Renault has just announced a new compact mid-size sedan called the Fluence for its Turkish, Russian, and Romanian markets. The Fluence is sized to slot in between the usual C- and D-segment offerings, making it a bit larger than the Megane and smaller than the Laguna. The front-wheel drive four door is apparently based on the platform of the Renault Samsung SM3 which is built and sold in South Korea.
For its initial markets, the Fluence gets a range of seven four-cylinder engines, including five diesels º all of which comply with the Euro-V emissions standards. The diesels range from 85- to 110-horsepower, and they all emit less than 119 g/km of carbon dioxide, which makes them eligible for registration discounts and congestion charge exemptions in place where that is relevant. The Fluence will be built at a Renault factory in Bursa, Tur
All of this news could all be relevant for American consumers if Roger Penske manages to close a deal with Renault to have Samsung supply cars for Saturn. If that comes to pass, we could conceivably see a variant of this car show up at Saturn dealers in the States in the next few years. Check out the press release after the jump and the high-res gallery below.
August 31st, 2009
RENAULT FLUENCE: FOR TRAVELLING IN STYLE
Renault is to enhance its range in autumn 2009 with an elegant new saloon: FLUENCE. Renault Fluence was designed with the aim of standing out as the most attractive car of its class and several features set it apart from rivals: beneath its strong, sporting exterior, Fluence features a comfortable cabin and a barrage of useful technological aids. Fluence targets customers looking for a status-enhancing saloon and will be built on the
existing assembly line at the Oyak-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey, where the booted Mégane II was previously produced.
Passenger comfort is optimized by generous dimensions:
• 4,620mm long, 1,809mm wide, 1,479mm high and a wheelbase of 2,702mm,
• 530dm3 of boot space,
• more passenger space than any main rival, including 1,480mm of elbow room at the front and 1,475mm at the rear.
An ergonomically sound driving position:
• Fluence's dashboard features elegant, flowing lines and key functions fall easily to hand – these include the controls for the navigation and climate control systems, the steeringwheel-mounted radio and telephone fingertip remote controls and the controls for the cruise control/speed limiter,
• the driver's seat has a huge range of adjustments, 240mm fore or aft and +/-35mm in terms of height; the steering wheel can be adapted for rake and reach, too.
A comfortable, welcoming cabin:
• the 60/40-spilt rear seat is wide and comfortable,
• the cabin features more than 23 litres of stowage space, including an illuminated, refrigerated glovebox (nine litres) and a 2.2-litre centre console cubby,
• a climate control system with front and rear vents is standard, even on entry-level models; automatic dual-zone climate control is available as an option.
A raft of user-friendly, high-tech features more commonly associated with top-of-the range models:
• hands-free entry and ignition card with automatic locking of the doors as the card-holder walks away from the vehicle,
• the new, integrated Carminat TomTom® navigation system for less than €500,
• a wide range of audio options including the range-topping 3D Sound by Arkamys® system, Bluetooth® telephony and 'Plug & Music' digital connectivity.
A blend of outstanding comfort and top-class roadholding embellished by engines which combine punch with fuel economy:
• a chassis that aligns efficiency with comfort and driving pleasure,
• a comprehensive choice of engines, with four petrol and five diesel Renault eco² options.
Rigorously designed to meet even the most exacting customer's demands:
• a comprehensive range of leading safety features: standard ABS and emergency braking assist, ESC, up to six airbags, three-point seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters, cruise control with speed limiter, etc.,
• reliability and durability proven by a ferocious testing regime; our quality control systems are designed with certain markets' most demanding road conditions in mind.
A strong environmental stance:
• all diesel models in the Fluence range have a CO2 emissions rating of 119g/km and qualify for the Renault eco² signature,
• in 2011, the Renault range will be boosted by the introduction of an all-electric version of Fluence – proof that attractive, comfortable, spacious cars are by no means incompatible with respect for the environment.
1. ELEGANT, FLUID STYLING
Harmonious, modern forms
This new, four-door saloon is 4.62 metres long and its size and generous levels of standard equipment place it halfway between the C segment, for compact family cars, and the segment immediately above.
