Renault KOLEOS: An SUV with global appeal

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TINASHE MAKICHI

The new KOLEOS is a SUV that packs all the styling cues and capabilities associated with the segment and in keeping with the Renault design strategy introduced by Laurens van den Acker; this new beast is covered by a design pillar which stands for robustness and a taste for adventure. It was the pursuit of these qualities that inspired Renault’s designers to give the new KOLEOS taut, powerful, muscular lines. The KOLEOS features classic Sport Utility Vehicle design cues.

The vehicle is expected for delivery in the Zimbabwean market through Duly Holdings by March 01, 2018-at a price of USD47 000. The vehicle will also be available at Croco Motors

KOLEOS’ elevated driving position offers excellent visibility and compared to a traditional sedan, the new KOLEOS’ driving position is 150mm higher, a reassuring feature that is highly prized by SUV buyers. Its tall, wide dashboard is intended to give driver and passenger a sense of safety and protection. Hand grips either side of the centre console echo the world of off-road motoring while imbuing the interior with a sporty feel.

The line stretching from the top of the dashboard to the rear of the armrest is one of the highlights of the new KOLEOS’ central line suggests power and the world of all-wheel drive motoring and the wide centre console ensures there is a comfortable distance between the driver and front passenger.

The new KOLEOS’ SUV genes are similarly prominent inside the cabin.Redolent of comfort, quality and strength, its elegant, protective interior is in perfect harmony with the model’s exterior lines.

The beast’s all-mode 4×4-i technology has already proven its capability in millions of Alliance vehicles around the world. This all-wheel drive system is extremely easy to use thanks to a switch on the dashboard to the left of the steering wheel that offers a choice between the 2WD (front-wheel drive) and 4WD Auto modes. The latter automatically Renault KOLEOS: An SUV with global appeal splits the torque between the front and rear wheels. At slow speeds in low-grip conditions, a third mode called 4WD LOCK allows the driver to select permanent all-wheel drive. The KOLEOS’ 4×4 transmission also guarantees enhanced safety and stability by neutralising understeer BERNARD MPOFU Zimbabwe’s debt clearance plan has been thrown off the rails after Britain, which had been supporting the programme, said it was unhappy with reports of human rights abuses following last month’s violent nationwide protests. Official figures show that four people died while many more were injured from gunshot wounds when security forces moved in to quell the violent protests triggered by a 150% rise in the fuel price. The UK Parliament this week summoned its minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, over the political developments in Zimbabwe. The situation in the country has also prompted President Emmerson Mnangagwa to embark on a diplomatic offensive with regional peers, as well as opening dialogue with the country’s political actors. Baldwin told a select committee of the House of Commons: “The recent violence from state actors makes it very difficult for me to try and argue that this is the time for UK to be stepping up to the plate and working with international partners to [review sanctions and the debt payment plan]. I think that for progress to be made, progress will have to happen in terms of political reforms in Zimbabwe,” Baldwin said. Last month, Baldwin held a meeting with the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, where security issues in Zimbabwe, DRCongo and Somalia were high on the agenda. Baldwin became one of the top UK officials to visit Zimbabwe after the resignation of President Robert Mugabe. Questions sent to Finance minister Mthuli Ncube, who is currently on a re-engagement drive with Western countries, were not responded to at the time of going to press. Relations between Harare and London turned frosty at the turn of the millennium after Zimbabwe embarked on its land reform programme that resulted in thousands of white farmers from Britain, Netherlands, and Australia being dispossessed of their farms by the government. The relations thawed in 2017 following the resignation of Mugabe. Following Mugabe’s ouster, critics accused the British of having a soft spot for President Mnangagwa and his administration that succeeded Mugabe’s. Last May, the UK partnered with the Standard Chartered Bank to lend $100m to Zimbabwe’s private sector in what became the British government’s first direct commercial loan facility to Harare in more than 20 years. The country is saddled with a debt stock of $16,9 billion, with external debt accounting for approximately $7,4 billion. Out of this, approximately $5,6 billion is in arrears, even though the country settled its IMF arrears of $107,9 million in November 2016. Zimbabwe still owes the World Bank $1,3 billion, AfDB $680 million, and the European Investment Bank $308 million. In the international financial architecture, the IMF, the World Bank Group and the AfDB enjoy a preferred creditors status under a Pari Passu rule, which means their arrears have to be simultaneously cleared first before any other creditor could be considered for payment. This makes it almost impossible for Zimbabwe to clear its international arrears without a payment plan approved and supported by countries such as the UK, USA and other Western nations. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe is in need of new capital to reboot the economy. And analysts say only the multilateral financial institutions have the capacity to avail cheap funding to resuscitate the economy. The analysts, however, warn that the fallout with Britain could open up Zimbabwe to a joint EU action as seen in the past, if London convinces its EU peers that Mnangagwa’s government is not a break from the past, a point which Lawrence Mhandara, a University of Zimbabwe political science lecturer, amply illustrated yesterday by emphasising that Britain was a key actor in Zimbabwe’s foreign policy strategy. “Britain internationalised the Zimbabwean problem and set the international agenda on the country,” Mhandara said. “To deconstruct the image of Zimbabwe as a pariah state, it was natural that Britain would take the lead. “But the events of 1 August 2018 and January 2019 have forced Britain to rethink its embrace of Mnangagwa, hence the poignant conclusion that it would neither back the readmission of Zimbabwe into the Commonwealth nor its debt clearance plan. The implication is very simple: Britain has once again set the agenda for the international community’s terms of engagement with Zimbabwe: the agenda of continued isolation of the country.” Another political analyst, Alexander Rusero, said President Mnangagwa had managed to score where his predecessor failed, but “unfortunately the clock is going back to where Zimbabwe was seen as an outpost of tyranny”. Rusero continued: “Democracy is the anchor on which Britain can either embrace or shun Zimbabwe. The ball is now in Zanu PF’s court, and it would be foolhardy to support Zimbabwe at this point in time.” Zim’s debt payment plan suffers big blow and oversteer and by optimising grip in difficult conditions. To adapt to the varying requirements of its different markets, a two-wheel drive version of the new KOLEOS will also be available. In short the KOLEOS proudly sports Renault’s new styling hallmarks, inspired d by the talisman The styling similarities with the Talisman – Renault’s new large family saloon that was recently awarded the Most Beautiful Car of the Year accolade at the 2016 Festival Automobile International in Paris, France – are immediately apparent, and with good reason. The exteriors of these two vehicles were designed in parallel by teams led by the same designer; Alexis Martot.

