Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
November 01, 2008
The flowing design of the upper part contrasts with the more robust forms below (emphatic wheel arches, side sills and 18-inch aluminum wheel rims). The five-spoked rims marry gloss black with the lead gray of the graphite and the red of the brake calipers to give Sand'up Concept a resolutely sporty air, enhanced by the black masks on the front and rear lights.
The contemporary sporty look expressed outside continues inside. The cabin features two shades of gray that generate movement and contrast. These dominant tones are adroitly balanced with touches of red, as on the seat backs. Aluminum inserts on the air vents and seats also repeat the refined-yet-sporty theme.
Sand’up Concept boasts an array of innovations corresponding to the vehicle’s multipurpose nature. In pick-up mode, Renault Design America Latina created an intelligent mechanism that lengthens the cargo bed by up to 40 cm to accommodate a range of objects. The load area can thus be extended to 1.7 meters and boasts a payload of 500 kg, for transporting scooters, jet skis, bikes and surfboards. The cargo bed can be closed using a stiff black cover to protect against the vagaries of the weather. In addition, the rear of the vehicle is accessed via a split-opening "clamshell" system that is also found on Renault Koleos.
Sand’up Concept is transformed easily into a coupé by manually attaching the hard-top roof using solid anchor points. The result is a harmonious whole, with particular attention having been paid to blending the design of the hard top and the vehicle body.
Renault Design America Latina created numerous innovations to make life easier for drivers and passengers. At the rear, the tail lights use LEDs instead of conventional bulbs to boost nighttime visibility. On the sides, traditional rearview mirrors have been replaced by two small cameras. The images they capture are displayed on a trapezoidal LCD screen mounted on the dashboard alongside a GPS.
For easier vehicle access, the doors open gull-wing style using an electro-hydraulic system similar to that on Laguna Coupé Concept. The doors are made entirely of transparent glass, giving driver and passengers remarkable lateral vision and flooding the cabin with light.
Versatility remains the strong point of Sand’up Concept inside. The bucket seats at the front slide back and forth on rails. Two small suitcases fitted into the backs of the front seats can be removed and used as overnight bags.
(Oct. 27, 2008)