Thursday, July 12, 2007

Renault Megane III, not presented below

The next Megane III, not presented below, is a very important car for Renault and one with a mission: to establish Renault as leader in the mainstream compact segment while increasing profitability. And with another thing to improve over the current model: a more constant sales level, that is, the current Megane started selling very well but after the novelty effect passed sales lowered loosing to the older Peugeot 307. Renault needs to fix that with a more mature design that ages better while still keeping Renault design features. In the picture not presented below it doesn’t seem like the design is very mature but nothing like seeing it on the road for a proper evaluation.

Technically we can expect a great car: the passive safety will be class leader, the interior space will be improved on the current model and the suspension design will probably be the reference of the FWD mainstream class, judging by the very good manners of the Nissan Qashqai that marked the introduction of Renault’s new compact platform. In this respect the new Megane will score points over the Peugeot 308 that still keeps a French-tradition torsion beam in the rear.

It is interesting to note that 2008 will mark a French domination in sales of this class of cars in Europe: the new 308 will be the sales leader in 3-5 door models while either the Scenic or the Picasso will be sales leaders in the compact-MPVs. At the end of 2008 the Golf VI arrives and in the beginning of 2009 the Megane should be ready for a formidable fight with the VW model.

Finally, what’s with the “not presented below” picture? Some stolen images of what looks like a final design and unmasked version of the car were presented by a French magazine and could be illustrating this entry. Auto-Future reports on a lot of these scoops (and other stuff like technical information, EV future series, inside tips, etc), but we believe that showing those images means bad business to Renault. We are still more than one year before introduction of the model so this leak is much more serious than photographing masked prototypes or uncovered vehicles a couple of months before presentation. The interested reader can find those images very quickly on the internet so we are doing this as an editorial statement. We love all car brands and wish no harm to the folks that design and build cars all over the world. So if we feel that we could be hurting their business with a scoop image we don’t present it. And in this case Renault had a very serious security problem with this leak, such thing can not happen more than one year before the presentation of the car!

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