Renault's Egeus Frankfurt Motor Show car shows how the French manufacturer expects the luxury SUV to develop.
"(The) Egeus is an SUV for city driving and the open road, a sort of tall coupe that combines driving pleasure with elegance and sportiness," says Renault design chief Patrick le Quement.
The Egeus' SUV dimensions allow a spacious interior, but its longer bonnet is suggestive of an upper-segment coupe. The front-end has been deliberately pared-down. By incorporating the air inlets under the headlights, Egeus doesn't need a grille, a feature Renault says is "too brash for such a pure design".
"The outside is about simplicity, unity, sensuality," says Le Quement. "Egeus looks as though it has been sculpted from a single piece. The undulating lines and voluptuous forms instantly suggest driving pleasure." The bonnet flows into the rounded windscreen, which blends into the bubble-shaped glazed roof. The bubble shape of the rear window forms a continuous, flowing line with the windscreen. The rear window rests on broad fenders that give the car a firm on-road stance.
It rides on 22-inch wheels, and has higher ground clearance than a traditional saloon. Inside, the seat height is designed for greater visibility while reinforcing passengers' sensation of comfort and safety.
Occupants sit in four independent seats. The leather upholstery features woven beige tones inspired by a pixelated image of a setting sun.
The centre console, upholstered in blue-tinted leather, echoes the Egeus' undulating side bodywork. The glazed roof has a central strip with two transparent sections. The wraparound seats include innovative functions. The front seats pivot outwards and can be lowered 70mm for the easiest possible access.
The rear-hinged doors plus the absence of a centre pillar give unencumbered access to the rear seats. The boot has a split-level opening, with a lift-up top and a motorised, drop-down lower section that includes a sliding tray for loading heavy or bulky objects. The tray's height can be electronically adjusted to reconfigure the boot's interior space.
The side door handles are flush-fitting so as not to detract from the streamlined sides. An optical sensor detects an approaching hand and pushes the handle out a few centimetres, making it easy to grasp.
When the car is being used offroad, an indicator on the instrument panel is automatically activated to show the car's attitude to the horizontal and alert the driver if there is any risk of rollover. The car has a 250bhp 3.0lt V6 diesel engine, mounted north-south.
The fully automatic 4WD transmission regulates traction on the four wheels from 0 to 100 per cent. The gearbox is a seven-speed flick-shift automatic.
The Egeus is fitted with Michelin Eden Weiss tyres which provide good on-road grip and can also handle off-road conditions. The front and back tyres are mounted differently. The centre of the front tyres' tread, with a less open tread pattern and water-holding capacity, is designed to transmit power to the ground and provide good grip on wet roads. The rear tyres have rigid shoulders for optimal cornering.
Engine 3lt 24-valve V6 turbodiesel
Maximum power 184kW
Peak torque 550Nm @ 3000rpm
Transmission Four-wheel drive
Gearbox seven-speed automatic w/ steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles
Dimensions Length 4700mm; Width 1920mm; Height 1660mm; Wheelbase, 2900mm. Front and rear track, 1640mm
Ground clearance 285mm
Approach angle 25 degrees
Departure angle 32 degrees
Kerb weight 1950kg
Wheels 22-inch alloy
Tyres Michelin 275-800/R560 PAX System