Renault India will launch the Fluence sedan in India on May 23rd 2011 instead of June 2011 as expected. The Fluence will be the first model from the French car market for India and is expected to be priced between Rs. 12 – 14 lakh.
Test mules of the Fluence have been caught several times in and around Chennai where the company’s factory is located. The striking design of the Fluence makes it a radically different sedan as against other cars in the C segment available in the country.
The Fluence measures 4,618 mm in length, 1,813 mm in width, 1,488 mm in height and has 2,703 mm wheelbase. Also read: Renault Fluence photo gallery
The car has a curvaceous design with smooth flowing lines. The front grille is small but the wide lower air intake with a horizontal split grille enhances the car’s stance and width. The swept-back headlamp and the extended bonnet make it look very aerodynamic. The wipers are very low and offer maximum visibility to the driver and also reduce the drag.
The side profiles of the Fluence draw attention to the flared wheel arches and high shoulder line of the vehicle. The tail lamps are wrapped around the sides and the car’s roofline tapers down seamlessly integrating into the boot. The rear bumper gets reflector inserts.
The Fluence has contemporary, yet simple interiors. We expect the top-end variant of the Fluence to feature air-conditioning for both front and rear passengers, rain sensor wipers, on-board computer, keyless start-stop, anti-whiplash headrests and airbags.
The car will come in both Petrol and Diesel variants, powered by a 2.0 litre and a 1.5 litre engine respectively. The 2.0 litre petrol engine generates 135 bhp of maximum power and 190 Nm of maximum torque while the 1.5 litre dCI diesel engine generates 106 bhp of maximum power and 240 Nm of maximum torque.
The petrol motor will likely be mated to a 6-speed automatic gear box while the diesel will come with a 6-speed manual gear box. This diesel motor is essentially the same engine that powers the Nissan Micra diesel and the Mahindra Verito diesel. However, the Fluence’s version of the 1.5 litre dCI has Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) and thus gets 42 bhp more power.
Based on various test drive reports, it has been found that the Fluence has precise steering feedback, suspension tuned for better ride quality, has less body roll and is highly stable on highway speeds.
In India, the Renault Fluence will compete with the likes of Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Skoda Laura and Volkswagen Jetta. The Fluence will also be slightly bigger than its rivals, which might make it more appealing to ‘prestige conscious’ buyers, who prefer larger sedans.
But, since the dealerships, after sales service quality are yet to be known, the French car maker has to put in efforts for brand building. Also read: Renault upcoming lanuches
Renault has plans to launch 5 models in India within the next 18 months. The models consist of the Fluence, Duster, Koleos, a small car (Clio) and a sedan. Initially, the company plans to open 14 sales outlets in 12 important cities of the country. By December 2011, Renault India plans to cover 30 cities by opening 40 outlets in total.