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2009 Renault Megane Sport Tourer, In-Detail

June 5th, 2009
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New Renault Mégane Estate is the fifth model in the New Mégane family to be launched after the Hatchback, Coupé, Grand Scénic and Scénic versions. Due for release at the end of this month, New Renault Mégane Estate not only features elegant, dynamic styling but is also extremely practical, with plenty of carrying capacity. It is manufactured at Renault's Palencia plant on the same lines as the Hatchback and Coupé versions and consequently benefits from all the production-related improvements that have been introduced at the Spanish plant.

ELEGANT, DYNAMIC STYLING

  • Taut lines, a plunging roofline (I suggest removing ‘plunging roofline’ as it sounds as though there is restricted load room and a steeply-raked rear screen.
  • Curved rear light clusters ensure a distinctive lighting signature, both at night-time and in daylight.

GENEROUS DIMENSIONS ENSURE A HIGH STANDARD OF COMFORT FOR ALL OCCUPANTS

  • An extended wheelbase (2,702mm, an increase of 62mm over New Mégane Hatchback) provides additional rear kneeroom of 218mm (+61mm compared with New Mégane Hatchback), which puts New Mégane Estate among the best in its segment.
  • Front elbow room (1475mm) ranks among the segment's best.

CARRYING CAPACITY AND MODULARITY ADAPTED TO THE NEEDS OF ALL CUSTOMERS

  • Generous boot space, extending from a minimum of 524dm3 (an increase of 119dm3 over New Mégane Hatchback) to 1,600dm3 (+466dm3 compared with New Mégane Hatchback).
  • Maximum load length: 2,550mm.
  • Specific stowage compartment for the baggage cover.

USEFUL, AFFORDABLE TECHNOLOGY

  • A choice of two navigation systems: the integrated Carminat TomTom® system for less than €500, and the high-end Carminat Bluetooth DVD® system.
  • Unprecedented equipment for the compact estate segment (hands-free entry and ignition with central locking function as the card-carrier walks away from the car, electronic hand brake).

IMPECCABLE HANDLING

  • Precise, responsive handling thanks to a new 'horned' subframe and an extensively revised electric power steering system.

A COMPREHENSIVE LINE-UP OF ENGINES WHICH COMBINE PERFORMANCE WITH RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

  • The New Mégane Estate range includes a choice of eight diesel powerplants which illustrate the ongoing optimization work carried out by Renault in a bid to offer customers the market's best balance between performance and running costs. Dual-clutch transmission (DCT) is due to join the range coupled to the dCi 110 DPF powerplant at the beginning of 2010.
  • Six petrol engines, including the new TCe 130, as well as the 2.0 16V 140 which drives through a CVT continuously variable transmission.
  • Reduced servicing costs thanks to service intervals extended to every two years or 30,000km (compared with every year or 30,000km previously).

THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL STRENGTHS AS THE ENTIRE NEW MÉGANE FAMILY: SAFETY, QUALITY AND RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Following in the footsteps of New Mégane Hatchback, which achieved the maximum EuroNCAP crash test score of 37 points from 37 at the end of 2008, New Renault Mégane Estate has benefited fully from the ongoing progress achieved by Renault not only in the field of safety, but also in quality and respect for the environment.
  • Eight versions of New Renault Mégane Estate qualify for the Renault eco² signature (dCi 85, dCi 90 DPF, dCi 105, dCi 110 DPF, dCi 130, dCi 130 DPF, 1.6 110 Bioethanol).
  • New Renault Mégane Estate is 95 per cent end-of-life recoverable by weight, while 11 per cent of the plastic it contains are sourced from recycling.

A RANGE OF SMART, PRACTICAL ACCESSORIES

  • A long list of interior and exterior customization accessories, as well as a range of practical items associated with estate cars (tow bars, stowage solutions, etc.).



