The SUV boom may be waning, but that's not stopping Renault from coming up with the Koleos concept, a sneak preview of an all-wheel drive SUV concept the automaker will launch in 2008. Built on a completely new platform developed with Nissan, the Koleos' claim to fame is the driving dynamics of a performance-tailored crossover with the rugged look and roominess (at least by European standards) of an SUV with seating for four.

An American SUV it's not, but it's nicely equipped for Europe -- Its 2.0 dCi common rail turbodiesel engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission and puts out 180 hp. Some nice perks that will probably be concept-only features include gauges for atmospheric pressure, altitude and gradient, included to stress the adventurous nature of the vehicle.

The vehicle also sports the amenities found in many premium SUVs, including electronic traction control, LED backlighting, navigation, and a panoramic glass roof.

John snapped some great shots of the vehicle -- check them out after the jump.

Koleos Concept – adventure every day

Renault has chosen to unveil Koleos Concept at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. This show car foreshadows a 4WD vehicle that Renault is due to market in the first half of 2008. The Koleos Concept car asserts its claim to the rugged and sporty world of 4WDs while featuring the roominess and comfort of a crossover. It boasts a wide range of practical functions for both everyday use and leisure.

To ensure maximum off- and on-road comfort, Koleos Concept is built on a new four-wheel drive chassis and is powered by a 2.0 dCi engine, both of which have been developed within the framework of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This 4WD is totally in its element in any conditions and is sure to deliver genuine pleasure to its occupants whatever the road surface.

A 4WD with dynamic lines

Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, the Koleos Concept show car foreshadows the shape of Renault's future 4WD. Penned by Renault designers working in collaboration with the Renault Samsung Motors Design Centre in Korea. The grey-blue body colour emphasizes the high-tech feel of its volumes. The front end features LED headlamps, with additional lights and indicators housed in the exterior mirrors.

Koleos Concept features dynamic proportions. The strip between the body sides and the roof reinforces the stance of the car. The glazed roof panel is topped by profiled aluminium roof bars, while the chunky wheel arches house 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels fitted with "concept pattern" tyres. The 200mm ground clearance and front and rear aluminium protective skidplates confirm that this is a car built for adventure. The steeply raked rear window further emphasizes Koleos Concept's dynamic feel. The design of the vehicle's rear asserts its identity in a long sweep that runs from the base of the rear screen and through to the centre of the hatch. This smoothly curved, glossy black section houses the Renault badge. Hinting at the vehicle's dynamic powertrain, a twin exhaust tailpipe is incorporated into the rear bumper.

Technology and travelling comfort

The aluminium door sill extensions which deploy when the doors are open facilitate ingress. On settling into the cabin, occupants discover a sporty interior, all in a two-tone colour scheme. The four independent seats, upholstered in beige leather, have been optimized to free up space for occupants and their luggage.

On the dashboard, the speedometer features LED backlighting. The centre console is made from a transparent material and contains the individual controls for the climate control system. A long list of equipment is included to enhance travelling comfort. The central part of the dashboard is given over to the navigation system, multimedia applications and specific data useful for all-terrain motoring such as atmospheric pressure, compass bearings, altitude and gradient. All this information is displayed so that all the cabin occupants can read it easily. Controls are both intuitive and ergonomically designed – in keeping with the Touch Design philosophy developed by Renault.

The cabin is brightly lit thanks to the panoramic glass roof panel.

Koleos Concept offers all the comfort and roominess of a modern urban car. Ample headroom and shoulder room enable Koleos Concept to seat four adults, whatever their physique.

The numerous stowage compartments in the cabin take their cue from the world of MPVs and extend from those in the floor, to under-seat drawers and the centre console cubby, not to mention the door bins.

A vehicle that is ready for wide-open spaces

Koleos Concept offers a full range of practical features for everyday and leisure use. The split-opening tailgate makes the vehicle easy to load and easy to access in cramped parking spaces. The lower part of the hatch is designed to enable two people to sit comfortably for picnics or for open-air activities during holidays or weekend excursions.

The chassis comes with all the features of an all-terrain vehicle making it ideally suited to this kind leisure use. Developed within the framework of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, this brand new chassis has drawn on the all-wheel drive expertise of our Japanese partner. Whether running in two-wheel or four-wheel drive mode, it guarantees flawless traction and roadholding thanks to an electronically controlled active coupler which distributes torque to the wheels as a function of the level of grip available under each one.

Koleos Concept also boasts a wide range of driver aids. Some are designed for day to day motoring, like ABS, Emergency Brake Assist and ESP, while others are valuable all-terrain functions such as Hill Down Control (HDC) and Hill Start Assist (HSA).

Koleos Concept is powered by an engine which is just at home on city streets, highways and motorways as it is over rough tracks where grip is at a premium. Its 2.0 dCi engine employs state-of-the-art diesel engine technology including piezoelectric injectors, 1,600-bar common rail injection and a variable geometry turbocharger.

To minimize polluting emissions, the 2.0 dCi is equipped with a periodic regeneration particulate filter, which operates without additives. It drives through a six-speed manual gearbox that gives Koleos Concept touring car level driving pleasure.

Koleos Concept – Technical Characteristics

Dimensions

Overall length 4,520mm

Width (excluding exterior mirrors) 1,890mm

Height 1,700mm

Powertrain

Four-cylinder 2.0-litre 16-valve turbocharged diesel engine with particulate filter, Euro4-compliant

Maximum power: 130kW/180hp

Six-speed manual gearbox

Transmission

Four-wheel drive, transversely-positioned front-mounted engine

Electronic traction control as a function of available grip (front/rear split from 0 to 100 per cent)

19-inch wheels

Hankook 255/50 R19 tyres


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