Streamlined headlights herald the start of an elegant waist line which sweeps harmoniously along Fluence's sides to the boot. The surround and chromed grille of the upper air intake embellish the car's front-end looks with a sporting flourish, while Renault Fluence's status-enhancing appeal is heightened by its sculptured wheel arches and long bonnet. At the rear, the horizontal, two-part lights allow a generous boot aperture and reinforce the car's thoroughly modern styling.
Fluence packs several opulent upgrade touches: the lower window and boot trims, foglamp surrounds and door handles are finished in chrome, while the B-pillar uprights are gloss black along with body colour side protective mouldings.
Perceptions of strength and quality
The sense of strength and safety is reinforced by the carefully proportioned balance between the windows and the large surface area of the doors, the lower part of which incorporates protective panels. Seen from the side, a distinctive character line flows rearward from the rounded front wings before emphasizing the solid rear haunches.
Renault Fluence creates an impression of quality, and particular attention has been paid to the fit and finish of body panels (windscreen pillars and refuelling flap, for example). The rear bumper incorporates discreet parking sensors. At rest, the windscreen wipers are tucked away behind the bonnet's upper edge, partly for aesthetic reasons, but also to reduce wind noise and improve aerodynamic efficiency.
A simple yet elegantly styled interior
In the cabin, the airy facia design incorporates taut, uncluttered lines that are complemented by the sweep of the dashboard trim strip. Essential driving functions and useful accessories all fall easily to hand. They are concentrated around the steeringwheel and centre console with a view to freeing up as much space as possible and to making the car even more user-friendly.
Significant care went into choosing the ideal materials and finish: the integrated upper dashboard cowling has a soft-touch finish, yet it is also resistant to everyday knocks and exposure to direct sunlight.
The step-up in range is equally visible in cabin details such as the chrome finish applied to door handles, instrument surrounds and gearlever knob, as well as the availability of either light- or dark- hued leather upholstery.
Particular attention has been paid to the decorative trimming to create a varied range of distinctive ambiances, and also distinguish between different equipment levels. Customers can choose from a light, elegant interior which exudes a sense of wellbeing, or else something darker, with more sporting overtones.
2. RENAULT FLUENCE PUTS THE ACCENT ON TRAVELLING COMFORT
An ergonomic driving position
It is very easy to feel at home at the wheel of Renault Fluence, thanks to its sound ergonomics and straightforward interfaces. On board, every driver will be able to find the ideal seating position thanks to a wide range of adjustability options, with all the controls near at hand. In a matter of seconds, he or she can:
- adjust the angle of the seatback and headrest,
- alter the level of lumbar support,
- adapt the steeringwheel for rake and reach1,
- vary the seat position (it can be moved fore and aft through up to 240mm, and up or down by +/- 35mm).
All essential cockpit functions fall easily to hand. These include the controls for the navigation and climate control systems, the steeringwheel-mounted radio and telephone fingertip remote controls and the controls for the cruise control/speed limiter.
Space – and a place – for everything
The sense of onboard comfort is embellished by attention to detail in the realm of reduced noise levels and high standards of interior space, including class-topping elbow room (1,480mm at the front, 1,475mm at the rear).
Renault Fluence's cabin provides more than 23 litres of stowage space, including an illuminated, refrigerated2, nine-litre glovebox, a 2.2-litre centre console and a 2.6-litre bin in each front door. The 530dm3 boot capacity is one of the biggest in its class. Access is facilitated by a low sill and a large (1,020mm) aperture, which has been made possible by incorporating one part of the rear light cluster within the boot lid.
The 60/40-split folding rear seat enables the load capacity to be increased to suit the needs of the moment. The absence of any steel partition between the cabin and the boot makes this feature particularly useful when long or bulky items need to be carried.
Perfect cabin temperature at all times
No effort has been spared in terms of thermal comfort, either. To ensure maximum efficiency, notably in international markets exposed to fierce heat and humidity, all versions of Renault Fluence feature climate control as standard equipment – even at entry level. The system is complemented by air vents positioned:
- at the base of the windscreen, as well as at the centre and both ends of the dashboard for front- seat passengers,
- beneath the front seats and at the rear of the centre console for those sitting at the back.