I. ELEGANT, DYNAMIC STYLING

The launch of New Renault Mégane Estate rounds off the Mégane family. Its new, dynamic, distinctive looks are the result of the far-reaching look at styling which was taken at the very beginning of the programme. New Mégane Estate's sporty lines contrast with the conventional 'utility vehicle' approach which has all too often been applied to the majority of estate cars in this segment. It makes no concessions, however, regarding either its load-carrying ability or modularity which continue to be key considerations for purchasers of this type of vehicle.

New Mégane Estate's longer wheelbase compared with that of New Mégane Hatchback (+62mm) ensures a pleasing, balanced styling package which is reinforced by its fluid, uncluttered, dynamic character line which runs along the flanks to the rear lights.

The combination of the roofline, low-profile windows and rake of the rear screen suggest forward movement and exude an unmistakable sense of elegance. The chrome longitudinal roofbars add a further touch of character. The elegance of the side-view carries over to the design of rear end. The Renault logo is highlighted by an indentation at the base of the rear screen, while the curved forms of the two-part rear lights (with one part on the tailgate) ensure an extremely distinctive rear-end signature. New Mégane Estate's bold wheel arches and generous, rounded forms express a prevailing impression of power and robustness.

II. GENEROUS DIMENSIONS ENSURE A HIGH STANDARD OF COMFORT FOR ALL OCCUPANTS

New Renault Mégane Estate is 4.56 metres long and comfortably accommodates up to five adults with luggage. The driver and front passenger benefit from headroom of 890mm (with seat angle at 14 degrees) and elbowroom of 1,475mm, figures which count among the best in the compact estate segment. Careful attention has been paid to ensure that the driving environment is as driver-friendly as possible. Drivers of all builds will have no trouble finding the ideal seating position thanks to the numerous adjustment possibilities offered by the lumbar-adjustable, reclining driver's seat (segmentleading cushion-height adjustment of 70mm, fore/aft travel of 240mm and fore/aft headrest adjustment).

The steering wheel is also height- and reach-adjustable (through 5.1 degrees and 45mm respectively), while the pedal spacing has been made more comfortable. The brake pedal is 30mm wider and the gap with the accelerator pedal has been extended by 10mm to enable the driver's foot to switch more confidently and more swiftly to the middle pedal when braking.

Rear passengers benefit directly from the 62mm-increase in wheelbase compared with Mégane Hatchback which provides 218mm of kneeroom (61mm more than Mégane Hatchback), putting the newcomer among the best in its segment.

III. CARRYING CAPACITY AND MODULARITY ADAPTED TO THE NEEDS OF ALL CUSTOMERS

New Renault Mégane Estate has one of the biggest boots of its segment. Its volume extends from 524dm3 (including 38dm3 underneath the floor) to almost 1,600dm3 as a function of the needs of the moment. The modular seat layout enables loads of up to 2,550mm in length to be carried.

Compared with Mégane II Estate, access to the boot has been improved thanks to a boot sill height of 561mm, which is among the lowest of the segment. In addition to being easier to access, New Mégane Estate's large boot is practical, too, and can be divided into two compartments thanks to a semi-rigid wall which lifts and locks into place in an instant. This creates a handy compartment just inside the boot where small items can be carried.

Underneath, two additional stowage spaces totalling five litres enable items such as the warning triangle and safety vest to be kept. A further 33dm3 of stowage space has been freed up underneath the boot floor in the space where the spare wheel would normally be found. Indeed, New Renault Mégane Estate comes with a tyre repair kit as standard, although a spare wheel can be ordered as an option at the same time as the vehicle (depending on market).

To meet the wide-ranging needs of its customers, New Renault Mégane Estate's interior is particularly modular:

  • the 60/40-split folding rear seat enables owners to increase carrying capacity in a single movement. A support is automatically deployed underneath the folded seat to provide a flat, slightlysloped surface across which it is possible to slide a package without being hindered by the folded rear seatback,
  • the forward-folding front seatback combines with the above arrangement to permit loads of up to 2,550mm in length to be carried,
  • the boot converts into an estate arrangement with a flat floor and a carrying capacity of 1,516dm3 by simply folding the cushion and seatback of the 60/40-split rear seat forward. (Does K95 have the ‘Super-fold’ system as fitted to Laguna estate?

