Radical interior for a radical exterior
As has come to be expected from Renault, the interior is just as radical as the exterior.
Radiance’s revolutionary design continues to solve real-world problems on the inside with an air of calm about its light and airy, uncluttered cabin.
The Renault hallmarks of driver comfort and safety are evident, due to the influence of the company’s ‘Touch Design’ ethos throughout the ergonomically designed cabin. This philosophy dictates that everything inside a vehicle should fall easily to hand and be intuitive to use without the need for complicated technology. For instance, the console which houses the floating gearlever can be retracted fully creating more space when not driving, while the intelligent dashboard system, inspired by the company’s most recent concept car, Fluence, gives access to areas such as the internet and DVDs at the touch of a button.
Completing Radiance’s innovative cabin design, the double electronic display in front of the driver only displays the most frequently used functions so as not to distract the driver’s line of vision, and can be configured for such trip computer functions as average speed or fuel consumption according to driver preference.
The light and airy cabin features a pool of light above the driver’s head that has electro- chromatic adjustment to create unique atmospheres like ‘night, rest and sleep’, whilst additional space in the two metre high cabin is freed up through a combination of an automatic parking brake, keyless entry and ignition and ‘steer-by-wire’ technology which eliminates the need for a full steering column, giving not just greater legroom for the driver but also additional safety in the event of frontal impact.
The innovative design continues with the streamlined dashboard which is shaped like a wave, flowing towards the driver in a single movement, while the rear of the cab has a large bench seat which converts into a bed and when at rest the driver can even fold away the seat for optimum cabin space. Further innovations in the spacious cab include numerous airline-style stowage bins and even a corner sofa behind the passenger seat.
Proving that form can follow function, Radiance points the way forward for future trucks which cannot only improve haulage operators’ image but also productivity. Renault’s latest creation is only a body shell and won’t be developed further for production at present, however, its design is likely to influence future truck products, and who knows when some of the ingenious interior touches might appear in some of the company’s more mainstream products as they did on the cars and vans.Published 22 December 2004