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Brisbane show: Renault releases Scenic

What's my Scenic: The Scenic II is a five-door, five-seater powered by a 98kW/191Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine.

Renault premieres its Scenic II people-mover at the Brisbane motor show

9 Feb 2005

RENAULT’S much-anticipated, second generation Scenic II people-mover is now available in Australia following a low-key public premiere of the Megane II-based monospace at the Brisbane motor show.

Pricing was announced in January at $29,990 for the Authentique manual ($32,190 auto), rising to $31,490 for the mid-spec Expression manual ($33,690 auto) and $35,490 for the flagship Dynamique ($37,690 auto).

The only options are metallic paint ($650) and a panoramic sunroof for the Dynamique for $1990.

Like the previous Scenic, which at times was Renault’s biggest selling model in Australia, the new model is a five-door, five-seater powered by a 98kW/191Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder, this time mated to either a six-speed manual or four-speed Proactive automatic.

Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, cruise control, front power windows/mirrors, in-dash CD player with remote audio controls and flexible rear seating.

35 center imageThere’s also the leading-edge safety equipment that helped Scenic II score a maximum five-star EuroNCAP crash rating when it went on sale in Europe in November 2003, including twin front and side airbags, curtain airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, ABS with EBD and brake assist.

The sixth Megane II derivative to go on sale in Australia following three and five-door versions of the hatch, Megane sedan, Megane CC and the Megane Renault Sport, Scenic II was to be followed by a stretched, seven-seat version dubbed Grand Scenic in April.

However, Grand Scenic will now not be made available here until the third quarter of 2005, while Renault’s flagship people-mover, the Espace, remains under evaluation for sale in Australia.

Swift debut

SUZUKI'S new Swift made its Australian debut in Brisbane about two weeks prior to Suzuki Australia’s official on-sale date, courtesy of independent Queensland distributor, Suzuki Auto Co.

In Queensland and northern NSW, the five-door Swift - which is claimed to feature the widest wheel track in its class along with its 75kW/133Nm 1.5-litre four - will be available in base GLX and more sporting Z-Series guises, as either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto.

Meantime, Suzuki Australia will market its entry level Ignis replacement simply as Swift, with the top-spec variant to be called the S. Starting price is expected to be the same $15,990.

The local importer also confirmed it will offer the new Grand Vitara in the second half of 2005 in Queensland, in three and five-door guise with 2.0-litre and larger 2.7-litre V6 motivation.

Bentley options

BENTLEY used the Brisbane show to launch a range of designer options for its Continental GT coupe, dubbed the Mulliner Driving Specification.

MDS includes 20-inch two-piece alloy wheels with 275/35 R20 tyres, drilled alloy pedals, knurled chrome and hide gear lever, two-tone leather and veneer trim, diamond-quilted doors and rear quarter panels, embroidered ‘Bentley’ seat emblems, indented hide headlining and Burr Walnut or Piano Black veneer.

The Continental GT also now features, as standard, telephone voice activation in six languages, carpet and seatbelt colours to match either primary or secondary hide colours and the addition of optional Magnolia hide.

A number of factory-fit Mulliner options are now also available, including alloy fuel caps, lambswool mats, aluminium fascia panels and a two-tone hide-trimmed multi-function steering wheel.

Pug diesel

PEUGET rolled out its 407 ST HDI, offering 100kW and 320Nm.

While petrol versions of the 407 wagon were made available in January, joining the petrol 407 sedans launched last year, the 407 HDI Touring will go on sale by May.

Supercar exotica

BRISBANE wasn’t without its share of exotic metal, with the Fox Ferrari collection taking centre stage and comprising the Ferrari Enzo, F50, F40, F288 and GTO.

Alongside was the 386km/h Swedish-built Koenigsegg CCR (powered by a 488kW supercharged 4.7-litre Ford V8), Ford’s GT coupe, Elfin’s Clubman and the Honda S2000-powered, rear-drive Skelta two-seater, built by Toowoomba’s Ray Vandersee and available for under $100,000.

Triple diamond treat

MITSUBISHI Australia president Tom Phillips used his presentation of the CZ3 Tarmac Spyder – which made its Australian debut as one of four interesting concepts in Brisbane – to emphasise the positives of Mitsubishi’s recently announced global revitalisation plan.

The CZ3, meantime, features a 223kW turbo four and AWD system straight from the Lancer Evo, and previews both the Colt-based convertible and turbocharged engine concepts that could reach production this year.

Concept corner

ALONGSIDE the CZ3 were a gaggle of other concepts to grace Brisbane for the first time, including Toyota’s CS&S two-seater coupe, Holden’s Torana TT36, Hyundai’s HCD-8 coupe concept (likely to form the basis of its next Tiburon) and Volkswagen’s California Beach recreational van.

Other production car firsts in Brisbane included Nissan’s luxury Murano and Kia’s second generation Sportage - two SUVs due on sale here in coming months.

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