New Renault Mégane Estate comes with a removable baggage cover which can be stored in a bespoke compartment behind the folded rear seatback when carrying bulky loads. Occupants benefit from 25 litres of stowage space around the cabin, including a nine-litre gearbox, a 5.6-litre cubby in the centre console stowage unit, front and rear door bins, underfloor compartments at the front and map pockets on the backs of the front seats.

IV. USEFUL, AFFORDABLE TECHNOLOGY

New Renault Mégane Estate is packed with a raft of technological features which are unprecedented in the compact estate segment:

  • A choice of two fully-integrated, joystick-operated, centre console-mounted navigation systems: Carminat TomTom® and Carminat Bluetooth® DVD. The brand new integrated Carminat TomTom® navigation system costs less than €500 and was first seen on Phase II Clio and Grand Scénic. Developed in association with the leading portable satnav specialist TomTom, Carminat TomTom® provides all the functions expected of a navigation system, including precise, detailed maps displayed on a large 5.8- inch screen, traffic information, alternative routes, speed restrictions, a long list of points of interest, speed camera locations (depending on country), and a wide range of customizable features. The SD card makes it easy for owners to update their Carminat TomTom® system by downloading the latest navigation data onto their computer from a bespoke website. Carminat Bluetooth® DVD is a high-end integrated dashboard-mounted navigation system incorporating a seven-inch screen, central navigation controls, a high-end 140W audio system complete with six-CD multi-changer (MP3/wma-compatible), and voice recognition for both its navigation and Bluetooth® telephone functions.
  • The central display of the innovative dashboard features an analogue rev-counter alongside a digital speedometer which is not only clear and easy to take in but which gives drivers greater visual control over their vehicle's speed. The central display employs an unprecedented colour-coded interface for the cruise control/speed limiter functions.
  • Electronic hand brake: this function automatically applies the parking brake when the engine is switched off, and releases it again when the driver presses on the accelerator pedal and releases the clutch after the engine has been re-started.
  • Hands-free entry and ignition with a central locking function as the card-holder walks away from the car.
  • The 3D Sound by Arkamys® audio system delivers superior sound quality by taking into account the specific properties and materials of the cabin, as well as the number of occupants in the car and where they are seated.

V. IMPECCABLE HANDLING

The dynamic performance of New Renault Mégane Estate lives up every bit to its looks thanks to its precise, responsive and reassuringly predictable handling. Its suspension shares its DNA with the rest of the New Mégane family:

  • the front suspension is based on a McPherson-type arrangement coupled with a new 'horned' subframe which has been engineered to deliver impeccable directional precision by restricting lateral movement of the subframe in relation to the body structure.
  • the rear suspension is based on a programmed deflection flexible beam. This layout uses a closed-section beam which is lighter than a multi-arm solution but which also offers stiffer torsional performance. The stiffness of the front anti roll-bar has been uprated by six per cent in order to achieve the same anti roll performance as New Mégane Hatchback, despite the estate version's heavier weight.

Meanwhile, the choice of springs calibrated at 21mm/100DaN at the front (the same as New Mégane Hatchback) and 22mm/100DaN at the rear (an increase of 10 per cent over New Mégane Hatchback) and work on damping have improved vertical suspension performance and reduced body roll, thereby enhancing New Renault Mégane Estate's ability to corner 'flat'. Its specific roll angle of 0.42°/ms -² is identical to that of New Mégane Hatchback (Mégane II Estate: 0.48°/ms -²).

New Renault Mégane Estate has profited from the same improvements to driving precision as those introduced on New Mégane Hatchback:

  • greater directional stability: the front 'horned'-subframe is three times more rigid than that of Mégane II Estate,
  • directional precision and rear ride comfort have been improved by separating the filtering and transverse rigidity functions thanks to the use of bi-material bushes,
  • evolutions to the electric power steering system: swifter response and greater precision (inductive´torque sensor, broader dynamic servo motor bandwidth, increased steering control unit sampling frequency) plus a more natural feel at the wheel (power steering calibration).

