hallmark which is not only clear for all to see but also highly affordable.
The release of Koleos sees Renault take the wraps off its first ever 4x4 crossover, a vehicle designed for getting away from it all which combines an efficient all-wheel drive chassis, the dynamic lines of a saloon car and the cabin space of an MPV.
Renault has made sure that Koleos has all the necessary genes to ensure that all passengers travel first class and that the new vehicle is easy to use. The seating and suspension provide a high standard of comfort and the driver benefits from outstanding forward visibility thanks to the low-mounted dashboard, while Koleos' split-opening tailgate greatly facilitates loading.
Exterior1. Renault Koleos, the easy-to-assimilate crossover While 4x4 models are frequently associated wîth bulky volumes and considered complex to use, one of the key features of Koleos is the speed and ease wîth which drivers feel at home behind its wheel. The length and width of Renault Koleos are 4.52m and 1.85m respectively and these contained dimensions ensure that it copes as effortlessly wîth city motoring as it does when taken off the beaten track. Indeed, despite the presence of styling cues from the world of 4x4s, Renault Koleos is a crossover that offers a successful blend of dynamic and balanced lines. Meanwhile, in addition to all-terrain attributes like high ground clearance and skid-plates, the impression of ruggedness exuded by Koleos gives it a reassuring feel.
The cabin is very easy to assimilate. The practical dashboard design and development logic behind the easy to operate man-machine interfaces allow drivers to swiftly familiarize themselves wîth the different controls, while use of the navigation, radio, heating and climate controls is intended to be intuitive. Controls for the navigation system, hands-free telephone, audio system and automatic parking brake are all positioned either on the §teering wheel or within easy reach of the driver.
Information relating to the navigation system and radio is displayed centrally on the upper part of the dashboard to make sure that it is both clearly legible for the driver and easy to read for other occupants.
A raft of equipment aimed at taking the stress out of motoring underpins how effortlessly Koleos fits into the Renault family. Such features include the hands-free card and keyless starting functions, automatic headlamp and wiper activation, a tyre pressure monitoring system and cruise control/speed limiter, while the controls for the power windows, adjustment of the exterior mirrors and central locking are all located on the driver's door.
The drive station itself couldn't be more driver-friendly. Careful attention has been paid to ensure that Renault Koleos boasts §egmènt-leading head-up visibility and forward field of vision, while its rearward angle of vision figures amongst the best available in the §egmènt.
The driving position can be precisely adjusted thanks to the adjustable seat and heightand reach-adjustable §teering column.
The sensation of being in control is felt as soon as the driver settles behind the wheel of Koleos. The power §teering is precise, progressive, and accurately feeds back information from the road. Despite its higher ground clearance, Koleos handles like a saloon car thanks to its chassis which was purposely developed to provide an optimal trade off between comfort and handling, both of which are of a remarkably high standard. Special attention was paid to cornering performance wîth the intention of to curb body-roll which can often be a feature of this type of vehicle.
2. Versatility: a leitmotiv
Renault Koleos is a crossover whose roots can be traced back to the worlds of the saloon car, the MPV and 4x4-type vehicle. It successfully blends the best of all three categories to deliver outstanding versatility and driving pleasure on all types of road. In built-up areas, on motorways and on unsealed surfaces, the Koleos chassis conveys a real sense of safety and being in control. The MacPherson-type front suspension combines wîth the fully-independent multilink rear suspension seen on New X-Trail. This set-up guarantees comfort and directional stability in all situations, while the dampers and springs have been tuned to match Koleos' specific dimensions and contribute to the targeted balance between comfort and handling. Ground clearance of 206mm (diesel version: 188mm) and approach and departure angles of 27 and 31 degrees respectively are further illustrations of Koleos' off-road credentials.
|Engine : 2.5 L., 4-cylinder|
Power: 169 hp
Torque: 167 ft-lbs
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 148 hp
Torque: 236 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Manual, CVT
This system, which is designed to optimize traction in all road conditions, is not only acclaimed for its efficiency but also contributes to Renault Koleos' exceptional off-road ability.
