Renault is committed to the development and implementation of new technologies into every aspect of our vehicles. Renault's engineers cover every angle - roadholding, safety, comfort, soundproofing, etc. - in their relentless quest to make motoring a pleasurable experience. The following are just some of the new technologies applied to a wide range of our vehicles.
Renault models are available with either manual or automatic gearboxes.
Manual gearboxes where the decision to change gears is left entirely to the driver, who can therefore adapt the behaviour of the car just as they want, stretching the gears for a sporty drive or, changing them early for a more economic drive.
Automated gearboxes which are managed by a computer, that can if required modify gear change decisions, adapting them to a sports driving style, or to motorway driving. The computer can also choose the best gear in order to reduce consumption. There are currently three main types of automated gearboxes, Robotised, automatic and CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission)
- The robotised gearbox is a manual gearbox to which servo-mechanisms are added, which changes the gears and manages the clutch according to the instructions received from the computer
- The automatic gearbox Able to change gears under load, i.e. without a break in engine torque, it provides a high level of comfort.
- CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) removes the notion of changing gears. It is a pair of conical pulleys, linked by a belt, which allows continuous variation of its transmission ratio.
Hydraulic braking constituted a significant advance in comfort and safety over traditional cables and rods which have all been replaced by a hydraulic circuit. It is easier to act on fluid pressure than on cable tension, this technology rapidly enabled the development of power-assisted braking, originally called "servo-brake". Complex systems such as ABS (Antilock Braking System) and ESP (Electronic Stability Program) are now provided on all Renault models to enhance safety and comfort for the driver.
Automatic parking brake
Much more than just a handbrake, the automatic parking brake is an element in driving comfort and pleasure. Managed by a special computer, the automatic parking brake applies braking pressure on the rear wheels which is adjusted to the gradient of the road. Acting progressively when releasing the brake, the system provides the driver with real assistance for hill starts.
Cruise control and spedd limiter
As its name indicates, this system has a dual function. It is used to adopt a constant cruising speed and to fix a maximum speed that cannot be exceeded. The speed limiter signals when the fixed speed has been exceeded. This ensures a constant cruising speed whatever the road surface, and as well as providing driving comfort, it reduces fuel consumption.
The triangular torsion beam suspension
For comfort and dynamics, the rear suspension is just as important as the front. A much smaller component, the triangular torsion beam suspension provides enhanced driving pleasure while providing additional interior cabin space, compared to the standard suspensions. The triangular torsion beam suspension also offers a top-quality level of comfort and handling by increasing the driver’s control of the vehicles rear wheels.
Road handling plays an essential role in the confidence of the driver and with their car. The study of roadholding ensures that the vehicle does not react in an unusual way, or becomes difficult to control during acceleration or braking. Renault is continuing to conduct numerous studies to find the configuration best suited to each type of vehicle and each type of driver.
ADDITIONAL CORNERING LIGHTS
On winding roads, the inside of bends can conceal obstacles that are barely visible to the driver because of the directionality of traditional headlights. The beam of light is emitted in line with the axis of the car and so the inside of the bend remains in half-light and so, certain obstacles may not be seen. By delivering a complementary source of light directed towards the interior of the bend, additional cornering lights eliminate these traps.
AUTOMATIC HEADLIGHTS AND WINDSCREEN WIPERS
Automatic activation of the windscreen wipers is controlled by an active infra-red sensor which detects the presence of water droplets on the windscreen by the modifications in reflection that they induce.
Automatic lighting of the headlights is controlled by a passive light sensor. It measures available light using a set of photo-electric cells.
Xenon and Bi-xenon headlights
By lengthening visibility distance to more than one hundred metres, xenon headlights improve night driving safety because they make it possible for the driver to better anticipate a risk situation. Renault has already offered this technology for several years as part of its permanent concern for safety improvement. Because of their excellent output, xenon lamps deliver a luminous flux that is more intense than that of halogen lamps, for the same power consumption. The optics of the headlight play a part in determining in its effectiveness. The use of xenon lamps makes it possible to improve headlight directivity.
TYRE PRESSURE MONITOR
Significant advances in the geometry of the chassis have made it difficult to detect under inflation, or a pressure drop. In partnership with one of the biggest names in tyres, Renault has developed a pressure monitoring system which warns the driver of any anomaly. A small electronic module housed in the inflation valve of each wheel permanently monitors the tyre. Every minute, the module transmits the values from the sensors to a computer onboard the vehicle. It correlates this data with other data, such as the wheel rotation speed and acceleration, to detect any anomaly. A loss of pressure, an imbalance in pressure between the wheels, or over- or under-inflation immediately triggers a warning which specifies the type of anomaly and the wheel concerned.