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Renault used the Frankfurt Motor Show to release more information about its new Mégane IV, built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Module Family (CMF) vehicle architecture. The new car is 64mm and 25mm lower than the Mégane III, and rides on a 28mm longer wheelbase.
The front and rear track widths have been widened by 47mm and 39mm respectively, while the rear overhang has been shortened.
For Europe there will be three turbodiesel engines, with 66, 80 or 96 kilowatts and three turbocharged petrol power units, with 74, 96 or 151 kilowatts. The 151kW Mégane GT TCe 205 will be equipped with a seven-speed EDC dual clutch transmission as standard. The EDC is an option for the 80kW diesel and TCe 130 (96kW) engines, while the rest make do with a six-speed manual.
A range-topping 121kW GT diesel as well as a hybrid diesel will come later, with Renault targeting an EU cycle fuel consumption of fewer than 3 litres per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 76 g/km for the latter model.
A new button-operated 'Multi-Sense’ system button allows users to modify throttle, engine and gearshift response. The system offers a choice of five different driving modes – Sport, Normal, Comfort, Perso and Eco.
While the exact specification and engine choices for New Zealand have yet to be finalised, in its European market, the Mégane IV has a complex option list, which Renault says is an advantage of being built on the CMF platform. This means equipment developed for cars upper echelon Renaults like the expected Talisman, will be offered in a C-segment car.
This includes a retractable colour head-up display, a 7-inch colour Thin Film Transistor (TFT) instrument display, a portrait-format 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen with a pinch-and-zoom interface and ‘4Control' four-wheel steering for the GT.
Other equipment unique to the GT include recalibrated dampers, springs, ESC and brakes. The EDC gearbox has an added feature called Multi Change Down, which enables rapid downshifting, and Launch Control. The Multi-Sense feature has its Eco mode replaced with an 'RS' mode.
For both the standard Mégane and the Mégane GT, five different interior lighting themes are available: in hues of red, green, blue, purple and tan. The illumination covers the centre console, as well as the front and rear doors of high-end versions, and is linked to the display colour on the TFT screen and the R-Link display.
Safety features include adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking; lane departure, safe distance and speed limit warnings, the latter linked to traffic sign recognition; and blind spot monitoring. A reversing camera, automatic switching between main and dipped headlight beams, hands-free parking and front, rear and side parking aids are also available.
The Mégane IV will go on sale in Europe in early 2016 and we can expect a New Zealand selection to arrive about mid-way through the year.
Star of the Fiat stand at Frankfurt was the New 500, with which Fiat is preparing to face future market challenges while remaining true to its own deep roots. Created by the Centro Stile Fiat, the car has a refreshed exterior and interior design which is unmistakably 500 and even more attractive. It has not grown in size but it is packed with more technology, engine versions and customisation ideas: the icon has evolved and refined the features which have turned it into a masterpiece even further.
Also shown was the 500X which is designed to slot into the B-segment light SUV segment, selling against the Mazda CX3 and Suzuki Vitara, with the Fiat catering for those Kiwis who prefer something away from the mainstream.
The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has made its public debut on its rivals’ home turf in Germany and the new rear-wheel-drive performance sedan was one of the highlights of this year’s Frankfurt motor show.
The Giulia, which is the long-awaited successor to the front-drive 159 was first unveiled in June at a special event in Milan and when it reaches showrooms in about a year, it will have been four years since Alfa Romeo has had a competitive compact executive car.
The Giulia is a big test for Alfa Romeo as it sets itself to compete with usual German suspects in this segment. At the show, Alfa showed the new Giuilia in red-hot Quadrifoglio 'Cloverleaf' specification. And that is pretty rapid indeed, powerful enough to make a BMW M3 worry.
The car offers 370kW from a turbocharged all-aluminium V6 'with Ferrari technologies', meaning zero-100kmh in just 3.9 seconds. Alfa claims it'll handle like Alfas of old, with 50:50 weight distribution, 'the most direct steering on the market' and an emphasis on sporting fun rather than Teutonic stodge.
Four-cylinder engine specifications have not been confirmed yet, but we understand the following units are lined up for Alfa’s ‘lesser' Giulias:
A 2.0-litre DOHC 4-cylinder turbo petrol will be available in 131kW, 182kW and 240kW tune, while a Multijet DOHC 2.2-litre 4-cylinder diesel, in 98kW, 131kW and 153kW forms also features. A 3.0-litre Quad Cam V6 diesel is also being prepared with up to 250kW on tap.
Alfa has revealed that the new Giulia will use lightweight materials including composites. The bonnet, roof, propshaft and seat frames are made of composite, the wings and doors are aluminium and you can even order the faster Giulias with carbon brakes. Result? Lighter weight and claimed class-bests for power-to-weight and torsional rigidity.
Our message? Watch out Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, that’s a new Giulia looming in your rear-view mirror.