1 Depending on market
2 On vehicles equipped with automatic climate control
On some models, automatic dual-zone climate control is also available. Tried and proven on the Mégane range, this system is supremely efficient without being intrusively noisy. It enables the driver and front passenger to select individual temperature and fan-speed preferences via the 'Soft-Auto- Fast' control:
- the 'Auto' mode optimizes thermal and acoustic comfort and swiftly adjusts the system to an appropriate setting,
- the quiet 'Soft' mode places the emphasis on effective distribution,
- the 'Fast' mode ensures rapid ventilation of the whole cabin.
3. ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO EASE THE STRAIN OF TRAVELLING AND MOTORING
New, integrated Carminat TomTom® navigation system
Simple to use, the Carminat TomTom® navigation system costs less than €500 and provides:
- clear, precise maps on a large, 5.8-inch screen,
- real-time traffic information and alternative route options,
- notification of speed limits,
- a comprehensive selection of points of interest,
- speed-camera alerts (depending on market),
- a range of functions that can be tailored to suit individual needs or tastes.
The system's integration within the dashboard is a pledge of quality and security. It is easy to update and extend, too, by simply linking its SD card to the internet. A permanent, dedicated website (http://www.renault-multimedia.com) provides up-to-the-minute road network data and enables users to make personalized set-up changes.
A new audio range whose watchwords are 'sound quality' and 'connectivity'
Renault Fluence benefits from the entry level 60-Watt RadioSat Classic system which includes an MP3-compatible CD player and an RCA connector.
For customers who crave more refined performance, Renault has worked with Arkamys® to develop the 3D Sound by Arkamys® system which incorporates:
- a powerful 140W system with eight speakers (four woofers and four tweeters),
- Bluetooth® connectivity,
- Arkamys® digital sonic tuning, which provides three-dimensional surround sound, guarantees precise reproduction and tailors sound to suit the forms of the cabin and the materials employed,
- a double antenna to provide optimal radio reception.
The Plug & Music option enables drivers to control auxiliary players (such as an iPod®, or anything with a USB connection) via the steeringwheel-mounted fingertip remote controls. The menu and playlists are displayed on the dashboard screen.
Bluetooth® connectivity also enables the driver to operate the telephone via the steeringwheel- mounted remote control.
Several other similarly practical touches complete this high-tech package (available as standard on some models, or as an option on others). These include a hands-free entry and ignition card (with automatic locking of doors as the card-holder walks away from the car) and cruise control with speed limiter.
4. SHEER DRIVING PLEASURE
Renault Fluence's chassis delivers an efficient, comfortable and enjoyable ride. The aim of Renault's engineers was to combine steering and handling precision with minimal noise and vibrations. Fluence's front suspension features MacPherson-type struts with rectangular lower arms, while the rear incorporates a programmed-deflection flexible beam.
Renault Fluence also benefits from a particularly effective braking system, with large discs that provide both outstanding stopping power and durability. The electric power steering combines precise driver feedback with quick, accurate response to instructions from the wheel. It is easy to use and feels completely natural.
Engines that combine punch with fuel economy
From launch, and depending on market, Renault Fluence will be available with a wide range of thrifty engines which are all a pleasure to drive.
Two petrol engines, each available in two versions:
- 1.6 16V 110hp, with automatic transmission or manual gearbox
- 2.0 16V 140hp, with continuously variable transmission (CVT) or manual gearbox
A choice of five variants of the 1.5 dCi diesel block:
- dCi 85
- dCi 90 DPF3
- dCi 105
- dCi 110 DPF3
- dCi 110 DPF with the new dual clutch transmission (DCT)4
All diesel-engined versions return CO2 emissions of 119g/km and qualify for the Renault eco² environmental hallmark.
3 Strictly Euro5-compliant versions available in May 2010
4 Available at the end of 2010
5. SOLID FOUNDATIONS
Reliability and durability proven by extreme endurance testing – a hallmark of Renault quality In addition to all the standard tests, Renault has added another 800 quality checks to take into account the demanding road conditions found in the majority of the countries where Renault Fluence will be marketed.
