* Renault yesterday unveiled its new “XV de France” versions of Clio and Mégane at the Marcoussis National Rugby Centre. The ceremony was attended by three players from the French rugby team, acting as brand ambassadors: Imanol Harinordoquy, Morgan Parra and Sylvain Marconnet. At the event, Renault also presented the advertising campaign that will be backing the product launch, which kicks off for the 2011 Six Nations Championship.
* Renault is marking its third year of rugby involvement with “XV de France” versions of Clio (three-door, five-door and estate versions) and Mégane (hatch, coupé and estate), which will now be selling year-round.
* The “XV de France” versions sport a distinctive Marron Glacé body signed with the FFR (French Rugby Federation) coat of arms, special aluminium wheels, and a chic “club” interior with special dashboard and upholstery. They come richly appointed with equipment including satnav, Bluetooth MP3 and CD sound system, automatic air conditioning, and cruise control with speed limiter.
After two years of “XV de France” limited editions, Renault is going a step further in 2011 with full-fledged “XV de France” versions of Mégane (estate, hatch and coupé versions) and Clio (three-door, five-door and estate). This move marks an even deeper commitment, mobilizing resources across the board, in design, production, marketing and sales, from the manufacturing facility through to the dealer network of 5,000 outlets. The upgrade from “limited editions” to full-fledged “versions” brings lasting enhancement to the Mégane and Clio personality. The new versions are fully integrated in the catalogue, affording greater visibility for Renault’s rugby involvement in the eyes of dealers and the public at large.
Another change in 2011 is the fact that the 15,500 vehicles with the “XV de France” badge (5,500 Méganes and 10,000 Clios) will be sold year-round in 2011, instead of the half-year run for previous limited editions. This means support for the French rugby team will run right through to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
To promote the new vehicles, along with the French rugby team, Renault will be running a French nationwide television and internet advertising campaign from 5 February 2011, for the first match played by the French 15 in the Six Nations Championship. The media plan is based on a 30-second film, backed by a long-format 45-second event feature, shown, for example, at half-time in the France-Scotland match. There’ll also be web coverage, on rugby affinity sites, with classic and video banners (showing the TV film).
The new advertising film prolongs the saga begun in 2010, featuring the “torture test”, a humorous match-up of values that Renault shares with rugby, namely reliability and robustness. The film places the viewer inside the car, to spotlight the designers’ work on the elegant finish, evocative of “club spirit”. The film features three “testers” in the form of three high-profile members of the French rugby team: Sylvain Marconnet, Imanol Harinordoquy and Morgan Parra, who’ll be acting as brand ambassadors throughout this Rugby World Cup year.
As well as its long-standing commitment to motor sports, Renault is also closely involved in French rugby. Renault is France’s leading carmaker, and it runs the country’s most extensive dealer network, with 5,000 outlets. So it’s only natural to find Renault’s involvement in rugby reaching down to grassroots local level, through backing for many amateur and professional clubs. Rugby is the number-one sport for the Renault dealer network; not only does Renault partner the French Rugby Federation and the French 15 at national level (in “Official Partner” and “Official Car” capacities), but the backing also extends to around 80 specific club partnerships.
“The 2011 ‘XV de France’ versions are very different from the limited editions of previous years,” explains Mégane product manager Raphaëlle Jarry. “As well as being true to the rugby spirit, they introduce a new angle.” Instead of focusing solely on the game connotation, with bodywork echoing France’s blue rugby colours, we find a very smart and highly distinctive interior with a harmonious colour scheme and great attention to detail, inspired by the club atmosphere of the greatest teams.
The “XV de France” versions are based on the Dynamique equipment level for Mégane and the Dynamique TomTom level for Clio. They boast a distinctive Marron Glacé body (except for Clio Sport Tourer). This special body colour, a new addition to the existing colour range, is also featured in the interior décor. The upholstery uses a specially coated TEP fabric that gives a leather effect in the same shades, plus a tartan textile. Stitched TEP fabric, evocative of club armchairs, is also featured on the door linings. The coat of arms of the French Rugby Federation, with its cock emblem, appears on the car wings and in the passenger compartment. The “XV de France” versions come with special alloy wheels.
The orderbook opened on 1 December 2010 for Mégane and 4 January 2011 for Clio, two months ahead of the opening whistle of the Six Nations Championship.
The “XV de France” version, available for Clio three-door, five-door and estate models, takes over from the Exception TomTom version, offering the same engine choices and equipment, which includes the Carminat TomTom Live satnav, a Radiosat Classic 80W CD MP3 Bluetooth sound system with speech recognition and audiostreaming function, automatic air conditioning, and cruise control with speed limiter. For Clio product manager Jean-Hubert Cornet, “Clio ‘XV de France’ brings further comfort and refinement enhancements to the previous Exception TomTom version, making it stand out from the Dynamique TomTom version”.
Standard equipment on Clio “XV de France”
All Dynamique TomTom features, plus
– Chrome lengthwise roof rails (on Clio Sport Tourer)
– Electric rear windows
– Climate pack (automatic air conditioning and automatic lights and wipers)
– Radiosat Classic 80W CD MP3 Bluetooth sound system with RCA connector
– Cruise control with speed limiter
– Mahogany brown finish on central console, dashboard trim, air vents and door handles
– Burton/Tweedy upholstery in dark brown textile and TEP fabric with FFR logo embossed on front headrests, and door inserts in mahogany brown TEP fabric
– Door handles in mahogany brown
– Stitched fabric dashboard trim
– FFR arms on front wings
– Bumpers and mirrors in body colour
– Protective trims in gloss black
– Door handles in body colour
– Lyria 16” alloy wheels
– Tinted windows
Price this car:
MSRP: not available yet
Invoice: not available yet
Source: Renault Press Release