Mystery Renault Mule Emerges for Testing, Could Preview New Sedan

Mystery Renault Test Mule 8 photos
Photo: SB-Medien
Mystery Renault MuleMystery Renault MuleMystery Renault MuleMystery Renault MuleMystery Renault MuleMystery Renault MuleMystery Renault Mule
Under the guise of a Samsung SM3 body shell, this odd-looking test mule was recently spotted undergoing hot weather testing in Europe. It's fitted with slightly raised suspension at the rear, wider wheel arches and changes to the front and rear tracks. But telling you what the engineers are working on takes a large degree of educated guesswork.
The Samsung SM3 is the South Korean name of the car Renault sells as the Fluence in some European markets. This is a budget sedan that replaced the Megane 4-door and is assembled in Turkey.

We could thus be looking a test platform for the next Renault Megane, expected to come out in 2016 and riding on the CMF platform shared with the Nissan Qashqai and X-Tail. Another possibility is that a new Laguna is being developed, since the wider tracks are indication of a D-segment car.

But all the recent reports of Renault activity suggest the French automaker is more concerned with SUVs than anything else. A successor to the Koleos is expected to arrive by 2016, riding on the same CMF platform to give it a competitive edge against the Volkswagen Tiguan. It's rumored to be called the Renault Racoon, offering a starting price of €23,000 and the latest twin-turbo 1.6-liter diesel engine with 160 hp.

Whatever this new model is, it clearly marks a new beginning for Renault, who in the past two years has only managed to update its aging Megane and launch a couple of small hatchbacks.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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