Fluence benefits from Renault's ongoing efforts to reduce the cost of everyday motoring by between 20 and 30 per cent. For instance, oil-change intervals have been extended to 30,000 kilometres (or every two years) on all diesel models (with the exception of the dCi 85: 20,000km/every year), while climate control systems no longer need to be replenished.
Real-world safety that meets customers' needs and expectations
Fluence was designed using the same philosophy that applies throughout the Renault range. The company has capitalized on studies conducted by LAB5 and also used its extensive engineering expertise to develop efficient safety systems relevant to the real-world driving conditions found in all the countries where Fluence is marketed.
Entry-level Fluence models will be equipped with:
- ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution,
- emergency braking assist, with automatic activation of the hazard warning lights,
- ESC (electronic stability control) with CSV6 understeer control,
- three-point inertia-reel seatbelts, with pretensioners and load limiters for the front seatbelts,
- inertia-reel seatbelts with load limiters for all three rear seats,
- driver and passenger airbags6, two lateral thorax airbags6 and two curtain airbags6,
- warning alert if driver or passenger seatbelts are unfastened6,
- three-point Isofix anchorage for outer rear seats,
- cruise control with speed limiter6,
- latest-generation headrests.
5 LAB: the Accident Analysis, Biomechanics and Human Behaviour Laboratory of PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Renault
6 Depending on version or market
6. THREE MAIN MARKETS
Renault Fluence goes on sale in Turkey from November and will benefit from the Mégane II four- door's fine reputation in three best-selling markets: Turkey, Russia and Romania.
Launched in late 2003, the Mégane II four-door met with considerable success in Turkey. More than 140,000 cars were sold in six years, making it the most popular car in its class. It annexed more than 20 per cent of sales in its segment and emerged as one of the country's top three sellers overall. The medium-compact segment continues to expand and accounted for more than 40 per cent of 2008 car sales in Turkey (up from 36 per cent in 2005). Of these, four-door saloons are the dominant choice and account for 70 per cent of sales.
Thanks to the Mégane II four-door's powerful, economical 1.5 dCi engine, Turkish drivers had a diesel option in this class for the very first time.
Launched in 2004, the Mégane II four-door has notched up 60,000 sales in Russia to become the brand's third most popular model, after Logan and Symbol. Medium-compact segment sales grew sharply from 2006 to 2008, up from 19 per cent of the market to 25 per cent, while four-door saloons dominated sales.
In Russia, the Renault group gained a one-point market share – up to 4.7 per cent – in the first half of 2009, even though the overall market was down by 48.6 per cent. Despite the impact of the current economic crisis, Russia remains a key market for Renault, with huge growth potential in years to come.
More than 35,000 four-door Mégane IIs have been sold since its launch in September 2003. In 2007, it stood out as the fourth most popular car in Romania, with sales of more than 10,000 units.
The medium-compact segment represents 30 per cent of the national market – and four-door saloons account for half those sales. Until 2007, the Mégane II four-door was the best-selling car in its segment. By 2009, despite being six years old, it remained the fourth most popular car in Romania and was second in Renault's domestic sales chart.
7. MANUFACTURED AT THE OYAK-RENAULT PLANT IN BURSA, TURKEY
Built in 1969, the ISO 9001- and ISO 14001-certified Oyak-Renault factory in Bursa, Turkey, deploys the manufacturing standards set out by the Renault Production Way (SPR). Fluence is the fifth model currently built at the plant, alongside New Renault Symbol and the three-door, five-door and estate versions of Clio III.
Renault has invested €110 million in Bursa to build Fluence
Staff at Bursa can call upon plenty of experience, having built two previous generations of the three- box Mégane, while further investment has optimized production facilities:
- Almost half the latest investment was spent on providing tooling for suppliers.
