The Renault Kwid Concept, unveiled at the Delhi Auto Show, is the first car to come with its very own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which could help the driver scout ahead for traffic, take aerial photos of the surrounding landscape and detect obstacles in the road.
The device, referred to as a Flying Companion, is stored in a rotating rear portion of the Kwid's roof when not in use. When activated, the panel slides open and the quadrocopter - named after the device's four motors - can be operated in one of two modes.
In automatic mode, the drone flies along a pre-programmed flying sequence using in-built GPS. In manual mode, the UAV is controlled via a tablet built into the dashboard of the car.
"Customers in new markets are much younger," explained Serge Mouangue, brand manager and innovative cooperative laboratory manager for Renault. "Their expectations are different and customers are basically gamers. They tend to take a closer interest in technology and want to enjoy themselves."
The Kwid resembles an off-road buggy thanks to the oversized wings, mud guards and wheel arches. However, designers at Renault have suggested the car will come in two-wheel drive instead of four - meaning it's more likely to be for city dwellers than rural ones.
The Kwid will come with a 1.2-litre turbocharged engine with a dual-clutch transmission, allowing the owner to drive in automatic or manual mode. Renault has suggested that it could also come with an electric motor. The interior features two-tone white seats with a yellow-trimmed dash. The chairs are wrapped in a web of white elastic polymer to give the impression the passengers are sat in a bird's nest, according to designers on the project.
The driver is sat in the centre of a row of three, allowing the same model to be used in both left-hand, and right-hand drive markets.
In the rear, passengers can adjust the air-conditioning via a panel on the back of the driver’s seat, which also features ventilation ducts built in.
While just a concept for now, Renault has said the Kwid will go on sale within two years, with particular focus on the Indian market. "Young customers in India are often trend setters, looking forward to pushing the envelope when it comes to technology and enjoyable drives," explained Gilles Normand, chairman of Renault's Asia-Pacific Region.
"The Kwid Concept, with its Flying Companion, meets this forward-looking spirit with both its dynamic styling and hyper connectivity," he added.
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