Renault first hinted at the possibility of a smaller Kangoo at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show
. Today the be bop was unveiled as the third model in the Kangoo range. It is a shorter, three-door version with raised suspension and is designed to appeal to "active urban dwellers".
Style-wise the be bop retains a strong visual links to its larger relatives, particularly the short bonnet and upright stance. The main difference between the two models is a 38cm reduction in length, making the newcomer 3.87 metres long - or slightly shorter than the Clio. Ground clearance has been increased by 20mm to give the appearance of being "ready to confront the great outdoors". Other distinctive features include rear side windows shaped like an elongated 'D' and the two-tone colour scheme. At the moment three colours are offered: black, orange and white with the bonnet, front bumper and tailgate finished in Cosmic Grey.
Another distinctive feature is the glass panelled roof. The section above the front seats tilts for extra ventilation while back seat passengers can enjoy open air motoring as the glazed panel over them slides forward. The roof is designed to deflect wind away from the cabin when open. To increase the cabriolet feeling the tailgate window retracts at the touch of a button.
Inside, the dashboard and front seats are shared with the larger Kangoo, but the be bop has two individual rear seats. These are mounted 9cm higher than the front chairs to give passengers a better view, they adjust fore and aft and the seat backs can be reclined. To increase luggage space from 174-litres to 1,462-litres the rear seats can be removed completely or simply folded and tipped forwards.
Three engines are offered: an 84bhp dCi unit and either a 1.6-litre petrol or 1.5-litre turbodiesel, both offering 103bhp. Combined cycle fuel economy ranges from 35.8 to 53.3mpg while carbon dioxide emissions are 140g/km for the 84bhp diesel with the more powerful diesel only slightly thirstier. CO2
figures for the petrol engine have not been quoted but should be around 175g/km based on the same engine in the full-size Kangoo.
We will get a closer look at the Kangoo be bop at the Paris International Motor Show
this week. Expect prices and full specifications to be revealed in early 2009 with sales starting in the spring.
John Lambert - 1 Oct 2008