Tuesday, March 05, 2013.

NEW MASTER: Renault’s van range switches to the offensive

Since 1998, Renault has stood out as the undisputed number one van manufacturer both in France and Europe. To consolidate this position, which saw it take a market share of 14.6 percent in 2013, Renault will soon have renewed its entire LCV line-up with the introduction of new Trafic and new Master coming not long after the release of new Kangoo in the middle of 2013.

Master, Renault’s large van which is manufactured in Batilly, France, also ranks highly in its segment. In addition to being the top seller in France, Algeria and Morocco, it enjoyed an 11.9 percent share of the European market (fourth position) and a 13.4 percent share in the Euromed-Africa region (second). The model’s renewal in 2014 seeks to reinforce its popularity and ensure that it continues to meet the needs of its customers.

To help achieve that goal, its engine range features Twin Turbo technology which combines extra horsepower (up to 165hp) with lower fuel consumption (for a saving of 1.5 litres/100km*). New Master’s travelling comfort and safety credentials have been boosted, too, with the fitment of latestgeneration ESC – incorporating Extended Grip, Hill Start Assist and Trailer Sway Control** – as well as a Wide View Mirror which eliminates the rear blind spot. Last but not least, the new Master range now includes a rear-wheel drive L4 panel van version (H2 and H3) with single rear wheels, developed especially with express courier businesses in mind.

In addition to all these new features, the latest version of the model comes with a redesigned, dynamic and modern front end incorporating Renault’s latest brand identity. Order books open from June and models will reach showrooms in September.

At the forefront of technology for comfort and safety
Fitted as standard with latest-generation ESC, new Master is one of the best vehicles in its class when it comes to active safety. The system benefits from the most recent technical innovations, including Extended Grip, Hill Start Assist, Trailer Sway Control, Load Adaptive Control and Anti roll-over prevention.

Extended Grip

The Extended Grip function is available with both front- and rear-wheel drive versions of new Master and acts on the driven wheels to optimise traction in difficult conditions (soft ground, mud, snow, sand, etc.). Simply pressing a button optimises the performance of the ESC to facilitate starting and moving at low speeds when grip is at a premium. The transfer of torque between the driven wheels can be as high as 25 percent.

This system does not replace the optional differential lock available for rear wheel-drive versions of Master. This solution is particularly useful when driving on surfaces like mud, snow or grass, often encountered on construction sites, for example. If one of the driven wheels starts to spin, the differential lock engages automatically and stops transferring torque to the wheel on the other side. The two drive-shafts work in unison and impose the same speed on both driven wheels. The system disengages at speeds of more than 30kph.

Hill Start Assist

This system is automatically activated when the vehicle pulls away on a gradient of more than three percent. When starting on a slope, it prevents the vehicle from moving backwards for two seconds to give the driver time to lift off the footbrake and press on the accelerator pedal. If the driver doesn’t accelerate within two seconds, the system releases the brakes to allow the vehicle to roll slowly backwards. This facility is particularly popular when the vehicle is fully-loaded or when towing a trailer.

Load Adaptive Control

The ESC settings automatically adjust as a function of how the vehicle is loaded in order to optimise the system’s performance.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (passenger versions)

This alerts the driver to any anomaly – such as loss of tyre pressure or a puncture – by way of a warning light on the dashboard.

Driving comfort

New Master’s chassis combines efficiency and comfort whatever the load. The MacPherson-type front suspension arrangement complete with anti-roll bar as standard guarantees excellent handling. The rear is equipped with either single-leaf (front-wheel drive versions), two-leaf (rear-wheel drive versions with single rear wheels) or three-leaf (twin rear wheels) suspension. It ensures a high level of comfort even when carrying a full load thanks to long polyurethane stops which act as dampers in addition to their role as bump stops. Rear air suspension is also available and is particularly suited to the transport of people with reduced mobility.

Twin Turbo versions are equipped with electro-hydraulic power steering. This solution requires less effort on the steering wheel at low speeds for better manoeuvrability. The power steering rate varies as a function of the vehicle’s speed and how quickly the steering wheel is turned. Steering is consequently easier, more precise and more direct. It only functions when the steering wheel is turned, however, unlike systems based on a power steering pump, and this yields a fuel saving of 0.1litre/100km*.

The rear wheel-drive version of new Master features a strong monocoque chassis which presents numerous benefits. In addition to making the vehicle lighter, it ensures better handling, permits a lower deck height and increases the vehicle’s payload.

New Master: an unrivalled range with more than 350 versions

Building on one of the main strengths of the former-generation range, the new Master catalogue proposes an unrivalled range of more than 350 versions, with carrying capacities extending from eight to 22 cubic metres:

  • 70 types (panel van, people carrier, bus, chassis cab and twin-cab chassis, platform cab, crew van, tipper, high volume),
  • Four lengths (three wheelbases, two rear overhangs),
  • Three heights,
  • Front- and rear-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive with single or twin rear wheels),
  • Four GVWs: 2.8 tonnes, 3.3 tonnes, 3.5 tonnes (with single or twin rear wheels) and 4.5 tonnes

A made-to-measure cargo area

With a choice of four different lengths and three height options, the new Master range features 12 carrying capacities extending from eight to 22 cubic metres. The L2, L3 and L4 versions can all accommodate a europallet loaded lengthwise through the 1.270m-wide sliding side door. A second sliding door can also be specified for the opposite side. Access to the cargo area via the rear is facilitated by one of the market’s lowest sill heights (front-wheel drive versions: 548mm / rear-wheel drive versions: 674mm). An additional exterior step is a standard fitment for rear-wheel drive versions.

New Master’s cabin: a fully-fledged workspace

The cabin of new Master offers the market’s highest number of stowage solutions. Designed to house the sort of everyday items used by business customers, these solutions are both practical and fully integrated.

A driving position similar to that of a passenger car

Thanks to leg room of 742cm (adjustable fore/aft through 110cm) and a seat cushion height of 410mm, the driving position offers a degree of comfort similar to that of a passenger car which is particularly appreciable on long journeys. The cabin is comfortable and easily accommodates tall drivers.

The optionally-available suspension seat is suited to long distance drivers. Its settings can be adjusted as a function of the driver’s weight (from 40kg to 130kg). It also permits a choice of cushion angles and is equipped with pneumatic lumbar adjustment and an adjustable head rest. It is compatible with the heated seat.

Drivers of new Renault Master benefit from forward visibility among the market’s very best. The design of the windscreen and side windows, plus the high-up seating position ensure commanding vertical and horizontal fields of vision of 39.9 and 193.1 degrees respectively.

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