12 March 2004

Renault’s Clio is growing up with this junior Scénic unveiled at the Swiss show. Called the Modus, the concept car previews the new five-door supermini that goes on sale in October.

Forget today’s Clio hatchback – the new model will be split into a variety of different body styles as the range expands to fill more niches. First up is the production version of the Modus, which is one of the first world premieres scheduled for the Birmingham Motor Show in May. It will be a high-roof unibox five-door virtually identical to this concept, and will keep the Modus name.

Inside is a flexible interior with rear seats that slide back and forth and also laterally, to juggle the amount of room for rear-seat passengers and boot space.

Riding on the Renault-Nissan B platform already seen on the Micra, the Modus will offer a range of petrol and diesel engines driving through the front wheels.

‘The Modus concept is 95 per cent there,’ said a spokesman. ‘It shows the next development of Renault’s new design – we will not always stick with a simple bustleback like on the Avantime and Mégane and will evolve the look depending on the size and class of the car.’

The Modus will be followed by a more conventional three-door Clio at the end of 2005. It will be lower than the Modus, as Renault’s research suggests that younger family-free buyers still prefer a sportier profile. It will, however, grow in most dimensions to offer more interior room.

The third new small Renault will be the Twingo, which slots beneath both the Modus and Clio, repeating the successful formula of today’s cheap ’n’ cheerful city car. However, as with today’s car, the new model has not yet been approved for right-hand-drive UK sales.

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