Fleet News

Renault considers sports diesel range

RENAULT is considering a family of high-performance diesel models in the future, but it is waiting to gauge reaction to the new Megane Renaultsport dCi 175 before making a decision.

The Megane dCi 175 is the first non-petrol-engined car to wear the Renaultsport badge, and consequently has considerable fleet appeal.

On sale in June, it features a 175bhp turbodiesel engine and will cost from £18,950. Combined fuel economy of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 172g/km are promised.

Renault is cagey about predicting sales figures, but in the first quarter of 2007 there were about 400 Renaultsport Meganes sold in the UK, and Europe-wide Renault expects diesels to make up half of all sales.

But James Mitchell, brand manager for Megane at Renault UK, is cautious. He said: ‘Because it’s the first diesel Renaultsport product, it is difficult to know whether we can perform as strongly as the petrol range.

‘We’re looking at what premium there is for a Renaultsport product over a standard Renault model in terms of residual values.

‘We’ll wait and see but I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future there are more diesel derivatives.’ Mr Mitchell added: ‘If we’re going to position this as a true fleet vehicle, it’s got to be something that has strong RVs.

‘User-choosers are definitely the sector of the fleet market we want to pitch the car into.’

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