For greater performance and efficiency, three wheel sizes are available depending on engine:

  • 15-inch wheels (tyre size: 195/65),
  • 16-inch wheels (tyre size: 205/55),
  • 17-inch wheels (tyre sizes: 205/50 and 225/45).

VI. A COMPREHENSIVE LINE-UP OF ENGINES WHICH COMBINE PERFORMANCE WITH RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The New Renault Mégane Estate range features an extensive line-up of engines and transmissions adapted to the needs of modern motorists in terms of the performance/fuel consumption/emissions/running costs package they deliver.

The dCi engine range

The eight powertrain combinations available for New Mégane Estate are a perfect illustration of the ongoing improvements Renault has introduced to ensure its customers benefit from the market's best possible package in terms of performance, fuel consumption and costs. B30 biodiesel-fuelled diesel engines are available in certain markets.

The 1.5 dCi available in a choice of four power outputs

It goes without saying that New Renault Mégane Estate is available with the 1.5-litre diesel engine which has been so widely acclaimed for its fuel efficiency and driving pleasure. This 1,461cc block is available in four power outputs, with or without particulate filter, namely the dCi 85 and the dCi 90 DPF (both mated to a five-speed manual gearbox) and the dCi 105 and dCi 110 DPF (which drive through a six-speed manual box).

A dual clutch transmission (DCT) will be released for the dCi 110 DPF at the beginning of 2010. In addition to their responsive performance, all these powerplants stand out through their low CO2 emissions which qualify them for the Renault eco2 signature:

- dCi 90 DPF: 116g/km
- dCi 85: 118g/km
- dCi 105: 120g/km
- dCi 110 DPF: 126g/km

The regeneration of the particulate filter is unobtrusive for the driver thanks to the inclusion of an additional injector in the exhaust line. These four engines are particularly fuel-efficient and return combined-cycle fuel consumption of between 4.4 and 4.8 litres/100km, permitting an average journey range of 1,200km with New Mégane Estate's 60-litre fuel tank.

The dCi 130 engine

The dCi 130 engine is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox and is also available either with or without a particulate filter. This 1,870cc block delivers peak power of 130hp (96kW) at 3,750rpm and a maximum torque of 300Nm at 1,750rpm.

Several major evolutions have led to performance improvements:

  • enhanced efficiency of the variable geometry turbocharger thanks to the use of curved blades which ensure quicker availability of power,
  • the seven-hole injectors (instead of six previously) optimize combustion thanks to a finer, more efficient fuel spray which leads to enhanced performance, lower fuel consumption and fewer polluting emissions,
  • new, ultra-fast spark plugs for quick starting from cold,
  • a fifth injector incorporated upstream of the particulate filter ensures that the combustion regeneration of the DPF is unobtrusive for the driver.

For greater acceleration response, torque is now available over a broader rev-band, while work on the engine mounts has contributed to improved acoustic performance. The sum of these improvements enables the dCi 130 to deliver outstanding driving pleasure, while still returning particularly thrifty combined-cycle fuel consumption of 5.1 litres/100km.

The dCi 130 is the only engine of its class to claim CO2 emissions of less than 140g/km (134 and 135g/km respectively for the dCi 130 and dCi 130 DPF), making it eligible for the fiscal incentive schemes introduced in certain countries.

Two power outputs for the 2.0 dCi

The line-up of diesel powerplants is rounded off by the 2.0-litre block which is available in two versions: the dCi 150 DPF with six-speed automatic transmission and the dCi 160 DPF with sixspeed manual gearbox.

The 2.0 dCi is the highest-performance four-cylinder diesel engine of the Mégane range in terms of both power output and torque. Thanks to its variable geometry turbocharger and optimized internal aerodynamics, it is extremely responsive, with peak torque of 360 and 380Nm available from

2,000rpm for the dCi 150 and dCi 160 versions respectively.

