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Renault Previews Outlandish Crossover Concept

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On: Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Renault Previews Outlandish Crossover Concept

There are those concepts that are basically just slightly rough versions of actual production cars. And then there are concepts that are so odd-looking, you know that nothing even closely resembling them will ever actually roll on highways. Renault's new, Geneva-bound Captur concept is definitely in the latter category. It's not as wild-looking as some concepts, but certain cartoonish features let you know that Renault won't be pumping out a high-volume production model based on this one.

No, the Captur isn't very likely to be a production model, at least not in its current iteration with butterfly doors,exaggeratedly bulbous proportions, skeletal interior features, and what looks to be wheel-less tires. Instead, Renault is using it as a way of creating a tangible form of a basic theme of humanity. According to the French automaker, the car is meant to be an expression of "two people exploring the world around them." Yeah, sounds like the type of thing we'd get from France.

The Captur is the second of six such human-experience concepts that Renault has planned to flesh out its new design direction. The first was the DeZir concept from last fall's Paris Motor Show. Renault said that concept was inspired by "falling in love," though with its lipstick-red, pure-sex appearance, I think it better exemplified "falling in lust".

Renault's director of design Laurens Van den Acker got a little more detailed in a statement: "Captur is a fun and sporty crossover, ideal for a young couple about to discover the world."

It's hard to argue with that—definitely a quirky, whimsical crossover that only the young-at-heart could love.
While the overall car may be as conceptual as they come, some of the technologies used are the real deal. The car is equipped with a self-locking differential designed to deliver increased traction on slick roads by sending torque directly to the two tires with the most traction. There is also a front-facing camera system that delivers real-time pictures of the road ahead via a display inside the cabin.

Unlike the DeZir, an EV concept, the Captur is a diesel, relying on a 160-hp 1.6-liter twin-turbo engine. Cleanliness is still a big consideration, though, with Renault quoting a 99 g of CO2/ km figure.

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AutoHistory | 4:27PM (Tue, Feb 15, 2011)

Pretty nifty, you might say it captures the imagination... :)

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