As a result, the new KOLEOS is instantly recognisable as a top-ofthe-range Renault, thanks notably to its front- end design that incorporates a prominent Renault logo set at the centre of a broad chrome grille. The taut bonnet lines contribute to the car’s powerful design, an impression that is heightened by the presence of several chrome embellishments, including strips that run from the head lights along the full length of the wings to visually lengthen the front end and exude an impression of dynamism and elegance. Unique in the segment, this feature sets the new KOLEOS apart from other SUVs.

The 2,710mm wheelbase for a total vehicle length of 4,670mm counts among the longest in the class and allows the KOLEOS to boast recordbreaking interior space to position itself as a D-segment SUV.

At the rear, Renault’s trademark style is again prominently on display. The wide, horizontal tail lights amplify the impression of width (1,840mm) and draw the eye to the Renault diamond logo on the tailgate. Chrome inserts set into the lower part of the rear bumper take the shape of twin exhaust tail pipes, a detail that is complementary with the KOLEOS’ overall exterior design.

The KOLEOS’ interior subtly blends robust SUV cues with the impression of quality expected of a large family saloon thanks to the use of attractive, scratch-resistant materials such as satin-finish chrome for the steering wheel, gear lever and air vent inserts. The centre console is covered by a protective film that is hardy and pleasing to the touch.

The cushion-backed materials selected for the dashboard and door panels also contribute to the cabin’s restful ambience, while leather upholstery and leather-trimmed armrests feature contrasting top stitching.

Travelling comfort is further enhanced by customisable LED cabin lighting, with a palette of hues ranging from green, to blue, yellow red or violet, depending on the mood of the driver and passengers.

The KOLEOS crossover was added to the Renault range in 2008 and has since been sold to the tune of more than 300,000 units around the world. More than 70 percent of these sales were outside Europe.

The KOLEOS name first appeared at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show in the form of a high-end concept car, which was an avant-garde blend between a saloon car, an MPV and a 4×4.