Both engines also rev freely and smoothly all the way up to 5,000rpm.

The 2.0 dCi boasts top-level acoustic performance thanks to extensive work in several areas:

  • two counter-rotating balance shafts combat the vibrations inherent in four-cylinder engines,
  • the twin mass damping flywheel filters acyclic movements of the engine,
  • acoustic comfort is enhanced by the use of a timing chain,
  • the bottom-end has been engineered to optimize the absorption of vibrations and features an aluminium bedplate, a long cast-iron crankcase skirt and a special 'sandwich' design for the oil sump and timing cover,
  • foam-filled common-rail housing to protect it from the vibrations produced by the engine's topend.

In addition to its performance credentials and low noise, the 2.0 dCi is also fuel efficient and claims combined-cycle fuel consumption of either 5.9 litres/100km (dCi 160 with six-speed manual box) or 6.6 litres/100km (dCi 150 with six-speed automatic transmission).

The line-up of six petrol powertrains includes the new TCe 130 engine (Turbo Control Efficiency).

The new TCe 130 engine

Developed within the framework of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, the TCe 130 stands out as an eloquent illustration of the expertise Renault has acquired in the field of turbocharging with a view to producing a range of engines which are fuel-efficient, responsive and affordable. This 1,397cc powerplant packs the power of a 1.8-litre engine (130hp/96kW) and the torque of a 2.0 (190Nm), yet returns combined-cycle fuel consumption of 6.5 litres/100km.

This degree of performance has been achieved thanks notably to:

  • work on internal aerodynamics to favour the creation of a tumble effect as the fuel arrives inside the combustion chamber,
  • continuously variable cam timing which ensures the reassuring availability of power across a broad rev-band,
  • weight savings, including the use of an aluminium block, for lower fuel consumption.

The sum of this work enables drivers to benefit from punchy performance and crisp, smooth acceleration, even from very low engine speeds. This engine is quiet, too, thanks particularly to the twin mass damping flywheel which counters the transmission of engine-generated vibrations.

The TCe 130 drives through a six-speed manual gearbox.

A choice of power outputs for the 1.6 16V engine

New Mégane Estate can also be ordered with the 1.6-litre petrol engine which is available in a choice of power outputs: 100hp with a manual five-speed gearbox, or 110hp with a six-speed manual box. Depending on market, an E85 Bioethanol version of this engine can be ordered (with six-speed

gearbox). In addition to the remarkable driving enjoyment they deliver, these two powerplants boast punch and flexibility at low revs, sprightly performance at higher engine speeds and cushioned acoustics across the full rev-band.

The 2.0 16V 140hp CVT

The normally-aspirated 2.0 16V engine claims peak power of 140hp (103kW) at 6,000rpm and maximum torque of 195Nm at 3,750rpm. It drives through the Renault-Nissan Alliance-developed CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) which provides a smooth, stepless ride. Thanks to the work of the Alliance's engineers, Renault's CVT figures among the very best in its class in terms of seamless acceleration performance.

The TCe 180

The TCe 180 is a new evolution of the 1,998cc turbocharged petrol block and delivers outstanding driving pleasure. With 300Nm of torque available at 2,250rpm, it is extremely responsive and allows remarkable pickup from low revs thanks to the combination of its twin-scroll turbo and continuously variable camshaft angle at the intake port which optimizes air flow into the combustion chamber and enables the turbine to spin up to speed more quickly. The turbo consequently responds to the slightest touch of the accelerator pedal from as low as 1,200rpm. This engine drives through a six-speed manual gearbox.

A more flexible approach to servicing

In addition to improving driving pleasure and performance, the ongoing improvements made to Renault's engines have also led to a fresh approach to servicing. The servicing intervals for New Renault Mégane Estate have consequently been extended to every two years or 30,000km (with OCS*), which spells lower maintenance costs for owners.

