Six-seat Ondelios offers 'club-class comfort'
10 September 2008

This is Renault's Paris motor show-stopper, the Ondelios. Described by the French brand as its "vision of the high-end crossover", the new concept is a six-seater (three rows of two) that attempts to recreate the 'perks' of long-haul business travel in a car.As such, the Ondelios is large - 4.8 metres long and 1.6 metres high, with 23-inch wheels - and its interior has more than a little 'aviator' about it; the six seats are individually adjustable, taking occupants into business class-like reclining positions.From behind the wheel, the Ondelios has typical concept features such as a triple-strip display, a digital speedometer and a monitor that displays menus and pictures from the door-mirror cameras. The passengers all get individual Samsung multimedia devices, too, with seat-integrated headsets. Access to the vehicle is via a mobile phone that acts as a hands-free key, and roof-hinged gullwing doors.Patrick Le Quement, Renault's design director, says that the Ondelios's styling is "inspired by motion rather than speed", but we think there are shades of the Bertone's 1950s BAT concepts in its front end. Despite its blunt nose, it's pretty aerodynamic; its drag co-efficient is just 0.29.As is now seemingly the norm for concept cars, the Ondelios uses a hybrid powerplant; Renault's system mates a 201bhp version of the firm's 2.0-litre dCi diesel powerplant with two 20kW electric motors at the front and rear. The electric systems give the engine extra power when required, and recover energy during braking, and the rear-mounted motor can drive the rear wheels when the ESP detects a loss of traction, giving the Ondelios four-wheel drive capability.The powertrain is coupled to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, allowing the Ondelios to crack 0-62mph in 7.8sec while returning 63mpg and emitting 120g/km of CO2.

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