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Renault at the London motor show 2008

Tue, 22 Jul 2008 00:00:00 -0700

By James Foxall and CAR reader reporter Carcare

Motor Shows

22 July 2008 13:46

With the Paris motor show coming up in October 2008, it’s a surprise Renault had anything of interest to offer show-goers at this week's London exhibition. But Renault UK had other ideas...

The French firm’s R26.R – a lightweight, stripped-out Megane, made its world debut. The firm also had its Megane Coupe Concept, a model that gives us an idea of what the forthcoming sporty version of the Megane will look like when it’s launched in Paris in autumn 2008. For people carrier lovers, the new Kangoo is making its UK debut too.

If a Porsche 911 GT3 RS is stretching the wallet too far, the R26.R offers its spirit for a fraction of the price. On sale in October 2008 for £22,990, it’s got a stripped-out interior, a carbonfibre bonnet and plastic rear and tailgate windows, shaving 123kg from the weight. Just think about that. A carbonfibre bonnet. On a Renault hatchback... this thing is pretty serious. Indeed, Renault claims the R26.R is the fastest front-wheel drive hatchback around the Nurburgring. A claim that some on the neighbouring Ford stand were less than pleased with.

The Koleos still looks exactly what it is: a Korean-designed soft roader. It’s capable and comfy on-road but putting one wheel on a sorry-looking plastic rock isn’t going to convince anyone of its off-road abilities.

It might only be one for performance car fans, but the R26.R was a genuine world debut – and a genuine surprise on show day. Nice one Renault.

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By James Foxall and CAR reader reporter Carcare