The Kwid concept made its debut at the Delhi Auto Show today, highlighting both Renault’s commitment to new markets and the company’s desire to create appealing products in the compact car segment the carmaker is known for.
Designed with inputs from Renault Design India, as well as the company’s Brazilian and French studios, the Kwid concept is the second vehicle under the ‘Explore’ petal of Renault’s lifecycle-based design strategy — the first was the Captur concept unveiled at the 2011 Geneva motor show.
The vehicle’s exterior design — by Russian designer Anton Shamenkov working at the Renault Technocentre Design in France — is based on original drawings by Jean Semeriva (Studio Design Brazil). Its proportions and dimensions as well as very short overhangs give the impression of a bouncing vehicle, while its oversized wheels protrude past the fenders, like those of a buggy.
Though only two-wheel drive, the concept projects the facade of an off-road car through its protective guards and fenders, which exude an impression of strength.
The interior of the concept — designed by François Grenier (Technocentre Design, France) based on original drawings by Mishu Batra (Renault Design India) — was created as a snug cocoon and is inspired by a bird’s nest.
The driver sits at the center of the bench-style front seat flanked by two passengers either side. The seats are suspended over a solid base giving an impression of lightness, while their two-tone elastomer material provides a sense of brightness. The rear air conditioning features controls on the driver seat’s back as well as ventilation through concentric perforations.
The colors and materials of the vehicle were worked upon by Neha Lad (Indian trainee, Technocentre Design) and developed by Chie Yanagisawa (Japanese designer, Technocentre Design). Axel Breun (Technocentre Design) was the overall Project Manager.
Beyond the playfulness of its exterior and interior design the concept car is also equipped with a host of technology-driven features, led by its ‘Flying Companion’, the first of its kind in the automotive world.
Taking off from the rotating rear portion of the Kwid concept’s roof, the Flying Companion can be operated in one of two modes – the automatic mode using a pre-programmed flying sequence and GPS location as well as a manual mode, which enables the companion to be controlled using a tablet inside the vehicle.
The Flying Companion can be used for a variety of purposes, including scouting traffic, taking landscape pictures and detecting obstacles on the road ahead.
“Customers in new markets are much younger. Their expectations are different and customers are basically gamers. They tend to take a closer interest in technology and want to enjoy themselves,” says Serge Mouangue, Brand Manager and Innovative Cooperative Laboratory Manager.
“This concept car meets those needs in a variety of ways, but mainly thanks to the Flying Companion which makes driving both safe and fun. This is the very first time in the long automotive history we can drive on earth with an eye in the sky,” adds Mouangue.
Powered by a downsized 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to dual-clutch transmission, the Kwid concept is also Z.E ready — being pre-disposed to receive batteries for electric use — and comes with a charging plug behind the Renault logo.
Other technology-rich features include a touch pad gear selector next to the steering wheel, an electrically-operated front bench seat on a center rail, electric opening doors and LED lighting. The vertically-mounted TFT touchscreen display acts as the dashboard and also provides access to connected services.