Renault has unveiled the first two cars from the new Mégane II family which will eventually offer seven models by 2004 in a complete renewal of its product line-up in the C segment, the biggest in the European automobile market.
The first two New Méganes to be unveiled are the Sport Hatch and Hatch - three and five-door - models, bringing a highly individual design to the lower-medium class. Renault sums up the Megane in three words: compact, expressive, and dynamic. "It is designed to offer optimum safety to every passenger, offer innovative comfort features and an intelligent approach to travelling pleasure, already available on higher-segment Renault models."
Built on the new C platform - jointly developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance - Mégane II constitutes a major part of Renault's growth strategy. Mégane II was devised right from the start as an international programme and will be distributed in 75 countries. In Europe, Renault has its sights set on 14% of the C segment, challenging for the title of Europes best-selling car.
Reminiscent of the Avantime and Vel Satis, with a bold rear end treatment that could only be a Renault, the new Mégane seeks to appeal to the emotions without sacrificing functionality and practicality. It is the first volume-produced car from renault to feature the 'Touch Design' theme, first showcased in the Talisman concept of 2001. The car is governed by the concept of ease of use, which determined each decision during the development phase. Controls, switches and levers are designed to fit naturally into the shape of the hand, such as the handbrake lever styled like a aircraft throttle lever.
In addition to ABS, Emergency Brake Assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system, Mégane II features a new-generation electronic stability programme (ESP) incorporating understeer control (CSV). Xenon headlamp units feature an all-new adaptive beam height control. Variable assisted electric power steering heightens driving precision.
At launch, Mégane II will be offered with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines together with new-generation transmissions. The petrol engine range at launch comprises three units: 98bhp 1.4 16V, 115bhp 1.6 16V VVT and 136bhp 2.0 16V VVT.
Mégane II features the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3), designed to offer maximum protection to all occupants equally. The Mégane II Sport Hatch achieves a world first by incorporating an anti-submarining airbag in the front seats.
Mégane II combines Renault's know-how in the area of comfort with an intelligent approach to travelling pleasure. It features innovative layout features, including a panoramic sunroof and a double floor.
The Mégane also majors on simplicity, with a new Renault card providing hands-free entry and ignition, as well as ease of use, such as the fuel filler cap having a built-in cap. Equipped with many of the innovations seen in higher segment cars, Mégane II is available with all the latest technology: a Carminat navigation system and cruise control with speed limiter. Sensors to control windscreen wipers and headlights enhance occupant peace of mind and driving comfort.
Many advances, such as electric and electronic reliability due to multiplexing, improved anti-theft protection and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty contribute to owner peace of mind.
Mégane II was developed in just 29 months. The engineering phase was significantly shortened and the production preparation phase halved. Renault achieved this high level of performance through a new managerial approach, involving the factories from the very start of the programme.
Renault invested a total of Euro 2.1 billion, with nearly half devoted to industrial investment in Palencia, Spain readied to produce the hatchback and the Sport Hatch as well as at the plant in Douai, France, which will manufacture the hatchback and the new Scénic at a later date. The third plant, in Bursa, Turkey, will produce the Mégane saloon.