Tuesday, November 2, 2010
2011 Renault Fluence announced launch
Renault Australia has this week announced the local launch of the 2011 Renault Fluence, starting at $22,990 and set to go on sale in Australia from November.
The 2.0 litre engine is paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission.
In Australia, Renault will offer the Renault Fluence sedan alongside the Megane hatch, with both models starting at the same price. Along with the Koleos SUV, the Fluence and Hatch will stand as Renault's volume-selling consumer offerings.
“Renault is announcing significant investment in Renault Australia that will deliver the Renault brand long term status as a key player in the Australian automotive market. Like the upcoming Renault Megane, the Fluence's features list includes the Renault smart key card (for keyless unlocking and engine starting), integrated satellite navigation (standard on Privilege), Bluetooth connectivity, multimedia connectivity and dual zone climate control air conditioning - an uncommon advantage in the small car segment.
Key new models from France, South Korea and Turkey unveiled at the Sydney motor show are all on the menu for introduction here in early 2011 by Motorcorp Distributors.
The show stand newbies presently on display across the Tasman cover virtually the full gambit of Renault's passenger range.
The Megane family spans a new Golf-fighting hatch, a glass-topped Coupe-Cabriolet and a larger sedan spin-off, the 2011 Renault Fluence, plus two versions of a new performance model, 250 coupe.
Though Motorcorp recently appointed a new brand manager for Renault, the brand has definitely lost pace in New Zealand.
It seemed the distributor has been upset about Renault's apparent indifference toward the difficulties it has faced placing the right cars in the market at the right price.
The tension seemed to have eased on Friday when, at the invitation of Motorcorp boss Russell Reynolds, I met with Sylvain Martin-Villa, Renault's Melbourne-based operations manager for this region. Mr Reynolds says he is confident that a Renault relaunch can be affected, with sharper-priced and more relevant cars.
We have always wanted to keep Renault. Asserts Mr Martin-Villa: "For now, you are a different country."
Renault could recover lost ground, he believed. Renault's strength continues to be that it offered a very broad range of cars, from the mainstream (Koleos, Fluence and Megane) in petrol and diesel through to the extrovert performance RS-badged Clio and Megane coupe cars. "Overall, Renault has got the product range that suits the direction to market is going. Motorcorp is still evaluating the Latitude, which in Europe Latitude replaces the slightly smaller outgoing Laguna.
The car boasts a host of features including sunroof, leather upholstery, electric seats with memory and massage functions, a satnav system with rear view camera, keyless entry, air purifier with freshener, multimedia connection box, Bose sound system, automatic parking brake, rear sunblind and auto headlamps and wipers.
The exciting new sports models are the Megane Renault Sport 250 Cup and Cup Trophee, ultimate derivatives of the RS225.
Renault also made a show of its full-blown racing heritage at Sydney, showing a stunning race-ready V6-powered version of the car.