Small, sporty, two-door crossovers appear poised to be the next big niche vehicle and Renault is jumping on the bandwagon at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show next month. Renault’s Captur concept is ideal, CEO Carlos Ghosn says, for “young couples to explore the world.”
Range Rover’s upcoming Evoque may be to blame for much of the two-door crossover craze, but the Captur takes styling elements to a whole new level. The ‘butterfly’ doors would look at home on a supercar concept, while the low, flat hood and arched front fenders are clearly borrowed from sports car design textbooks. A wrap-around windscreen almost recalls Hyundai’s Veloster, but expect the space-age translucent interior that uses reconfigurable ropes to dictate the shape and size of the cargo area to be toned down, should the Captur make production. The wildest feature may be the roof, which is actually a removable hardtop. Yes, the Captur can be driven as a convertible. The Captur’s framework is carbon fiber, and 22-inch wheels are fitted.
Power comes from the Energy dCi 160 twin-turbo engine concept, which Renault says produces 160 horsepower from its 1.6 liters and is connected to a dual-clutch EDC gearbox. Renault’s RX2 differential, a self-locking mechanical unit, is fitted to the front-wheel-drive Captur to transfer more power to the wheel with most grip. Captur is also fitted with Renault’s Visio-System, a front-facing camera that monitors road conditions to provide driver assistance functions. The Captur can seat up to four people, with two full-size rear seats that can be folded out from the interior side panels.