The same all-wheel drive management system also contributes to the vehicle's active safety performance. The instant it detects even a small amount of oversteer or understeer, it immediately modifies the front-rear torque split, even before a possible intervention from the ESP kicks in. When grip is at a premium, such as on snow, mud, dirt or sand, the driver only has to flick a switch on the dashboard to electronically lock the transmission in
4x4 mode. Alternatively, should the driver so wish, the transmission can also be locked in two-wheel drive mode.
Renault Koleos is equipped wîth a Hill Start Assist function which can prove a particularly useful asset during everyday motoring. This system is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10 per cent wîth a view to preventing the vehicle slipping back down the slope. It also does away wîth the need for the driver to switch rapidly from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal which is inherent in most vehicles.
Similarly, Renault Koleos is equipped wîth a Hill Descent Control system for even safer offroad motoring. This function is activated via a button mounted on the central fascia and automatically holds the vehicle's speed at a maximum of 7kph on downhill gradients of 10 per cent or more without requiring the brakes to be used. This function works in reverse gear, too. Koleos' navigation system has a number of specific off-road features, including an altimeter and barometer. The vehicle's angle of inclination, the slope and an altitude graph
are equally displayed, while a digital compass takes the stress out of finding the correct heading when there are no signposts about.
Renault Koleos will also be available in two-wheel drive form for those customers who are drawn by its adventurer, crossover looks but who have no call for all-wheel drive transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The practical, modular crossover
The versatility of Koleos concerns not only its on-road ability but also a comprehensive list of clever features and equipment in the cabin. To assist loading, Renault Koleos comes wîth a split-opening, ‘clamshell'-type tailgate. The upper part of the hatch permits access to the boot in cramped spaces and allows items of more than one metre wide to be carried. When lowered, the bottom part of the tailgate facilitates the loading of long items and serves as a handy seat for two adults (up to 200kg) when the vehicle is parked. Last but not least, Koleos' boot aperture of 1.07m is amongst the widest of its category.
Modularity-enhancing features include the so-called ‘easy estate' system which enables the 60/40-split rear benchseat to be folded from the boot thanks to two levers accessible without having to open the rear side doors. With the benchseat in the folded position, the boot floor becomes entirely flat to further facilitate loading. The boot volume of 450dm3 (VDA) wîth all five seats in the upright position extends to a very generous 1,380dm3 (VDA) once the benchseat has been folded. The available space can also be compartmented thanks to the presence of several hooks which enable the multipurpose retention net to be fixed in a choice of ways. In keeping wîth Koleos' calling as a vehicle designed for outdoor leisure activities, its rear benchseat is equipped wîth a ski trap. The back of the front passenger seat can also be folded down to either form a table or permit the transport of items of up to 2.60m in length.
There are plenty of cubbies all around the cabin. The dashboard includes a chilled, 15-litre glovebox, while the stowage space in the centre console is equipped wîth a removable bin.Extra space is provided in a drawer located beneath the front passenger seat, the lower front door bins will take a 500ml bottle and the lidded stowage space incorporated in the armrest is ideal for CDs. Rear passengers benefit from stowage space in the rear part of the centre console, plus two underfoot lidded compartments of five litres each. The rear door bins can house either a 500ml bottle or up to five CDs, while stowage space is available in the rear central armrest, too.
Únderfloor stowage in the boot provides a further 28 litres which takes the total stowage capacity of Renault Koleos to a vast 70 litres (VDA).
Rear passengers benefit from folding tables complete wîth cup-holder incorporated in the backs of the front seats.
