2011 JOHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW
Elegance meets sophistication and practicality in Renault’s Fluence sedan
Fluid, elegant design gives Fluence sedan distinctive appeal in C-segment
Generous, class-leading dimensions guarantee exceptional space and comfort
• Balanced combination of drive comfort and outstanding roadholding
No-compromise approach to active and passive safety
Hands-on technology and equipment for unparalleled driving pleasure
Confiance after-sales support package ensures motoring peace of mind
The elegant and sophisticated Fluence reaffirms Renault South Africa’s presence in the crucial C-segment for sedans.
It competes in the extremely competitive SA market as a premium sedan filling the gap left by the previous-generation Mégane II, while providing a distinctive and highly attractive alternative to the established, and typically conservative, mainstream contenders in this category.
“The C-segment sedan is rapidly becoming the volume model in markets around the world, and this is certainly the case in South Africa too,” says Renault SA managing director, Xavier Gobille.
The Fluence was developed to build on this momentum, with all of the core values that make a large-boot sedan an increasingly practical and popular choice. However, with its distinctly European flair, it has been designed from the ground up to be the most attractive, spacious and well-equipped car in its class.
“By offering a compelling combination of sumptuous style, generous dimensions, eager performance and reassuring quality and safety standards, the Fluence straddles the compact family sedan and upper-medium sectors to give it truly unique appeal,” Gobille adds.
The Renault Fluence was designed from the outset to be the most attractive and stylish sedan in what is an overtly conservative segment. Despite its class-beating overall length of 4 620 mm and a 2 700 mm wheelbase, the fluid lines and exceptionally well-balanced proportions of this contemporary model easily mask its generous dimensions.
The Fluence sets new benchmarks for overall space and comfort, including best-in-class measurements for shoulder and elbow room for both front and rear seat occupants, as well as a massive 530 dm3boot volume.
A simple yet equally elegant approach is adopted for the interior styling, incorporating taut, uncluttered lines that are complemented by the creative sweep of the distinctive dashboard trim strip.
In true Renault style, essential driving functions and useful accessories fall easily to hand and are concentrated around the steering wheel and centre console in the interests of ergonomic efficiency and ease-of-use.
Significant attention was paid to material choice to enhance the premium/quality ambience, including the use of a soft-touch dashboard trim, modern seat upholstery or classy leather on range-topping models, as well as exclusive touches such as chrome finishes for the door handles, instrument surrounds and the gear lever knob.
Rear passenger comfort has also been elevated to new heights in this sector with the climate control system incorporating vents beneath the front seats and at the rear of the centre console on top-spec models.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
The Renault Fluence’s chassis delivers a comfortable, involving ride, with the suspension engineered to deliver steering and handling precision matched to low levels of noise and vibration.
MacPherson-type struts are employed in the front suspension, complemented by sturdy rectangular lower arms and an anti-roll bar, while the rear incorporates a programmed-deflection flexible beam.
The suspension has been specifically developed to enhance vertical control for optimal comfort, as well as reduced body roll for outstanding road holding.
A highly effective braking system is provided across the model range, encompassing ventilated discs in front with solid versions at the rear, controlled by the latest Bosch 8.0 ABS system with integrated Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
Renault’s advanced electric power steering system, as used on the latest-generation Mégane, is featured here too, combining precise driver feedback and control with an easy-to-use character and natural steering feel.
The Renault Fluence is offered with a choice of two advanced 16-valve petrol engines with capacities of 1,6 litres and 2,0 litres respectively. Both units deliver low-end flexibility, impressive performance at higher revs and all-round refinement.
The Fluence 1.6 16v is available in Expression and Dynamique derivatives, and is credited with a peak power output of 81 kW at 6 000 r/min, linked to 156 Nm of torque at 4 400 r/min.
The newly evolved 1,6-litre engine has been optimised for better efficiency, improved performance and reduced maintenance, thanks to the use of a silent timing chain, an aluminium cylinder block, and continuously variable valve timing.
