• Sep 7, 2006
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Renault has pulled the wraps off its Paris stunner called the Nepta Concept – a four-seat convertible with a pair of motor-driven gull-wing doors. Gull-wing doors on a convertible? The doors pivot on an aluminum strip running down the center of the car's hood and a point immediately behind the rear seats, and they reveal the concept's 420-hp, 3.5-liter V6 hooked up to a seven-speed automatic when open.

The overall shape of the Nepta is very clean and simple, with an expressive face up front and tapered rear that hangs far out over the rear wheels. A nice anodized aluminum accent strip rings the lower part of the vehicle and nicely highlights the car's length.

The interior of the Nepta is a mix of classic styling cues and forward thinking that includes combination analog/digital gauges, a rotary gear shift and white leather "bench" seats, although we don't recommend forcing a fifth person to sit on that center hump.

Clearly the Nepta is a throw back concept for Renault that relies less on the draw of its design to attract attention than it does those trick doors. Again I ask, gull-wing doors on a convertible? No answer.

[Source: Renault]

PHOTO GALLERY
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PRESS RELEASE:

Nepta - a prestige cabriolet for genuine driving pleasure

Renault is unveiling its new Nepta concept car, a four-seater cabriolet with fluid lines and a thoroughbred profile. The low-slung body shape is an expression of elegance and movement, while the spacious and comfortable interior has all the hallmarks of a top-end model. Nepta is a dynamic four-seater GT cabriolet, offering performance at the wheel that is worthy of a prestige sedan.

An attractive and dynamic cabriolet
This flowing, elegant four-seater cabriolet is an expression of Renault's vision of driving pleasure. The wave-shaped side panels give an impression of fluidity and highlight Nepta's long body shape; an effect that is further enhanced by the special anodic aluminium colour treatment on the lower part of the body shell, the mud flaps and the front and rear spoilers.

The front end is simple yet expressive. The LED headlights are made up of three assemblies: the daytime running lights, the dipped and main beam headlights and the steering lights. The headlights use a technology based on the reflection and propagation of light. The light beam from the main headlights is reflected by crystal-shaped transparent blocks that are electronically controlled for more precise lighting. The quantity and distribution of the light automatically adapts to the driving conditions. The rounded forms of the front wings are enhanced by the innovative boomerang-shaped indicator lights, positioned at the top of the lighting units.

The long and tapered rear end, which is punctuated by the crystals of the rear lights, adds a further sense of movement to Nepta. The overhang is longer at the rear than at the front, highlighting the vehicle's attractive proportions and flowing line. Nepta is an echo of the golden age of automotive styling, while remaining resolutely modern and innovative.

Nepta is a combination of the dream car and the love of fine mechanical engineering. The motor-driven gull wing doors open to reveal the interior and the engine, which is elegantly housed in its compartment. The centrally positioned door hinges are covered by polished aluminium panels representing a shooting star that runs the full length of the front bonnet, contributing to the impression of movement that the body shell creates.

The doors are fitted with electronic obstacle detectors and an anti-pinch device for greater safety.

A luxuriously welcoming and roomy interior
Nepta boasts all the features found in prestige models with discreet technology for greater on-board comfort.

The dashboard appears to be suspended, while the extensions of the windscreen illuminate the pedal unit and make for a bright and clear driving station. The rev counter and cone-shaped instruments are surrounded by leather trim. The design of the
instruments pays tribute to vehicles of the past, while the aluminium treatment adds a modern touch. The combination of analogue and digital displays is a further expression of classic cars and the modern era. The air conditioning controls located at each end of the dashboard can be independently adjusted by each occupant and combine advanced technology and ease of use.

The intuitive controls are inspired by the Touch Design approach. The centrally-mounted, rotary gear shift is easy and comfortable to use. The conveniently positioned multimedia information controls can be easily reached, while the stalk switches and control paddles mounted on the steering wheel are designed to match the shape of the driver's hands. The seats are fixed, but the steering wheel and the pedals can be adjusted by a motor-driven mechanism to match the driver's dimensions.

The dashboard features special storage compartments for glasses and other personal objects, while the central console also has a sliding cubby located between the rear seats. The red leather upholstery creates an impression of continuity between the vehicle interior and the engine compartment. Both bench seats are coated with leather decorated with printed patterns. The four comfortable seats are secured to the floor by aluminium struts reminiscent of sailing boats.

DVD screens with folding protective covers are installed in the upper sections of the backs of the front seats. The lower sections are decorated with elegant leather netting that is ideal for storing magazines.