Renault Koleos will be available wîth two types of Alliance engines. The latest-generation 2.0 dCi Euro 4 diesel engine (M9R) is available in a choice of two power outputs, namely 110kW (150hp) or 127kW (175hp). The engine, which has already been seen on upper-range Renault vehicles, Mégane, Nissan's Qashqai and New X-Trail and Renault Samsung Motors' QM5, features the very latest diesel engine technologies, including piezoelectric injectors, common-rail 1,600-bar fuel injection, a water-cooled variable-geometry turbo and a periodic regeneration particulate filter. The 2.0 dCi engine is available wîth a broad useful rev band, wîth peak torque of either 320 or 360Nm (depending on version) available from low engine speeds. The 2.0 dCi 110kW engine can be ordered for either the 4x2 or 4x4 versions and mated wîth either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) The 127kW version of the 2.0 dCi engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and all-wheel drive.
3. Comfort and space worthy of an MPV
Renault Koleos has everything required to travel in outstanding comfort, and particular attention has been paid to one of the most essential comfort-related preconditions: effective damping of both mechanical and road noise.
The diesel engine represents a benchmark in the domain of minimizing vibrations and noise thanks to its balancer shafts and twin-mass flywheel damper. Meanwhile, road noise has been slashed thanks to a package of special features and soundproofing, including an acoustic windscreen and engine subframe filtering, a well as the presence of soundproofing materials between the engine compartment and cabin, under the floor and in the wheel arches. These solutions combine to give Renault Koleos a genuine edge on the acoustic comfort front.
Renault Koleos passengers are also pampered in terms of cabin space, including record headroom and kneeroom for front occupants in the SÚV, 4x4 and crossover categories, while rear passengers benefit from a pleasing balance between vertical and transversal space. Given Renault Koleos' contained overall length, access to both the front and rear seats is astonishingly easy, wîth ample room for legs and hips alike.
A bright cabin
The Renault range has long boasted the biggest panoramic opening sunroofs available on the market and the Koleos sunroof features a total, transparent glazed area of 0.75 square metres which is unmatched in the SÚV and crossover market. For optimal thermal comfort, the high density-weave sunblind can be pulled shut to any position. The sunroof itself comes wîth an anti-pinch function and, thanks to the hands-free card, automatically closes if the driver walks away from the car.
The combination of a brightly-lit cabin and the promise of hair-in-the-wind motoring wîth clear views of the sky overhead stands out as one of Renault Koleos' truly appealing features.
To ensure first class travelling comfort for all occupants, Koleos is equipped wîth an automatic dual-zone heating and climate control system that incorporates specific vents for the rear seats. The driver and front passenger can consequently select the cabin temperature of their choice, while rear passengers, who also benefit from sunblinds, can adjust ventilation using the control located at the rear of the centre console.
Music lovers will be won over the comprehensive range of audio systems that is available for Renault Koleos, including a top-end system developed by Bose®. Specifically tailored to the acoustic properties of the cabin, it comprises a digital amplifier, seven loudspeakers and a woofer. The outstanding hi-fi quality means that occupants are able to profit from their favourite music whether it is delivered by the radio, the six-CD/MP3-compatabile multi-changer or an external source such as an iPod connected to the fascia-mounted jack plug.
Driving pleasure is enhanced by an array of comfort-enhancing features, from the front and rear proximity sensors for easier parking to the automatic parking brake which is applied whenever the engine is switched off, and then automatically released when the engine is fired up.
Renault Koleos is also equipped wîth a Carminat Navigation and Communication system incorporating three functions: a GPS navigation system wîth 7-inch, 16/9 screen and DVD atlas, a radio and six-CD multichanger and controls for a hands-free Bluetooth® telephone. The controls for these functions are located within easy reach on the centre console. For enhanced night-time vision, Renault Koleos is available wîth bi-Xenon headlamps and
fixed bending lights. These additional lights illuminate the inside of corners, thereby permitting the driver to spot a possible hazard or obstacle much sooner. This feature vastly improves the field of vision in risk situations (junctions, corners) and consequently enhances night-time safety and driving comfort.
