Mégane. Or the many faces of a single medal. The Swiss show offered Renault the opportunity to stage a double debut for its new Segment C range. The first of those newcomers, an addition to the increasingly busy mass produced convertible segment had been awaited with bated breath, since it had been hard to imagine a coupé cabriolet version based on the unconventional shape of the original saloon.
The team began by considering ways of slotting the roof into the tail end, as Renault Design’s Number Two Anthony Grade explained on the Renault stand at the Geneva Show. “The perfectly balanced proportions of the saloon made it sit very well on the road and at the same time we had worked very hard to endow it with a distinctive character. When it came to the coupé cabriolet, we were looking to achieve the same effect but were faced with the roof stowage problem: we were forced to examine the bodywork from a completely different angle”.
When it came to translating the Mégane into more of a family car, it was to replace Renault’s Scénic, the compact MPV that had been its best selling model for the seven years since its market launch. Yet again, Anthony Grade tells the story, describing the Scénic project as fascinating from start to finish. “We asked ourselves one very simple question before we got down to work: should we be best advised to update it while leaving its basic assumptions intact, or would a radical departure be a better option?”.
As always seems to happen in Renault these days, they opted for the more courageous choice and for change along the lines of the powerful statement made by the Mégane II.
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 139