Renault is working on a basic supermini in the same vein as the likes of the Citroën C4 Cactus.
The concept car is called the 'Value Up' and adopts a similar cost-saving approach to the new SUV-like Cactus, aiming to be lightweight, efficient and cheaper to produce.
The Value Up uses materials such as bamboo to increase strength and while reducing weight, and weighs just 830kg. Early suggestions are that a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol version would emit around 100g/km of CO2, while a plug-in hybrid version could emit just 45g/km.
The styling is that of a concept that is not too far off production, with large windows that stretch down below the normal windowline and into the doors. The rear doors themselves are hinged at the back and allow a large entry-point thanks to a wide opening angle.
Inside, there is bamboo on the door panels, floors and seat bases, while the front and rear seats are both benches. Although there is room for three in the rear, the front bench seat is designed for two. Due to the cost-saving nature of the car, it is unlikely that the bamboo trim will ever make it to production.
The dashboard is dominated by a large touchscreen display that spreads across the width of the car.
It uses two small LCD screens in front of the driver for the instruments and two 76cm x 17cm screens on the rest of the dash. One acts as a large infotainment screen, controlling the likes of the sat-nav, air conditioning and even the direction the door mirrors are pointing in.
The second display is in front of the passenger and is for entertainment. The system can play films and music and display photos and should be able to connect to the internet via a smartphone. It is compatible with both Apple and Android operating systems.
It uses a similar optical system to the Jaguar Land Rover screen that allows the passenger to see what is on the screen, but not the driver. An insider said the technology is ready for the screen to go into production, but a final decision has not yet been made.
Unfortunately, the Value Up is being used purely to develop new models. It is not expected ever to venture out of Renault's Paris innovation centre, or be shown at a motor show or even in pictures.
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