GENEVA –launches its new Captur cross/utility vehicle in Geneva, aimed at gaining customers in the fragmented B-segment who might otherwise choose a Juke, EcoSport or Peugeot 2008.
The small CUV/SUV segment is one of the few expanding in a European market expected to contract again for the sixth straight year.
The Captur rests on the four pillars that make a, says Jerome Stoll, executive vice president-worldwide marketing: quality, environmental awareness, design and innovation.
“We have to find our own niches in the segment,” he says, in particular by offering customers a chance to personalize the vehicle, because “the customer is buying his car.”
The Captur offers a large variety of paint treatments inside and out, including a two-tone exterior with the top a contrasting color to the body. The launch cars on the Renault stand were orange with a white roof and off-white with a black top.
Two-tone will be an option, not standard.
In the factory in Valladolid, Spain, the Captur is painted one color, then everything but the new color is masked off manually before it goes through the paint shop a second time.
“It is expensive,” says a spokesman. ”But not as expensive as the (Range Rover) Evoque, where they dismantle the top to repaint it.”
The two-tone look is gaining popularity in Europe, where it also is used by the Peugeot 2008 and Mini Countryman.
“Two-tone has been present in all the history of the automobile,” chief designer Laurens van den Acker says in a Web chat. “It started before the Second World War. More recently, there were production problems on high volumes that limited the diffusion of two-tone paint jobs.
“Nevertheless, there are new technologies that now allow it to be offered in larger numbers, which goes well with the philosophy of Renault that is to make innovation available to everyone.”
Interior trim comes in gray, ivory, chrome, orange, blue and green, and can be coordinated with the exterior.
The Captur features the new broad face of Renault, a grille that extends from headlamp to headlamp in a wide smile. The vehicle measures 162.2 ins. (412.0 cm) long, 69.7 ins. (177.0 cm) wide and 61.8 ins. (157.0 cm) high.
It is important that a new car is designed to be part of the brand, Stoll says in an interview with WardsAuto. “It has to be beautiful, and it has to build the brand.”
One version of the Captur with a diesel engine emits just 95 g/km of carbon dioxide. A new large touchscreen controls navigation, entertainment, telephone and new apps.
But the CUV also has some new ideas that are more basic, such as a drawer replacing the glove box that is accessible to the driver and eight different seat covers that can be unzipped to be cleaned.
Renault is launching an app for digital tablets that visually takes users through the steps of outfitting their Captur and answers questions.
Among the powertrains are the TCe 90 and TCe 120 gasoline engines, rated respectively at 113 g/km and 120 g/km of CO2. The TCe 120 is paired with a dual-clutch transmission.
Available later will be dCi 90 and dCi 90 EDC2 diesels, targeted at 95 g/km and 104 g/km CO2, respectively.