Unveiled in February 2011, Captur is the new concept car embodying Renault’s new design strategy. A sporty crossover with a flowing and athletic body language, it conjures up visions of two people exploring the world and previews a forthcoming road car. Its Energy dCi 160 twin-turbo engine-concept combines fun driving, enjoyable performance and low CO2 emissions.
Little of what makes up the interior will ever follow through to a production model, but the spacious feel and high driving position reveal why Renault is so keen to introduce a car into this segment. The Captur features a futuristic sat-nav, called VisioDrive. This projects navigation information on to real-life pictures of the road ahead, transmitted to the cabin by forward-facing cameras.
In addition, the newcomer boasts a hi-tech powertrain – or at least, it should! Renault envisages the Captur will eventually feature a twin-turbocharged 158bhp 1.6-litre dCi engine. We have tried the 128bhp single-turbo version of this motor, and with a broad range of torque and smooth running, it will be perfect for cars of this size.
Officially, the firm claims the Captur will be able to cover 0-62mph in eight seconds while emitting only 99g/km of CO2. And although the car is front-wheel drive only, Renault’s innovative RX2 system – which can apportion power to either of the driven wheels if one loses grip – should help with off-roading.
From behind the wheel, the Captur feels like a one-off concept. A lack of sound deadening means a huge amount of engine noise, while the suspension is very firm. But none of this matters, as it has no bearing on how the final car will handle.