Different to Mégane II Estate Identical to Mégane II Estate

(*) OCS (Oil Control System): this system is controlled by the ECU as a function of vehicle and engine speeds, and enables Renault to recommend competitive oil-change intervals while at the same time protecting those owners who stray from conventional driving patterns.

  • Servicing (diesel engines) 2.0 dCi 1.9 dCi 1.5 dCi 105-110 1.5 dCi 90 1.5 dCi 85
  • Service/oil change/oil filter 30,000km/2 years with OCS* 20,000km/2 years
  • Accessory drive-belt 160,000km/6 years
  • Timing belt kit 160,000km/6 years
  • Air filter 30,000km/4 years 60,000km/4 years 90,000km/4 years 80,000km/4 years
  • Diesel filter 60,000km/4 years
  • Cabin filter 30,000km/2 years 20,000km/2 years
  • Coolant 120,000km/4 years
  • Brake fluid 120,000km/4 years
  • Climate control Lifetime warranty
  • Servicing (petrol engines) TCe 180 TCe 130 2.0 16V 1.6 16V
  • Service/oil change/oil filter 30,000km/2 years with OCS*
  • Accessory drive-belt 120,000km/6 years 150,000km/6 years 120,000km/6 years
  • Timing belt kit 120,000km/6 years Timing chain (lifetime warranty) 120,000km/6 years
  • Air filter 60,000km/4 years 90,000km/4 years 60,000km/4 years 90,000km/4 years
  • Cabin filter 30,000km/2 year
  • Sparkplugs 60,000km 120,000km 60,000km
  • Coolant 120,000km/4 years
  • Brake fluid 120000km/4 years
  • Climate control Lifetime warranty

VII. THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL STRENGTHS AS THE ENTIRE NEW MÉGANE FAMILY: SAFETY, QUALITY AND RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - RENAULT'S EXPERTISE IN THE REALM OF SAFETY

Like all the other models which feature in the New Mégane family, New Renault Mégane Estate has been designed to deliver exemplary passive and active safety performance. Renault has long placed the emphasis on developing the most effective technologies possible when it comes to preventing accidents, taking corrective measures and protecting occupants. This approach is founded on the results of research into real-life accidents and real-world safety (LAB1) with a view to promoting solutions that answer real traffic situations.

Accident prevention

A comprehensive list of equipment is proposed to help drivers anticipate risk situations:

- seatbelt reminders for all five seats,
- tyre pressure monitoring system,
- bi-Xenon headlights with cornering lights,
- automatic headlight activation,
- automatic windscreen-wiper activation,
- cruise control with speed limiter.

Corrective action

New Renault Mégane Estate is equipped with the following driver aids: ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency brake assist and ESC with understeer control. New Renault Mégane Estate's braking performance figures among the best of its class thanks to its 280mm-diameter ventilated front discs and 260mm-diameter rear discs. This set-up enables New Renault Mégane Estate to pull up from 100kph to standstill after repeated braking in just 39 metres, which is one of the best performances of its segment. The TCe 180-, dCi 150- and dCi 160-engined versions come with larger front discs (296mm) for even better stopping power.

Occupant protection

When it comes to passive safety, New Renault Mégane Estate is equipped with all the systems that enabled New Mégane Hatchback to achieve a maximum EuroNCAP crash-test score of 37 points from 372 :

- the programmed crumple structure absorbs impact energy,
- the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection incorporates anti-submarining
- functions, double pretensioners, load limiters and adaptive airbags;

1 LAB: the Accident Analysis, Biomechanics and Human Behaviour Laboratory of PSA Peugeot-Citroën and Renault.
2 Adult protection score in EuroNCAP crash test carried out at the end of 2008.

- twin side-impact sensors with dual-chamber thorax/groin/abdomen airbags as first seen on Laguna III and now available across the full Mégane range,
- three-point Isofix child seat anchorage for the outer rear seats,
- the fixation rods of the new-generation headrests slide within the headrest itself and no longerwithin the upper part of the seatback, thereby providing greater protection of the cervical vertebrae in case of rear impact.

