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Renault Nepta concept (2006): first official pictures

Thu, 07 Sep 2006

By Phil McNamara

First Official Pictures

07 September 2006 04:30

The lowdown

Renault's renewed assault on the premium car sector begins today, with this luxurious Nepta showcar. It's a vast, opulent convertible, designed to waft you across continents as if the golden age of motoring hadn't been superseded by the budget airline revolution. The Nepta is Renault's attention-seeking concept for this month's Paris motor show. Unsually for La Regie, it has a twin-turbocharged V6 mounted longitudinally and turning the rear wheels. Show car flight of fancy or a taste of things to come? Renault has publicly committed to launching five luxury cars between 2007 and 2009, and doubling top-end output to 200,000 cars a year. The Nepta lays down a marker for Renault's premium push. But will any of the production cars be rear-drive, and will the Nepta be one of them...?

Renault says the Nepta's design is inspired by classic grand tourers, although the details and technology are thoroughly modern. The proportions and stance are very stately, with a long, tapered rear end containing a sizeable overhang. The Nepta features wave-shaped panels to create a sense of fluidity, while the car has a two-tone effect thanks to the aluminium lower body section. The wheels measure 23 inches in diameter, and their massive size is in keeping with the Nepta's barge-like dimensions. It measures almost 5m-long, and is wider (though lower) than Bentley's forthcoming GTC cabrio.

By Phil McNamara