4. Koleos benefits from the Alliance's extensive active and passive safety expertise
Safety is a fundamental feature built into all Renault models, and Koleos has been engineered to provide impeccable performance on both the active and passive safety fronts. Its active safety is based on its carefully engineered chassis and big brakes which bring the model to a standstill from 100kph in just 42 metres, one of the shortest stopping distances to be found in the SÚV/crossover §egmènt.
In emergency braking situations, when taking avoidance action or when grip is lost, Renault Koleos can count on ABS wîth electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESP wîth understeer control. Even before the latter kicks in, the all-wheel drive transmission control system intervenes to adjust the front-rear torque split as soon as the first signs of oversteer or understeer are detected.
The fact that Renault's range includes eight models that have been awarded the maximum five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating speaks volumes for the brand's expertise when it comes to passive safety. It goes without saying that Renault Koleos has benefited from the years of extensive research that have gone into studying real-life accidents. Its very structure has been engineered to include programmed crumple zones both at the front and
rear, while the design of the cabin's structure allows it to serve as a protective cell in the case of an accident. Furthermore, Renault Koleos comes wîth a long list of equipment committed to optimizing occupant protection, including six airbags (including two adaptive front airbags which adapt to the passenger's build), load limiters for the front and outer rear seat seatbelts, front seatbelt pretensioners and Isofix child seat anchorage for the outer rear seats.
5. The dynamic lines of a saloon wîth 4x4 styling cues Renault Koleos' lines were designed to be both distinctive and expressive. Koleos is unmistakably an 4x4, yet its looks are in no way aggressive and its styling is appealing without being ostentatious. The front end features the logo of the brand flanked by air intakes and modern elliptical headlamps, notably the module which incorporates Xenon headlamps and additional cornering lights.
The side design of Renault Koleos – including high ground clearance and prominent wheel arches – betrays its 4x4 calling. 'Koleos has a strong personality. In our programme, it is a unique model that stands out from its rivals thanks to its raked rear screen which is suggestive of propulsion,' notes Renault's Director of Design, Patrick le Quement. The distinctive lines of its hatch form a movement that flows from the bottom of the rear window to converge on the logo which sits on a gloss black finish plaque.
The cabin and drive station are purposely intuitive and the interior design is based on a series of elegantly flowing curves. The bottom of the dashboard forms a wave-like line which gives the impression that the cowling is actually floating on the dashboard. The form of the centre console, which houses all the vehicle's principal functions, contributes to an inescapable sense of well-being. This is further compounded by the quality of the materials selected for Koleos and by the careful attention that has been paid to the play and mating between panels and components. 'The carefully-honed interior of Koleos is of a very high quality,' observes Patrick le Quement. 'Its graphic design is very pleasing, while special attention has been paid to perceived quality.'
For customers who wish to personalize their vehicle, Renault has developed a range of customization accessories, some of which underpin the all-terrain calling of Koleos.
6. A new-generation automobile
Evolutions in consumer demand and the world's growing awareness of environmental issues have led carmakers to rethink their leisure vehicle line-ups. The traditional 4x4 vehicle, which tends not to be widely accepted by society, has come of age. As a consequence, so-called ‘crossover' vehicles have been gaining ground in recent years. The presence of SÚV-type vehicles can be observed in all §egmènts, in the same way that MPVs spread to other categories in the late ‘90s. Indeed, the notion of §egmènt is no longer clear-cut in the minds of customers. Today, SÚVs account for five per cent of the total market worldwide compared wîth less than one per cent 15 years ago.
A vehicle intended to win over new customers
The SÚV/compact crossover market is constantly expanding in the top five Europe countries and strong growth in the past five years has seen all-makes sales double from 222,500 to 522,000 vehicles (see appendix).
This trend can be observed across Europe: in a total market of approximately 15 million vehicles, the SÚV/compact crossover category accounts for almost five per cent, wîth more than 700,000 vehicles of this type sold in 2007.
