French sports car manufacturer, Renault Sport, says its brand is not just limited to the Clio RS and Megane RS.
The performance arm of Renault is likely to expand its model lineup with SUVs and potentially even pickup trucks in the medium to long-term future.
Speaking to the Australian media at the launch of the new Renault Megane in Portugal this week, Renault Sport’s Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Communication, Regis Fricotte, said the brand is not ignoring potential for other models in the family.
“We want to develop Renault sport [further]. Fricotte said.
“It has been reconfirmed by Mr Ghosn (CEO of Renault-Nissan), that Renaults wants to redevelop its motorsport activities globally, so we would be looking at other potentials to develop the Renault Sport brand. It’s not only limited to Clio and Megane.”
According to Fricotte the selection for future models to be turned into R.S. cars is dependent on market demand, technical feasibility and economical viability.
“If you have those three conditions and the guys feel like we can do something, we will do it. But it has got to have those three. In other words we are not going to go do a crazy car that is not for sale.”
Renault Sport launched an R.S. version of the Sandero in Brazil earlier this year, which Fricotte says is doing well both in sales terms and in the performance stake, but there are no plans to expand the car’s reach into other markets for now.
Fricotte didn’t rule out an SUV for R.S. treatment, but said that the brand’s current focus and resources are more inline with the sporty lightweight type of cars.
“Today it is our heritage, where we come from, our expertise, so naturally we look more at that kind of sportiness, than other kinds of sportiness, which would be much more like real big 4x4s where our expertise is more… the type of car that we develop today is more… we measure ‘sportivity’ to make it very simple as by acceleration, engine and chassis.
“In other segments it doesn’t make sense. On an SUV you would need other things than just acceleration and chassis, you are not going to lower an SUV, it’s the opposite of what it has been created for, so there are other compromises and other positioning to be developed if you’re looking for an SUV.
We will call something an R.S. if we believe it’s really worth calling it an R.S… if today R.S. is a [known] name, it’s because for the last 15 years we haven’t been silly or managed to make stupid things.”
The next model expected from Renault Sport is the new Megane R.S., which is likely to sport a smaller engine with a dual-clutch transmission.