Renault’s boldly-styled Vel Satis has gone on sale in South Africa, but just how well will the unusual-looking car do against the established E-Class, 5-Series and A6 models in the executive car sector?

Renault’s boldly-styled Vel Satis has gone on sale in South Africa, but just how well will the unusual looking car do against the established E-Class, 5-Series and A6 models in the executive car sector?

One model has been launched in South Africa, powered by a 3,5 litre V6 petrol engine mated to a five-speed automatic box. Key output figures are 177 kW at 6 000 r/min and 330 N.m at 3 600. Renault claims the Vel Satis does zero to 100 km/h in 8,3 seconds and has a top speed of 235 km/h.

It comes with keyless entry with the Renault card, an automatic parking brake that dispenses with a handbrake lever, rain-sensing wipers, parking proximity sensors, a trip computer and cruise control.

Safety aspects include ABS with emergency brake assist, traction control, electronic stability programme, Zenon headlights and tyre pressure monitor. There are also six airbags, and optional rear lateral airbags.

It costs R447 000 and is available at four dealerships (Menlyn in Pretoria, Bryanston in Johannesburg, Umhlanga on KZN’s north coast and the Cape Town outlet in the city centre). Renault expects the saloon to have “a small but significant impact on the executive car sector”.

Renault said the Vel Satis, developed at a cost in excess of half-a-billion Euros, was about a new type of vehicle. “Renault took the book on how to design a conventional luxury saloon and threw it away, and set out to build a new kind of car”.

All Vel Satis will be sold with the exclusive “Privilege Experience” service package that includes a five-year/100 000 km full maintenance plan and five-year roadside assistance.

Original article from Car