September 11, 2008 Renault has placed the emphasis on style, interior space and long-haul comfort in its new luxury crossover concept offering which is set to debut at the Paris Motor Show next month. The 15.7 feet (4.8 m) long, 5.2 feet (1.6 m) high Ondelios - the name being an amalgam of the French 'onde' (wave) and 'helios' (the Greek god of the sun) - is powered by a by a hybrid system combining a 205hp (150kW) version of the 2.0 dCi engine with two 20kW electric motors at the front and rear which give it the capability of a 4WD vehicle. The initial pics reveal the standout elements of the design - a striking inset aluminum-finish grille, inwardly curved tail lights, seven-spoke, 23-inch aluminum alloy wheels and butterfly-style side doors hinged to the roof to enable easy access to the three rows of seats. There's also plenty of technological goodies on show including a collaboration with Samsung that lets the driver use a cell phone to unlock the door and engage personal settings like seat-adjustment and music.

Used to boost acceleration when required, the twin electric motors are powered by a lithium-ion battery that can deliver up to 4kW/h that is recharged partly via regenerative braking. The front motor uses stop-start technology to improve fuel economy and the rear motor kicks in when the ESP sensors detect a loss of traction. Combined with the seven-speed diesel engine the Ondelios achieves a torque of 450Nm between 1,700 and 3800rpm and acceleration of 0-62mph in 7.8 seconds. Fuel consumption is 4.5 litres/100km and CO2 emissions at 120g/km – figures aided by high aerodynamic efficiency (Cd=0.29) resulting design elements like the steeply-raked windscreen and "propeller-like hubs" that reduce turbulence by drawing airflow from the sides of the car, plus the use of lightweight structural parts including carbon and the glazed polycarbonate on the body.

Interior highlights include six roomy seats on cantilever mounts with retractable footrests and folding electrically-adjustable backs, all designed to "give the impression of sitting in a lounge on wheels" according to the Renault release. The dashboard layout incorporates active display skins show driver aid and ride information, three large strip displays provide driving-related information and a monitor at on the base of the windscreen which relays information from the door mirror cameras.

On the infotainment side, all passengers have their own interactive portable multimedia device (again from Samsung) for data sharing or multiplayer gaming and each can set the temperature or adjust the headrest speakers to their individual zone. As mentioned above, the driver can adjust personal settings and lock the car using a cell phone as the hands-free key. Renault Ondelios specifications:

  • Length (mm): 4,805
  • Width (mm): 1,998
  • Height (mm): 1,605
  • Height with doors open (mm): 2,230
  • Wheel base (mm): 2,895
  • Front track (mm): 1,690
  • Rear track (mm): 1,720
  • Unladen weight (kg): 1,452
  • Boot (dm3): 530
  • Partners: G Studio(Bodywork), Michelin (Tyres), Samsung (Telephone for communication with vehicle)
  • Internal combustion engine: 2.0 dCi
  • Power in hp (kW): 205 (150)
  • Maximum torque (Nm): 450, from 1,700 to 3,800rpm
  • Electric motors: Two 20kW electric motors: one at the front and one at the rear
  • Power supply: 4kWh lithium-ion battery. Size: 40dm3. Weight: 50kg
  • Acceleration from 0 to 62mph: 7.8
  • CO2 emissions, combined cycle fuel consumption: 120g/km, 4.5 litres/100 km
  • Transmission: Double-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission, Internal combustion engine drive and electric motor drive
  • Tyres: 255/45 ZR23
  • Wheels: Diameter: 23", Width: 9"
  • View gallery - 32 images