The motoring section of The Straits Times on 16 Jan 10 was featuring a list of cars that we can expect to see in 2010. There were already strong rumours for models such as the Opel Insignia, VW Golf R in making a debut in the new year. However, what caught my attention was the Renault Fluence, which I didn't know much about. Therefore, I did my little research....
The Fluence is a rebadged version of the Korean market Samsung SM3 that was revealed in early 2009. The Fluence is the sedan variant of the Megane. Internet sources mentioned that it will be initially sold only in Russia, Romania and Turkey. But now, it seems that an Asian debut is not far away.
Depending on the market, buyers will have a choice of two gasoline engines, a 110HP 1.6-liter unit linked to either a manual gearbox or an automatic transmission and a 140HP 2.0-liter matted to a CVT, plus a 1.5L dCi diesel with outputs of 85HP, 90HP (DPF - Diesel Particulate Filter), 105HP and 110HP (DPF). All diesel engines are coupled to a manual gearbox, with the most powerful version offered with Renault's new dual-clutch transmission. The output of the gasoline units are nothing to shout about. It would be nice if the dual clutch transmission makes it to the gasoline versions eventually.
The 4,62 metres long four-door saloon boasts a luggage capacity of 530 liters. The exterior lines of the new Fluence is rather, well, fluent. The bonnet looks lengthy, giving the car an air of elegance. I would prefer the fog lights to be positioned nearer to the sides of the bumper, occupying the triangular tips. Twin exhausts at the rear would project a sportier image. The interior dashboard layout is simple yet elegant. This is something that will be much appreciated as compared to a button-cluttered layout of some German models.
It looks like the already competitive C segment will have a new contender soon. It would be interesting to see the Fluence's share of the sales pie upon arrival, since Singapore drivers are increasingly opening up to continental offerings.