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Renault Shows Buzzy Concept Car

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On: Tue, Feb 25, 2014 at 8:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Renault Shows Buzzy Concept Car

Renault is a marque that doesn't get a whole lot of buzz outside of Europe, but it's fixing to change that. At the Delhi Auto Show earlier this month, the French automaker revealed the first concept car that it's debuted outside of its home continent. The Kwid combines bio-inspired design with a companion drone that keeps an eye on traffic.

Renault says that the Delhi reveal represents its commitment to emerging markets like India, Russia, and Brazil. The Kwid was designed with youth in mind, with input from Renault Design India.

"This is the first time we have chosen to reveal a concept car outside Europe and this is an eloquent sign of our commitment to India. Young customers in India are often trend setters, looking forward to pushing the envelope when it comes to technology and enjoyable drives. Kwid, with its Flying Companion, meets this forward-looking spirit with both its dynamic styling and hyper connectivity," explains Gilles Normand, Chairman of Renault Asia-Pacific Region.

Though the Kwid is a small two-door, Renault worked to give it the look of a beefier, off-road-capable CUV, dangling short overhangs and bulky fenders above oversized wheels. A flat roofline and neon accents drive home a memorable, little design. The car is powered by a 1.2-liter turbo engine, but Renault also mentions it's configured to accept an electric powertrain.

The car's personality doesn't really flash itself until you pop the wing-like doors open. The interior is inspired by the cozy cocoons and birds' nests found in nature. Of particular visual impact are the elastomer seats and light, floating dashboard anchored by a tablet computer interface.

Concept cars designed for developing markets aren't always of interest to established markets, and the listing of air conditioning as a pillar feature of the Kwid hints to why. However, the Kwid has one feature that's sure to turn the heads of tech and auto geeks all over the world. Its "Flying Companion" is an accompanying drone that launches from the concept's roof and scouts the road ahead for obstacles and traffic while also shooting landscape photos. The driver controls the copter from the touchscreen on the dash.

Renault calls the Flying Companion an automotive first, and we can't say we've ever seen one, nor do we expect to see one on the market. Even in a world of fully autonomous cars, the idea of millions of drivers joy-sticking their little flying helicopters around is just too out there to envision as reality. It is a pretty cool, little concept, though.

You can watch the Kwid and its flying buddy in the video b

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