The rear passengers are protected against turbulence by the transparent air deflectors positioned between the front and rear seats.

A powerplant designed for pleasure
Nepta's longitudinally mounted 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine is the embodiment of pleasure at the wheel. This 420hp powerplant takes just 4.9 seconds to reach 100kph from a standing start. Coupled to the seven-speed automatic gearbox with flick-shift controls mounted on the steering wheel, this direct injection petrol engine combines an outstanding drive with a significant reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "The modern automotive renaissance" - Not really - In production this will be a coupe or convertible with two conventional doors and the Infiniti G35 engine and platform. It even has the Infiniti center dash clock. It's interesting to see Renault leverage the merger to this extent, there is nothing revolutionary here.

      The new MO is for concept cars to closely indicate the styling and general layout of a future model, with one dramatic not for production feature, to test the reaction of the public. Here the dramatic feature is the door design.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It would never work in the US. There's no way to cram a stupid HEMI into it, which is apparently all the buyers care about here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      A VERY FULL PLATE:

      I'VE BEEN AN INTENSE CAR ENTHUSIAST SINCE I WAS ABOUT EIGHT-YEARS OLD. AND OVER THE YEARS, I'VE ACCUMULATED A MENTAL ROLODEX OF COOL CAR PHOTOS THAT WOULD MELT THE MOTHERBOARD OF A CRAY. AND AN AWFUL LOT OF THAT MENTAL CAPACITY IS DEVOTED SPECIFICALLY TO FRENCH-PRODUCED CONCEPT CARS. ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THEM ARE UNSPEAKABLY WEIRD, ABOUT ONE-THIRD ARE INCREDIBLY COOL BUT EQUALLY IMPRACTICAL, AND THE FINAL THIRD ARE SERIOUSLY OFFPUTTING BUT MAKE IT INTO PRODUCTION ANYWAY; GO FIGURE. BUT AFTER ALL, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE FRENCH, HERE. AND IT REALLY DOESN'T SEEM TO MATTER WHAT THE CHARACTER OF THE VEHICLE IN QUESTION IS..., THE PARENT COMPANY ALMOST ALWAYS SEEMS TO LAVISH ENORMOUS TIME AND SWEAT-EQUITY INTO MAKING ITS PRESENTATION A STYLISH TOUR DE FORCE. AND THAT CERTAINLY SEEMS TO BE THE CASE, HERE. THE NEPTA IS INCREDIBLY COOL LOOKING, BUT THE OVERALL DESIGN MAKES ABOUT AS MUCH SENSE AS A 500 LB BALLPINE HAMMER.

      UP UNTIL NOW, WE'VE RARELY EVER SEEN THE END RESULTS OF THIS WILDLY QUIRKY BEHAVIOR ON THIS SIDE OF THE POND. BUT I THINK THAT'S ABOUT TO CHANGE. WHO HAS ANY IDEA WHAT CARLOS GHOSEN WANTS TO PRODUCE IN THOSE ADDITIONAL U.S. FACTORIES THAT HE WANTS TO BUY...? $3-BILLION DOLLARS U.S. WILL GET YOU AN AWFUL LOT OF CAPACITY. I MEAN, HOW MANY COPIES OF NISSAN'S NEW QASHQAI CROSSOVER CAN HE POSSIBLY HOPE TO SELL HERE? IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, THAT SEGMENT OF THE MARKET IS QUICKLY BECOMING WHITE-HOT. CHRYSLER GROUP IS CURRENTLY STAMPING OUT HUGE MASSES OF THEIR CALIBER/COMPASS/PATRIOT TRIPLETS, AND EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM IS JUMPING OFF THE SALES LOTS AT A FEVERISH PACE. THERE'S EVEN A FIFTEEN-DAY WAITING LIST. THEY CAN'T POSSIBLY HOPE TO MAKE ENOUGH OF THEM TO MEET DEMAND, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE NOW RUNNING THREE EIGHT-HOUR SHIFTS. TOYOTA'S NEW RAV4 IS ALREADY HEAR, AND SO ARE ACURA'S RDX AND BMW'S X3. LANDROVER'S NEW LR2 IS HITTING SHOWROOMS AT ABOUT THE SAME TIME AS YOU'RE READING THIS. THE ALL NEW NITRO IS DUE IN THE MARKETPLACE ALMOST IMMEDIATELY, AND THE HEAVILY AMPED-UP CALIBER SRT4 SHOULD BE ARRIVING IN EITHER MID-SPRING OR EARLY SUMMER. AND YOU CAN EXPECT AN EQUALLY WELL MUSCLED ITERATION OF THE COMPASS TO BOW SOON AFTER, THOUGH I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT IT WILL BE "TRAIL RATED."

