Fluence, Renault’s latest concept car, is an upmarket, four-seater sports coupe. Its flowing bodywork and interior embrace the simplicity and sensuality of the car’s form. Patrick le Quement, Senior Vice President Corporate Design, sees Fluence as ”the continuation of a long tradition of outstanding French coachbuilders.” The concept car will be shown at the Louis Vuitton Classic in England on June 4, 2004.
Sporting and sensual
Fluence is a 4.60-metre long coupe whose voluptuous forms are sculpted from simple, structured lines. It is a modern expression of the coupe.
A pleasure of movement is suggested by the visually dynamic contrast of a sloping front and a vertical rear. The frontal design is streamlined: the radiator grille is absent to focus attention on the lozenge logo and to evoke other prestigious Renault cars. Narrow indicators juxtapose the headlamps, whose shape reinforces the purity and fluidity that characterize Fluence’s frontal styling. A double strip of LEDs set at different angles is housed behind two transparent curved glass lenses. The diodes illuminate as the steering angle changes to provide multi-directional lighting when cornering. Two air intakes extend and accentuate the headlamps’ form, bridged by a third narrow, horizontal inlet.
In contrast with the flowing frontal treatment, the vertical profile of Fluence’s rear conveys a strong sense of energy. This impression of energy is underpinned by the contrast between wide wings, highlighted by the elongated, horizontal lights, and a taller central section in a different colour. This section connects the rear window with a twin centre exhaust outlet, framed by an air extractor.
In between its very different front and rear, Fluence is structured around a horizontal plane. Lines of force emerge at the front to converge at the centre of the tailgate. Two run almost symmetrically the length of each side. Two others outline the bonnet, then the roof and the rear window. This V-shaped rear window connects seamlessly to the windscreen by two strips of glass that stretch the length of the roof before dropping down towards the tailgate. The base of the body shell, with its aluminium finish, encircles the body to help reduce drag, a function also performed by the rims.
Inside Fluence, a natural and welcoming harmony
Fluence’s interior is simple and easily to remember, having natural harmony. Light pours in through the glazed area to bring out the full intensity of the prevailing Rouge Margaux red.
The leather dashboard is again predominately red with beige accents. Its ethereal design resembles a leaf that has been rolled then nipped at its centre. This leaf theme is repeated in the design of the centre console. In a spiral movement it embraces the intuitive Touch Design controls. Using a joystick, the driver selects the car’s main functions which are shown on a fold-away screen in the upper part of the dashboard. Instruments use both digital and analogue display against a black and Rouge Margaux background.
Special attention has been paid to comfort in the back, beginning with the welcoming and enveloping rear seat. Renault’s designers looked to home furnishings as inspiration for the reading lamps. These fit flush with the headlining and, when required, are released by pulling a leather tab then tilted to the ideal angle.
The boot, lined in Rouge Margaux leather, provides great capacity with two side storage units. It is accessed via the tailgate by means of an innovative opening mechanism: the tailgate slides over the roof thanks to an articulated arm in its centre. This does away with side openings that obstruct access to the boot.