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
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
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.
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
a uspořádání válvů
||82 / 87,7 mm
|Emisní standard Euro 2000
||1619 / 1609 mm
5 stupňová automatická s moéností sekvenčního řazení
ROZMĚRY A HMOTNOSTI
bez bočních zrcátek
||20" z hliníkové slitiny
||245 Michelin PAX