- The balance was spent on the factory itself and assigned as follows:
o €35 million on stamping equipment: 40 sets of tooling, comprising 171 tools, were required to build Renault Fluence's platform and superstructure.
o €21 million on the body shop: a new, versatile AIMS line (Alliance Industrial Manufacturing System) has been created thanks to a process developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance. This system enables different car body styles to pass along the same line. Bursa can currently manufacture two different body types on the same platform, and the new procedures will enable the plant to double its capacity. This new line also features dedicated hubs for the preparation of parts, as well as for preparing the assembly tools and welding clamps used by the operators.
45,000 hours of training to prepare factory personnel for Renault Fluence's arrival
Renowned for its excellent build quality, the Bursa factory celebrated the production of its 3,000,000th vehicle in October 2008. Its exemplary standards are assured thanks to a highly qualified workforce: some 420,000 hours were dedicated to staff training in 2008, and 45,000 of those were devoted to production of Renault Fluence.
160 members of staff spent time at Renault's Technocentre in Guyancourt, France: 60 were machine operators and the remaining 100 comprised quality control engineers, AVES quality assessors (Alliance Vehicle Evaluation Standard) and engineering staff who were able to oversee the manufacture of the first batch of Fluence prototypes at the CRPV (Prototype Vehicle Production Centre) and prepare for the car's introduction at the factory.
The Bursa factory has introduced a range of measures in line with the Renault group's commitment to the environment. Bursa was granted ISO 14001 certification in 1999 and benefits from regular investment and training programmes. As a result, it has succeeded in reducing its consumption of energy (per car built) by more than 45 per cent between 2001 and 2008.
8. OYAK-RENAULT FACTORY (BURSA-TURKEY)
Date of creation: 1969
General Manager: Tarık Tunalıoğlu
Workforce: 6 276 employees as of December 31st, 2008
Activity: Body / assembly and Mechanics
Surface area: 51 hectares of which 29,2 hectares of covered buildings
History: since its creation, the factory has produced 15 different models, it has gradually specialized on the
segment of the compact averages
• 1969: Creation of the Oyak Renault company
• 1971: Start of production of the Renault 12
• 1973: Start of production of the C engines
• 1985: Start of production of the Renault 9
• 1987: Start of production of the Renault 11
• 1990: Start of production of the Renault 21
• 1994: Start of production of the Renault 19
• 1995: Production of the millionth vehicle
• 1996: ISO 9001 certification
• 1997: Start of production of the Megane Tricorps (Sedan)
• 1998: Start of production of the Megane Break on unique site
• 1999: Start of production of the Clio Tricorps (Sedan)
Start of production of the K engine
Certification ISO 14001
• 2003: Start of production of the Megane Tricorps on unique site
• 2004: Production of the 2 millionth vehicle
• 2006: Start of production of the Clio 3 and 5 doors.
Production of the 2 millionth limp with speed
Production and export of 250 000 Megane Tricorps
• 2007: Start of production of the Clio Grand Tour on unique site
Export of the 100 000th engine and the millionth vehicle
Record of production, exports and turnover
• 2008: Start of production of the New Renault Symbol.
Production of 3 millionth vehicle
Start of production of the K9K engine
• 2009: Production of the millionth K9K engine
Production of the 500 000th Megane II Tricorps
Certifications: ISO 9001 and 14001
Productions: Megane II Tricorps, Clio II Tricorps and Clio III, Clio Grand Tour
Engines (K7J, K4M, K4J, K9K)
Lines of production: 1 line for body-assembly unit and 4 lines for power train unit
Production figures: Body / assembly (in units)
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Production 125 026 140 159 96 860 100 474 132 257 197 353 179 669 228 593 263 656 286 695
Production figures: Power train (in units)
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Engines 56 349 128 331 111 621 76 302 90 357 122 184 96 358 91 058 104 915 135 820
Gearboxes 72 483 118 276 70 866 81 922 110 049 163 375 141 150 201 629 235 353 254 884
Breakdown of production in 2008: Megane II Tricorps 23 %, Symbol (Clio Tricorps) 24 % and Clio 53 %
Breakdown of the production in 1st Half of the year 2009: Megane II Tricorps 11 %, Symbol (Clio Tricorps) 25 % and
Clio 64 %.