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Spotted in China: Renault Vel Satis

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A very French Renault Vel Satis, Spotted in China at the Capital Airport in Beijing. The Vel Satis was manufactured from 2002 until 2009, developed to attack the Germans with ‘something different’ after the disappointing Renault Safrane sedan. And different it was! The Vel Satis stood on the same platform as the famous Renault Espace MPV, resulting in a rather tall vehicle that appeared to be a mix of a station wagon, a hatchback, that MPV, and a notchback at the back:

The rear is by far the most intriguing part of the design, with a giant round-shaped rear window that doesn’t seem to match with the rest of the vehicle at all. Renault deserves a lot of respect for daring so much new and crazy, but sadly the Vel Satis wasn’t much of a success either. Only 62.201 examples were built over seven years, and some 70% of these stayed in France, including one specially modified example for the French president. The Vel Satis experiment ended in 2009, and it was replaced by a sedan again, the South-Korean made Renault Latitude, which doesn’t really scare the Germans either.

renault-vel-satis-china-3

The lettering is a work of art, come for that on a BMW! The Vel Satis was available with various diesel and petrol engines. This particular example was powered by the top-of-the-line Nissan-sourced 3.5 liter V6 petrol, with an output of 228hp and 334nm. The Vel Satis was never officially exported to China so how this great Renault ended up in the capital is a mystery, it is indeed the very first Vel Satis I have seen in country. May there be a few more…

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