      ADMITTING THAT IT'S NOTHING BUT WILD SPECULATION AT THIS POINT, I BELIEVE THAT RENAULT/NISSAN MUST BE THINKING OF MANUFACTURING THE FRENCH CAR COMPANY'S NEWLY EVOLVING LINEUP HERE IN THE STATES. IT WOULD BE THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY FOR RENAULT TO MAKE A CLEAN BREAK FROM FRANCE'S UTTERLY PUNITIVE GOVERNMENT REGS, HIGH ENERGY COSTS AND DESTRUCTIVE LABOR PRACTICES. SO DON'T BE AT ALL SURPRISED TO SEE A SUDDEN MIGRATION OF FRENCH DESIGNERS AND ENGINEERS TO NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, WITH THEIR LAPTOPS TUCKED UNDER THEIR ARMS. I IMAGINE THAT NISSAN USA'S NEWLY RELOCATED DIGS THERE WERE BUILT WITH IMMEDIATE EXPANSION IN MIND. NISSAN'S MARKET SHARE LOOKS TO BE MAXED OUT UNTIL THEY COMPLETE THE UPDATING OF THEIR ENTIRE MENUE OF VEHICLES, AND FORD'S MOTTLED COLLECTION OF HAPLESS OFFERINGS NEEDS TO BE SERIOUSLY TRIMMED BACK; ANOTHER CONQUEST THAT'S CURRENTLY IN GHOSEN'S CROSSHAIRS. I JUST CAN'T WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE NEXT-GEN OF INFINITI'S FX TWINS WILL LOOK LIKE IF THE RENAULT TEAM ENDS UP WITH THE RESTYLING CONTRACT. I WILL SAY THIS, THOUGH. WHATEVER THE ULTIMATE FORM THAT GHOSEN'S VISION TAKES, I THINK THAT THE VERY HUB OF HIS GLOBAL EMPIRE WILL BE FOUND RIGHT HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONE PLACE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD THAT HAS THE POTENT COMBINATION OF AFFORDABLE ENERGY, A RELAXED AND INVITING LEGISLATIVE ENVIRONMENT, A LARGE WORKFORCE EAGER TO WORK, MASSIVE QUANTITIES OF OBTAINABLE SPACE, THE WORLD'S MOST HIGHLY DEVELOPED AND COMPLETE TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE, COUPLED WITH AN UNMATCHED INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS CAPABILITY. AND LOTS OF LOW-INTEREST CASH. SO THE NEXT EIGHT YEARS OR SO SHOULD PROVE VERY EXCITING ONES FOR CAR BUYERS. BECAUSE EVERY SERIOUS PLAYER IS GOING TO BE TAKING THEIR BEST SHOTS, AND NOBODY WANTS TO SURRENDER MARKET SHARE TO ANYONE. SO, WHO'S GOING TO BE THE BIGGEST WINNER OF ALL? WE ARE. I'M DAN SMITH
      • 8 Years Ago
      I wish people would stop complaining that Detroit can't make something like this, this car looks painfully like the last Ford Thunderbird, especially the side profile.

      The gullwing doors are just an autoshow gimmick like the suicide doors on the Chysler Imperial concept; the most interesting thing about this car is that it appears to be using the Nissan 3.5 V6 in a rear wheel drive configuration - something that could make it to production, probably with the G35 platform.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is it my imagination or is just about every European concept car riding out there on the "bleeding edge"? Sure, most of the designs a largely impractical for production, but they are just so damn COOL!And WHAT do we get from GM/FORD/DCX??? Nothing so memorable that it's worth mentioning here.....
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nic elooking concept....and every one of them comes with its own white flag.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Man does that look like a coffin
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's wild, silly, and would never pass side-impact requirements, but this is so cool it gave me chills.

      This is what concept cars should be about, crazy ideas that make people go "wow!". Pure fantasy, I love it.

      I even love those little winged rear view mirrors, and the wing theme in gauge pod. The more I look at the details and the lines of the car, the more it looks like a bird. It's beautiful.

      • 8 Years Ago
      wow. that car is stunning.
      • 8 Years Ago
      BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS, INCREDIBLE
      • 8 Years Ago
      THE BIG 3 NEED THE PEOPLE WHO DESIGN CARS FOR RENAULT
      • 8 Years Ago
      The best designs come from Renault, edgy, modern designs, Espace, Avantime, Meganne and now this new convertible.

      Not boring, just elegant cars with terrific lines
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