The VEL SATIS concept car reveals Renault's approach to its future top-range models

      To celebrate its centenary at the 1998 Paris Motor Show, Renault will show its new VEL SATIS concept car, on the theme of the top-range model. The VEL SATIS is an elegant 4-seat Coupé, "avant-garde" in both concept and design. It combines a respect for the "traditional values" of top-range models with a spirit of anticipation, a freedom of expression, and a refinement which is French and very Renault. The VEL SATIS thus reveals the manufacturer's approach to the design of its future top-range models.
      Even more than in other car market segments, the approach to the design of top-range models varies greatly depending on the manufacturer and the ruling culture of each country. While for some people, top-range implies a classic combination of traditional luxury materials (leather, wood, and quality carpet), for others it constitutes an expression of power supported by complex technology. The conceptual and design approach is generally very conventional, confined to three-box 4-door and 2-door layouts or to luxury estate cars still referred to as "shooting breaks".
     The INITIALE and VEL SATIS concept cars symbolise the spirit of Renault's future top-range models: forward-looking concepts distinct from the conventional three-box saloon, with strong and elegant design, typically French refinement, and advanced technology which is discreet in the way it interfaces with the user. They express a determination to make the "traditional top-range values" evolve in the same way as the fifth door of the Safrane or the monospace layout of the Espace and Grand Espace.

An innovative approach to the 4-seat Coupé
     A top-range, 4-seat "Coupé de Ville", the VEL SATIS departs from the traditional approach to this concept. It offers a forward-looking combination of the architectural features of the one-box form with a unique back end, a contemporary interpretation of the values handed down from the tradition of the great automotive body-builders.
      Combining interior space with four full-size seats and the styling exclusiveness of the Coupé, the VEL SATIS is a grand touring car capable of long journeys in absolute comfort. Its 3-litre V6 24V engine provides smoothness and flexibility, with deep-lunged power. Developed from the engine used in the Laguna Initiale, it produces 210bhp and a maximum torque of 290Nm. Satisfying the Euro 2000 emission limits, it drives through a 5-speed automatic transmission with sequential shifting.

An avant-garde design
      The VEL SATIS offers a new solution in terms of layout, in an elegant and refined design. The style is clean and incisive, with taut lines in the forward section and a simply rounded back end. The contrast between the long front overhang and the extremely short rear overhang creates a dynamic aspect.
      The VEL SATIS draws inspiration from the Renault bonnets of the pre-war period, such as the 40CV, with a lozenge placed in view, as though weightless, in a convex housing in the sheet metal. The vertical headlamps, a concentration of technology, are equipped with glass covers comprised of four layers one above the other, responsible for light distribution. The two engine air intakes are positioned on either side of the front face.
      The front section is treated in a one-box fashion, with a continuous sweep from the bonnet into the windscreen. The entire windscreen and roof is composed of a single piece of glass, formed using a technique specially developed for the VEL SATIS. This glass component creates the maximum lightness and exterior vision. This taut front end profile makes a deliberate contrast with the back end, with its rounded boot and panoramic vertical window. The boot opens in two sections, like a jewel-case, in a double movement of the upper lid towards the window and of the lower lid towards the bottom. The rear lamp clusters, which use neon technology, are installed vertically, like the headlamps at the front.
      The sides, flat and high, contribute to the solid and protective air of VEL SATIS. The wheels, flush fitted and of large size (20-inch), are equipped with the new Michelin PAX vertically anchored tyres.

Attention to detail for ease of access

      Even though it is a 2-door Coupé, the VEL SATIS still benefits from extremely easy access. There are no keys, these being replaced by a badge. Whenever the driver approaches the car, his badge is automatically identified and the unlocking of doors and engine immobiliser then takes place.
     The hinge-and-swing doors, among the biggest in the automotive world with their 1,780mm length, are provided with a special linkage which slides them forwards. This ensures that while providing easy access to the interior, they open to a width which is less than that of the Twingo.
      The wide door opening makes access to the rear of the full 4-seat cabin easy. In addition, simply pressing a button set into the door frame automatically moves the front seats forward and lowers the rear windows. Once the passengers are seated in the back, sensors command the return of the front seats to their original position and the raising of the rear windows.

Inside: clarity and real refinement
      The layout of the interior fully expresses Renault's top-range philosophy; a welcoming and refined ambience, lightness, clarity, and aesthetic attention to the smallest detail. The design is avant-garde, a combination of traditional values and of a modern vision of a kind of "motoring habitat".
      The trim colours are light, a mixture of beige and grey. The way leather and wood are used is innovative, seen in both the dashboard and the seats. The latter combine "Nubuck" leather with a top-range cloth taken from the world of furniture design, and are outstanding in their construction. All the buttons are in vegetable ivory. The "furniture" comprises four proper armchairs with electrically adjusted headrests. Each door panel houses two small frames with sliding covers. When opened, these reveal a refrigerated compartment containing champagne glasses created by the Saint Louis crystal factory.
       The dashboard, with its quality of execution, refinement and perfection of detail, has a purity of design consisting of taut lines and strong curves. There is no superficial detail, no useless gadgets, and only simple instrumentation. Revealing itself only when in use, the instrument panel visor folds down and is raised only when the ignition is switched on. The VEL SATIS anticipates tomorrow's trends: the miniaturisation of components, for example the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. The centre console thus takes the form of the body of a harp, and appears suspended in space. A Mauboussin clock, housed in the upper section of the centre console, contributes to the elegance and refinement of the dashboard. On the passenger side, the traditional glovebox gives way to a series of pivoting jewel-case trays.
      When on the move, the VEL SATIS continues to astonish with its steering wheel with a stationary hub, with built-in controls: only the rim of the wheel actually moves.

Sophisticated technology which makes itself discreetly available to the user for the pleasure of travelling

      As part of its vision of the top-range car, Renault gives high priority to advanced technology, while at the same time refusing to permit futile complexity or to "show off" with over-obvious technology. However sophisticated and complex, its interface with the driver must be simple and easy to use.
      Renault, which led the way in navigation systems with Carminat, confirms its leading position with a telematic travel assistance system. Thanks to the use of the Pioneer DVD technique, allowing 8 times higher storage density than a CD-ROM, navigation and guidance information can be complemented by cultural information on each area as it is passed through. Two fold-away 16/9 screens, built into top of the dashboard and the rear console between the two seats, therefore offers passengers a running commentary on the journey. These two screens also transmit images provided by the rearward-looking camera housed above the rear window.




Technical specification:

 Dimensions: - overall length 4,680mm
- width without door mirrors 1,880mm
- height 1,350mm
- wheelbase 2,873mm
- weight 1,320kg

Engine: - Transverse V6, 2,946cc, 24-valve
- Maximum power: 210bhp- Maximum torque: 290Nm
- Emission standard: Euro 2000

Gearbox: - automatic 5-speed sequential

Wheels: - 20-inch aluminium alloy

- 245-section Michelin Pax System tyres


Počet a uspořádání válvů V6 24V
Vrtání , zdvih 82 / 87,7 mm
Objem ccm 2946 ccm
Výkon 210 k
Točivý moment 290 Nm
Emisní standard Euro 2000


Rozvor 2873
Rozchod vpředu/vzadu 1619 / 1609 mm


5 stupňová automatická s moéností sekvenčního řazení


Délka 4680 mm
Výška 1350 mm
Šířka bez bočních zrcátek 1880 mm
Převis vpředu 695 mm
Pohotovostní hmotnost 1320 Kg


Ráfky 20" z hliníkové slitiny
Pneumatiky 245 Michelin PAX