The sector is extremely competitive, too, wîth the availability of 25 models. The launch of Renault Koleos, the range's first 4x4 crossover, sees Renault complete its line-up wîth a new vehicle that benefits from the maturity and expertise of the market's leading players.
European SÚV/compact crossover customers come essentially from the C and D §egmènts. The majority of them already own a vehicle of this type (25%), while 22% come from the D §egmènt and 13% from the C §egmènt. Former MPV owners account for eight per cent of SÚV/compact crossover buyers.
Renault Koleos is a sign of the group's ongoing international expansion. The newcomer goes on sale in Europe in June 2008 and will be available in almost 40 countries on five continents by 2009.
7. A unique industrial adventure
Five years after the Renault-Nissan Alliance was sealed, and four years after the founding of the Renault Samsung Motors brand in Korea, Renault took the decision to launch a 4x4 project driven by a twofold objective: to complete its C-§egmènt line-up yet remaining true to its philosophy as a company which designs and produces vehicles that respect others. The synergies permitted by the Alliance, such as the sharing of platforms and mechanical assemblies, and the prospect of increased sales in Korea ensured a first class financial context.
The different roles were allocated as follows: Renault would work on the concept, design the vehicle, draw up a brief concerning performance and equipment and supply the diesel powerplants. Nissan would bring its 4x4 technology to the table, supply the petrol engines and take responsibility for validation. Finally, Renault Samsung Motors would ensure the production of Renault Koleos for the world market.
The Alliance's C platform – which had been transformed into the C 4x4 platform by Nissan for its X-Trail and Rogue models – lent itself perfectly to the new crossover's volumes. Production of the vehicle in Korea rapidly emerged as the natural choice, given that SÚV and crossovers are the predominant category in the country where they enjoy a market share of some 20 per cent. Meanwhile, the efficiency and flexibility of Renault Samsung Motors' Busan plant was a further parameter that argued in favour of using the Korean facility as the sole production site for Renault Koleos and a letter of intention was signed in March 2004. Koleos was destined to be Renault's first crossover, conceived and designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and built by Renault Samsung Motors.
A team of Japanese engineers from Nissan was despatched to work alongside Renault's own design team at the Technocentre in Guyancourt, France, to validate the project's technical feasibility. The pre-contract milestone was rapidly reached and, in December 2004, the decision was taken to launch the development phase of the H45 project. A Renault project team specializing in the Renault-Nissan Alliance C platform was set up to serve as a small-scale interface and channel requests for information from the project teams at Nissan and Renault Samsung Motors. An equal parity, tripartite §teering committee was consequently established and the programme chiefs from each of the three brands met regularly in France, Japan and Korea to arbitrate on the responses of Nissan's vehicle engineering department to the demands of Renault's brief.
The following phase saw the project switch its base near Nissan's Atsugi engineering centre in Japan where designers from Renault and Renault Samsung Motors worked on finalizing the exterior and interior design. The first Renault Koleos was born. The design freeze milestone was reached in July 2005 and the go-ahead was given for development of the H45 to begin.
28 months of development
From the design freeze milestone to production sign-off in November 2007, 28 months of active collaboration saw the programme teams of all three brands focus on achieving the objectives set by Renault.
The combination of the project's complexity and the tripartite relationship permitted new, increasingly streamlined practices to be put into place. To ensure that Renault Koleos benefited from the very best that the Renault-Nissan Alliance had to offer, arbitration was called for on several occasions, if only because customer demand has a tendency to differ from one continent to another, making it necessary to anticipate market trends on a global scale. Furthermore, although the operational methodologies employed at Renault and Nissan are converging, the two entities still have strong separate cultural identities and it was necessary to take their specificities into account.
The bulk of the work that followed the contract milestone in October 2005 concerned the response of Nissan's vehicle engineering department to the product, performance and equipment demands formulated by Renault.