NEW RENAULT MÉGANE ESTATE PROFITS FROM ALL THE PROGRESS ACHIEVED BY RENAULT ON THE QUALITY AND DURABILITY FRONTS

New Renault Mégane Estate boasts outstanding fit-and-finish, body panel joint line and material quality.

New Renault Mégane Estate uses the same lazer-welding technique for brazing the roof to the body sides as that employed for all New Mégane models. This process does away with the need for roof trimming, while at the same time enhancing robustness and build quality.

Special attention was paid to the two-part rear light clusters which optimize access to the boot; their crescent-like form and the Renault lozenge pattern call for particularly precise adjustment. Inside the car, the accent is on quality and durable materials which are pleasant to the touch. Particular care was taken in the choice of trim details and fabric patterns. The finish of the boot is also of a very high standard thanks to the uncluttered form of the rectangular tailgate opening and the thick, carefully-adjusted boot mat.

THE RENAULT ECO² HALLMARK FOR VEHICLES WHICH ARE RESPECTFUL OF THE ENVIRONMENT

Extensive work on minimizing weight, carefully-honed aerodynamics and a range of low fuel consumption or biofuel-compatible engines enable New Mégane Estate to showcase Renault's expertise when it comes to protecting the environment.

The Renault eco2 signature is Renault's way of underlining the commitment it has made to reduce the ecological impact of its vehicles across their full lifecycle. To qualify, vehicles must comply with three criteria:

1. CO2 emissions less than 140g/km, or biofuel-compatibility,
2. production in an ISO 14001-certified plant, a testimony to a factory's determination to reduce its ecological footprint,
3. cars must be 95 per cent end-of-life recoverable by weight, with at least five per cent of the plastics they contain to be sourced from recycling.

In addition to being built at Renault's ISO 14001-certified plant in Palencia, Spain, New Renault Mégane Estate is 95 per cent end-of-life recoverable by weight, and 11 per cent of the plastics it contains – equivalent to an average 22kg – are sourced from recycling.

Seven versions of New Renault Mégane Estate (dCi 85, dCi 90 DPF, dCi 105, dCi 110 DPF, dCi 130, dCi 130 DPF and 1.6 110hp Bioethanol) comply with the three criteria required to qualify for the Renault eco2 signature.

An LPG version likely to qualify for tax incentives in certain countries will be released at the end of 2009.

Meanwhile, ongoing optimization improvements to the performance of the dCi 110 engine will see its CO2 emissions cut to 120g/km by the end of the year. Although New Mégane Estate is bigger than its predecessor, and despite its more extensive equipment list, careful attention has gone into keeping its weight to a minimum, as well as into optimizing its aerodynamics. The result is fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures which count among the lowest in New Mégane Estate's class, without detracting from either driving pleasure or performance.

Given that fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are also influenced by the way we drive, a gearshift indicator has been introduced on all versions of New Renault Mégane Estate when powered either by a petrol engine or by a diesel engine equipped with a particulate filter. A light on the dashboard indicates the ideal moment to shift gear with a view to enabling drivers to adopt an 'eco' driving-style and make the most use of their engine's potential.

VIII. A RANGE OF SMART, PRACTICAL ACCESSORIES

New Renault Mégane Estate comes with a wide range of customization accessories designed to enhance travelling comfort and driving pleasure.

Styling accessories

A long list of exterior and interior styling accessories can be ordered for New Renault Mégane Estate. To upgrade its exterior and interior looks:

- grille trims designed to add to the model's racy appeal by giving it front-end looks similar to those of New Mégane Coupé,
- satin-finish anthracite grey and chrome-shadow 15-, 16- and 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels,
- a Sports Kit incorporating front spoiler, extended sills and rear bumper quarter panels,
- aluminium-effect front sill guards.

