Renault has launched the Renault Scala automatic with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in two petrol variants – the RXL CVT and RXZ CVT. The automatic RXL variant is about Rs. 1.14 lakh more expensive than the manual variant. The CVT RXL variant is priced at Rs. 8.99 lakh, while the CVT RXZ variant is priced at Rs. 9.98 lakh. (Updated: Jan 23, 2013)
With the launch of the Renault Scala X-Tronic (CVT), the company now has six variants of the Scala, with an RXZ petrol variant, which was previously unavailable joining the line-up. Also read: Renault Scala CVT prices announced
Renault claims the X-tronic transmission system offers higher fuel economy and performance, while providing a lower cost of ownership (because of lower maintenance requirements for the transmission). The X-tronic CVT automatic transmission also has a low-mode for use in the hills and in conditions where higher torque is required. The number of ratios is constantly variable ranging from 3.461 to 0.427, the former corresponding to low gear (equal to first in a manual transmission) and latter to high gear (equal to overdrive). There are no presets unlike conventional CVTs.
A constantly variable transmission is a simple transmission system that has two conical pulleys driven by a belt. By constantly adjusting the diameter of the pulleys on the drive shaft and engine shaft different ratios are achieved. The X-tronic bit is a sub-gear mechanism that has helped reduce the size and weight of the transmission using a secondary planetary gear set on the drive shaft. It also features a lock-up mechanism to keep it in a high ratio for highway cruising. The X-Tronic CVT apparently accelerates faster than a conventional CVT and has less of the “rubber-band” effect, where engine rpm rises fast but vehicle speed does not. Also read: Renault Scala vs Nissan Sunny video comparison
Higher claimed fuel economy
Renault claims the Renault Scala automatic petrol has a higher fuel efficiency than even the manual petrol variant. Renault claims a 17.97 kmpl fuel efficiency for the automatic transmission variant, while the manual only has a certified fuel economy of 16.95 kmpl. In real-world conditions, the manual transmission variant gave about 13 kmpl, and we expect the automatic transmission to be equally efficient. The only other mid-size sedan that has a similar claim of higher mileage for the automatic is the Ford Fiesta automatic which is also available in two variants.
The car is powered by a 1493 cc petrol engine that puts out 99 bhp of power at 5600 rpm and 134 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, mated to the X-tronic CVT transmission, that is sealed for life.
Stop-and-go city traffic conditions warrant the use of an automatic, but the share of automatic cars is still quite insignificant. Only 6% of mid-size car sales are of the automatic transmission variants – even though all the players in the segment now offer an automatic variant or two.
The top-end automatic transmission RXZ variant comes with a host of features, and is likely to be priced about Rs. 80,000 more than the RXL variant, giving it an indicative price of Rs. 9.1 lakh. The RXZ variant comes with push-button ignition, steering audio controls, power-folding mirrors, alloy wheels, fog lamps and leather-upholstery. The RXL automatic variant will have the same features as the petrol RXL manual variant. The Scala is based on the Nissan Sunny and is one of the most spacious cars in its segment. Also see: Renault Scala video review and road test.
You could also read a detailed road test and review of the Renault Scala CVT automatic or watch the video review.