Monday, April 16, 2007

3 Megane III

Pictured below are three CGI of possible interpretations of the Renault Megane III. These were presented by French magazine AutoPlus some weeks ago in an article that stated that the design of the next Megane was not frozen yet and that these were the alternatives on the table. We don’t consider AutoPlus a reliable source so did not bother too much about the article. However, this can be seen as an interesting exercise: how about putting ourselves in the decision-making position, pretend we are Mr. Ghosn when deciding (and BTW, the design of the Megane III is now frozen so this is really just an exercise) and choose the best version from the designer’s proposals. It’s very easy for enthusiasts, when seeing pictures of a new car, to say “this is wrong, they should have done this or that…”. Decision-makers have a much more difficult task because they have to think 3 years in advance and consider how the competitors could look, what are the design and technology trends, they have to think in the future, the auto-future!

The first proposal (the blue one) is highly unlikely. It has the new Renault face (like the other proposals) but the glass in the C-pillar is wrong. In the current and close future of cars in the European compact class the litlle window in the C-pillar doesn’t make much sense. Golf VI, Peugeot 308, next Astra, current Megane… only the Focus has a small one already assumed in its design language. Others like the Mazda 3 have it but these are not big-mainstream so don’t expect the next Megane to have the litlle window.

The second proposal is also wrong. Unfortunately, too good to be true. The design is more caricature than real life and we don’t expect Renault to be that brave. Particularly, the small greenhouse and large metal area in the profile are very un-French. We can see people in consumer clinics bitching about that “pas de lumière… on se sent claustrophobe…”.

The third (the red one) is the closest to the final version. A more mature evolution of the current Megane adequately rounded in the most controverse features of the current model. A more composed design for a more composed car thanks to the new super-platform, already found in the Nissan Qashqai, that beyound multilink rear suspension and possibility of AWD will really stretch French superiority in suspension design and active and passive safety. Classier, safer, more mature… fitter, happier, more productive.

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