Practical accessories

Two types of tow bar are available:

- a swan neck-type tow bar for permanent fitment,
- a tool-free, quick-release tow bar which is practical for intensive use but also quick and easy to remove to keep New Mégane Estate looking smart when not required.

As an alternative to the chrome longitudinal roofbars which come as either standard equipment or as an option depending on equipment level, New Renault Mégane Estate can be fitted with transverse roofbars to form a roof rack. These transverse roofbars are equipped with an anti-theft system. Inside, a selection of four-piece tailor-made carpet mat sets for New Renault Mégane Estate is available, as is a reversible cloth or rubber boot mat which perfectly hugs the forms of the boot. This reusable sheet can be packed away into a small bag. A particularly practical stowage-related accessory is the removable central rear stowage which doubles p as an armrest. It is fixed to the middle rear seat using the seatbelt and is a Renault crash-tested roduct. It provides two stowage levels, is simple to remove and easy to carry.

IX. MANUFACTURED EXCLUSIVELY AT PALENCIA

The Palencia factory employs a total staff of 2,720 and has the capacity to produce almost 210,000 vehicles annually in two shifts on one line.

Palencia's existing facilities enable New Mégane Estate to be manufactured alongside New Mégane Hatchback and New Mégane Coupé, while at the same time continuing the production of Mégane II. Although Palencia's modern facilities were already suited to the Mégane platform, significant

investment went into the factory – notably the paint and body shops – prior to production of the Mégane II family. This facilitated the carry over of almost 30 per cent of existing, high quality tooling which meant that factory-related investment did not exceed €190 million.

The vast majority of production-related investment went into guaranteeing the perceived quality and durability of the vehicles it manufactures. Management of the diversity resulting from the simultaneous production of New Mégane models and Mégane II plays a critical role in the production process.

The body shop has been equipped to take onboard the introduction of new lazer brazing technology for the roof to ensure perfect assembly accuracy for enhanced finish quality and durability. In addition to minimizing play between the body panels, diode lazer brazing is energy efficient, more´powerful and takes up less floor space. The higher number of welds (160 more than Mégane II) also makes a significant contribution to improving quality.

To cater for the diversity of models, the body shop has been equipped with around 100 additional robots, which takes the total number to 450.

A new, fully-robotized glazing assembly unit has also been added to the assembly line to ensure precision fitment of the rear screen at high production rates. In addition to guaranteeing a high standard of rear-end sealing, this facility contributes to the vehicle's quality as a whole, as well as to the durability of the components concerned. This robot also means that the rear screens of New Mégane – which are very different to those of Mégane II – can be fitted on the same line without slowing down production.

More than €1 million have also been invested in the introduction of Poka Yoke anti-forget systems used by Nissan which are aimed at enhancing the reliability of certain assembly operations, including the fitment of safety-related equipment such as airbags and seatbelts. As seen in other factories of the Renault group (Sandouville, Novo Mesto), the stepping up of quality control procedures after each operation has already shown its value during previous start-ups. The quality of each new vehicle that has been launched has exceeded that of its predecessor.

Extensive measures were taken to enable the factory's staff to deliver best-level quality from start-up.

In order to guarantee the highest possible standard of quality from start-up, staff from Palencia met their colleagues from other factories of the group – including Novo Mesto in Slovenia and Sandouville in France – with a view to benefiting from the experience of previous successful start-ups (New Twingo, New Laguna).

Almost 150 employees spent time at the Renault Technocentre in Guyancourt, France, to prepare for the arrival of the different versions of New Mégane by working in close collaboration with the project engineers in order to take production-related constraints onboard at the design stage. An extensive training plan in 2008 also saw operators at Palencia benefit from some 50,000 hours of instruction relating to the group's best practices and quality procedures, while bespoke dexterity training for staff from the different departments, including logistics, helped perfect assembly operations and component handling.

Last but not least, work stations have been made even more practical, thanks notably to the introduction of variable-height skids which do away with the need for awkward working positions on the assembly line for enhanced productivity and quality.


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