The first prototype was produced in Japan at the beginning of 2006 in the Nissan pilot factory where the assembly processes and necessary tooling are developed before the production of a new vehicle can begin in the chosen factory. Renault Koleos naturally followed the same path as the Nissan models based on the same platform – X-Trail and Rogue – and the same manufacturing processes were adopted.
In November 2006, the first waves of physical prototypes marked the start of the H45 project's production phase. Renault Samsung Motors allocated a staff of 68 to work in Zama wîth Nissan's vehicle engineering department to draw up the standard operation sheets and optimize assembly procedures.
In parallel, a test programme was put into place to validate the performance and reliability
of Renault Koleos in extreme conditions. A total of 1,750,000km was covered, either on location or on tests benches. Given the newcomer's broad spectrum of markets, including Russia, Korea, the Middle East and Australia, Koleos was put through its paces in the severest of conditions. The cold climate tests took place in Japan on the island of Hokkaido, while the hot weather programme was organised in Australia and Spain.
Six months later, the vehicle arrived on the production line in Busan, Korea. This timeline enabled the necessary tooling for production start-up to be completed, while the operators themselves received nearly 50,000 hours of specific training.
On November 5, 2007, the Busan factory was given the green light to begin the manufacture of QM5, the Korean version of the forthcoming Renault Koleos. A few months later, the first vehicles for the Korean market rolled off the line just as production of Koleos started in readiness for the model's release in Europe in June 2008.
8. The Renault-Nissan Alliance: a power-horse of performance
The concept of co-development, or task-sharing, between three players wîth such distinctive cultures as France, Japan and Korea turned out to an extremely stimulating challenge for the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
A capital outlay of less than €400 million
The performance of Nissan's engineering department, the synergies permitted by the
Alliance and the flexibility of Renault Samsung Motors' production plant in Busan, Korea,
made it possible to achieve considerable investment-related savings. Indeed, the total capital outlay was a highly competitive €391 million, below the initially targeted figure.
Capital outlay was divided into:
• engineering costs: €192 million,
• production-related investment: €178 million, half of which was spent on the Busan factory and the remainder invested in the set-up of specific tooling at the premises of suppliers,
- start-up costs: €21 million.
The engineering costs notably covered the work put in by Nissan to adapt to the requirements specified by Renault. The latter's particularly demanding brief stipulated that it would supply Nissan wîth the technical elements and mechanical assemblies required to develop the sort of features and functions specific to the Renault brand which its customers have come to expect and which can be found on vehicles throughout the range. These include the automatic parking brake, Man Machine Interface and speed limiter, as well as the ‘magic handle' function of the hands-free card and the ‘voir clair' (‘clear view') demist function which Nissan succeeded in incorporating from the initial design phases. The carryover of Renault mechanical assemblies outweighed the expense of having to adapt them and enabled capital outlay to be kept to a minimum.
Production-related investment at Busan notably went on improving work conditions and creating more ergonomic work-stations which are a pledge of quality and productivity. Koleos is the 11th of the 26 models that Renault has announced to fuel its growth. The launch of a 4x4 crossover sees Renault pursue its product offensive and complete its vehicle line-up wîth a model that marks a first in the history of the brand. In addition to the newcomer's proven 4x4 technology, Renault's brings its expertise in the realm of safety to the table, as well as a typically Renault approach to modularity and comfort to provide a spectrum of top-end functions and features of a level similar to those featured on Laguna III.
From launch, Renault's first 4x4 crossover is targeting a place amongst the best in its class in terms of product and service quality, an undertaking which is backed up by the same three-year or 150,000km warranty that covers Renault's other upperrange vehicles.
This approach forms part of a global strategy aimed at both promoting brand loyalty and winning over new customers to speed up Renault's presence on the international scene and develop the sale of top-end vehicles while at the same time consolidating its flagship values, namely comfort, intuitive design and modularity.Source - Renault
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