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Image1. Renault Fluence

The Renault Fluence is a compact, mid-sized sedan produced by the French automaker Renault and built at the Oyak-Renault plant in Bursa, Turkey.

Revealed in August 2009, Fluence is based on the Renault/Nissan C platform, but it is sized between the compact family saloon C-segment and the upper-medium segment.

It is essentially a notchback version of the Megane III (already developed as Renault Samsung New SM3), and went on sale in November 2009.

Renault has big plans for India. At the Expo, earlier this year, the French manufacturer unveiled its 18-24 month road map which will see the Fluence being launched by mid 2011.

The Fluence is a D-segment sedan that will be manufactured at the new Renault Nissan greenfield manufacturing facility in Chennai. The car displayed was a Euro spec model. Standard equipment includes rear air-conditioner vents and dual zone climate control in the front.

Interior: In the cabin, the airy facia design incorporates taut, uncluttered lines that are complemented by the sweep of the dashboard trim strip. Essential driving functions and useful accessories all fall easily to hand.

They are concentrated around the steering wheel and centre console with a view to freeing up as much space as possible and to making the car even more user-friendly.

The car also features keyless entry and ignition using a key card. As the card-holder walks away from the car, the doors will lock automatically. The step-up in range is equally visible in cabin details such as the chrome finish applied to door handles, instrument surrounds and gearlever knob, as well as the availability of either light- or dark-hued leather upholstery.

Particular attention has been paid to the decorative trimming to create a varied range of distinctive ambiances, and also distinguish between different equipment levels.

Customers can choose from a light, elegant interior which exudes a sense of wellbeing, or else something darker, with more sporting overtones.

It is very easy to feel at home at the wheel of Renault Fluence, thanks to its sound ergonomics and straightforward interfaces. On board, every driver will be able to find the ideal seating position thanks to a wide range of adjustability options, with all the controls near at hand.

In a matter of seconds, he or she can adjust the angle of the seatback and head rest, alter the level of lumbar support, adapt the steering wheel for rake and reach, vary the seat position (it can be moved fore and aft through up to 240mm, and up or down by +/- 35mm).

Engine: From launch, and depending on market, Renault Fluence will be available with a wide range of thrifty engines which are all a pleasure to drive.

The car will come with two petrol engines, each available in two versions, a 1.6 16V 110hp, with automatic transmission or manual gearbox and a 2.0 16V 140hp, with continuously variable transmission (CVT) or manual gearbox.

A choice of five variants of the 1.5 dCi diesel block, dCi 85, dCi 90 DPF, dCi 105, dCi 110 DPF, dCi 110 DPF with the new dual clutch transmission (DCT.)

Exterior: Styled with typically Gallic flair, the Fluence is a relatively large car with good cabin and boot space.

This four-door saloon is 4.62 metres long and its size and generous levels of standard equipment place it halfway between the C segment, for compact family cars, and the segment immediately above.

Streamlined headlights herald the start of an elegant waist line which sweeps harmoniously along Renault Fluence's sides to the boot.

The surround and chromed grille of the upper air intake embellish the car's front-end looks with a sporting flourish, while Renault Fluence's status-enhancing appeal is heightened by its sculptured wheel arches and long bonnet.

At the rear, the horizontal, two-part lights allow a generous boot aperture and reinforce the car's thoroughly modern styling. Renault Fluence packs several opulent upgrade touches.

Price: It is estimated that the price of the Renault Fluence could be in the range of Rs 12-13 lakh (Rs 1.2-1.3 million).

Image: Renault Fluence