Renault - Talisman
With the unveiling of its new concept car at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, Renault takes the automotive dream one step further.
Talisman, a brilliant blend of sporting style, comfort and sensuality
"The quality of the ideas and concepts we wished to express required a suitably prestigious medium," explains Patrick le Quément, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design. "This is why we chose a GT model, combining beauty with an aura of top performance, control and serenity." This top-of-the-range, four-seater coupé with a sporty design presents a streamlined yet powerful silhouette. Talisman is indeed a dream of a car, at the same time heralding what could be the vehicle interior of tomorrow: comfortable, minimalist, serene. Technological complexity disappears behind an air of simplicity inside the cabin, a hymn to space and transparency that brings a unique sensation of comfort and well-being. Encapsulating a new driving experience, Talisman introduces the Touch Design concept for an ideal relationship between man and machine. Through its shape and materials, each element must infer its function, suggest its use, be an invitation to touch.
In the great automotive tradition, "Talisman clearly illustrates an idealized vision of how we imagine tomorrow’s car interior should be," says Patrick le Quément. The cabin is the focal point of the vehicle. "We hope that through its proportions, Talisman will epitomize the eternal GT car. Similarly, the gullwing doors have been chosen for the magical way they reveal and enhance the interior."
Talisman, when simplicity is the key: discreet technology, apparent simplicity, elegance and infinite space
The long gullwing doors (2,450mm) open electro-hydraulically to reveal a superbly simple interior, with no centre pillar to hinder access to the cabin. Technical, spacious and elegant, Talisman’s cabin evokes the world of home furnishing. The eye is immediately drawn to a strip of red leather that seems to levitate in space then unfurls around a central tunnel, upholstered in grey, to form the carbon-structure seats that closely follow the contours of the body. In an elegant curve it becomes the cabin floor, rising towards the windscreen to lead into the opening movement of the dashboard.
Attached to the front body panel by slender metal beams, the shape of the dashboard evokes that of an aircraft’s wing. It epitomizes simplicity and purity. Its elegance is captured in its unique feature: a Tag Heuer clock. The upper section pivots open to reveal stowage space.
Here, the notion of bare essentials is elevated to an ideal, synonymous with elegance. It is a reminder too that technology must be at our service, and that it must not deprive passengers of space. Talisman’s seats are fixed. Instead, the dashboard and the pedal unit – designed as a single unit – can be electrically adjusted forwards or backwards so that the driver can find the most comfortable driving position. A further advantage of this feature is that rear-seat passengers will always have the same legroom. Meanwhile, the cavity formed by the door panels, in osmosis with the shape of the seats, heightens the sensation of comfort and safety.
The four dials on either side of the steering wheel, made from three superposed crystal discs, are as though in equilibrium. The laser-engraved numerals on the central disc appear to be suspended in mid-air.
The interior lighting in the roof panel provides a dual function: four sources of indirect light plus a direct reading light.
Such apparent simplicity in fact subtly conceals the complex technology that characterizes the cabin. The leather of the seats is combined with an elastic fabric for the cushion. This in turn hides a pocket of air that inflates and deflates to adjust the seat to the perfect height.
Talisman features a "keyless go" function based on a low-frequency, hands-free badge, which also opens and closes the side doors and boot. The sensors are located under the front wings for the doors and at the rear for the tailgate.
Three cameras relay a panoramic rear view of the outside environment, which is displayed on a multi-function, voice-activated wide screen, located in the upper part of the dashboard. This screen also provides information on navigation, the hi-fi system, air-conditioning and the vehicle’s warning and security systems.
"Simplexity" through Touch Design
Talisman showcases Touch Design and signals the beginning of a far-reaching philosophy that will characterize the interior of Renault vehicles in the future. Patrick le Quément explains this notion, which he proposed to Renault design teams some two years ago, as a form of "sensual and emotional ergonomics. Each control feature must suggest its function and encourage people to reach out and use it. This means using materials that are soft to the touch. Each shape must be seen as an invitation while the way each one reacts must exactly reflect its mechanism." This design principle thus requires not only that each element be either perfectly ergonomic or perfectly aesthetic, but that it be both at once. Touch Design therefore goes beyond questions of appearance. It encompasses the notion of "tactile appeal", whereby the object encourages passengers and driver to use it. Touch Design is first and foremost an interactive concept that must incorporate the function of each element. Touch Design seeks to make technology an obvious and natural part of the driving experience, using aesthetic interfaces to achieve this goal.
Consequently, the notion of Touch Design is linked to that of "simplexity": to transform necessarily complex technology into something simple to use. Such "simplexity" can be found in Talisman’s controls. The soft leather that envelops the gear selector adapts perfectly to the shape of the hand so that using the gears becomes a natural extension of their form.
The light touch needed to operate the control switches is also extremely pleasant as, under the leather, a supple material yields beneath the fingertip. The shape of the hand or finger is also sculpted into the steering wheel and controls respectively, giving the latter their "spatula" shape.
Finally, and again with optimal comfort, practicality and beauty in mind, Renault designers have created two stowage cases that attach to rails inside the boot. These cases perfectly incorporate the notion of Touch Design: they are opened by pressing on a soft, translucent, ergonomic button, moulded with a fingerprint design.
A powerful and sporty exterior
Simplicity is also evident in Talisman’s exterior design, marked by sculptural forms and flowing lines yet without sacrificing the fundamental principles of a GT car: rounded, muscular, beautifully proportioned. Three distinct sections create three facets that add to the car’s overall dynamic profile without taking away from the fluidity and sensuality of its form. The highly distinctive arc shape of the huge side window further reinforces this sensation. The headlamps, based on fluid optics technology to reflect light, are fashioned from a strip of glass that extends into the tops of the front wings. The radiator grille emphasizes the new visual identity of the Renault brand, whose core element is a central dihedron, with the logo emblem mounted in a small diamond-shaped grille, itself located at the centre of the dihedron.
In harmony with the desire to promote a sensation of well-being and spaciousness inside the vehicle, the windscreen extends into two strips of glass to form the roof panel, then becomes the V-shaped rear window.
Talisman is a rear-wheel drive vehicle with a V8 engine whose cooling system is optimized by side extraction outlets. The diffuser situated in the lower part of the rear has been developed to enhance aerodynamic stability.
Engine: V8 - 4.5 litres - 32 valves
Transmission: automatic - overdrive and flickshift
Drive: rear-wheel drive
Brakes: 4 discs (380mm diameter), six-pot callipers
Wheels: Montupet aluminium rims (equivalent to 21")
Michelin PAX SYSTEM tyres: front: 255 - 710 - R 560 A
rear: 285 - 710 - R 560 A
Gullwing doors and tailgate opened using a low-frequency hands-free badge.
Rear view by means of three cameras, with panoramic image displayed on a voice-activated, multi-function wide screen.
Engine start authorization by hands-free badge.
Simultaneous electrical adjustment of the dashboard and pedal unit position.
Seat height adjusted by air pressure.
Tag Heuer clock.
Overall length: 4,805mm
Overall width: 1,950mm (doors open: 2,480mm)
Height: 1,380mm (doors open: 2,130mm)
Front overhang: 900mm
Rear overhang: 955mm
Weight: 1.6 tonnes
DONNELY (rear view system)
MONTUPET (wheel rims)
TAG HEUER (onboard clock)