Mated to a five-speed manual transmission, it is capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in 11,7 sec, with a top speed of 185 km/h. Fuel efficiency is part of this engine’s repertoire, as it consumes just 6,5 l/100 km in the combined cycle, with a corresponding CO2 emissions rating of 159 g/km.
As the flagship of the range, the 2.0 16v engine (offered in the top-spec Privilege model), produces 105 kW at 6 000 r/min, accompanied by a substantial 195 Nm of torque at 3 750 r/min. This engine is the first petrol unit to be jointly developed by Nissan and Renault.
The range-topper gains a six-speed manual gearbox which affords the Fluence a standing start to 100 km/h sprint time of 10,4 sec and a 195 km/h top speed. I7t returns a combined cycle consumption of just 7,8 l/100 km and a CO2 figure of 184 g/km.
MODEL RANGE AND FEATURES
The premium positioning of the Renault Fluence translates into a high specification level for all three models. Even the most affordable derivative, the 1.6 16v Expression, boasts an impressive range of standard equipment and unique features.
On the safety front it incorporates dual front and side airbags, as well as curtain airbags, ABS with EBD and EBA, automatic warning light activation during emergency braking, ISOFIX mounting points for the rear side seats, and automatic central locking of the doors and boot when in motion. An integrated Renault alarm system has also been incorporated.
Air-conditioning is standard, along with electric power steering, the innovative Renault Hands-Free Card for easy access and starting, a multi-function trip computer, one-touch electric front windows, height and lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, a height and reach-adjustable steering wheel, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat.
In terms of high-tech ancillaries, the Fluence is equipped with a 4×15 watt front-loading CD receiver featuring MP3/WMA music file compatibility. Of particular note is the standard fitment of the highly-rated integrated Carminat TomTom navigation system, which further aids safety, security and driving enjoyment.
The Expression trim includes attractive 16-inch alloy wheels, along with a full-size spare wheel.
The 1.6 16v Dynamique takes the Fluence a notable step up the luxury ladder, with additional features such as automatic windscreen wipers with rain sensor, automatic headlight activation, and dual-zone automatic climate control with combined odour-particulate filter.
In addition, it boasts full leather trim, as well as a 4×35 watt MP3-compatible CD receiver – the latter incorporating Bluetooth connectivity for cellphone integration as well as audio streaming from portable MP3 players, plus a dedicated RCA connection for plug-in devices.
Adding to the sporting flair, attractive multi-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels are fitted to the Dynamique.
The 2.0 16v Privilége enjoys flagship status in the Fluence range, with a top-notch specification list that extends to ESP traction and stability control, one-touch electric windows all round, reverse parking sensors, electric heated side mirrors, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror and a split leather steering wheel.
Furthermore, it features Renault’s premium ‘3D Sound by Arkamys’ audio system with a total of eight speakers and the innovative Arkamys digital three-dimensional surround sound technology.
A high degree of personalisation is available for owners of the new Renault Fluence, including a wide range of optional exterior customisation accessories that enhance the exclusive status of this modern sedan.
The options list includes an eye-catching sports kit which comprises front and rear bumpers, as well as colour-matched side sills to give the Fluence a more striking edge. This can be complemented by the likes of a chrome exhaust pipe, rear spoiler, chromed side mirrors and a range of exclusive alloy rims.
1.6 16v Expression R199 900
1.6 16v Dynamique R224 900
2.0 16V Privilége R244 900
Pricing includes Renault’s refreshed Confiance package of value-added after-sales services. In the case of the Fluence, Confiance encompasses a reassuring standard five-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty, a five-year/100 000 km service plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, thus offering ultimate motoring peace of mind.
Also included are comprehensive roadside assistance, fixed-price servicing, and guaranteed spare parts availability, ensuring that all Renault customers enjoy outstanding motoring peace of mind. Services intervals are every 15 000 km.