Renault has launched the Koleos, its first ever crossover.

The five-seat car was designed by Renault, developed by Nissan and is manufactured at the Renault Samsung Motors' Busan plant in Korea. It'll make a public debut at Geneva next March.

"The release of its first 4x4 crossover is a sure sign that Renault has the capacity to take its own authentic stance and a completely fresh approach in segments from which it has traditionally been absent," the automaker said in a statement.

Available features include hands-free card and keyless starting functions, automatic headlamp and wiper activation, a tyre pressure monitoring system and cruise control/speed limiter.

The Koleos is the first Renault model to feature four-wheel drive from launch and the torque split between the front and rear is automatically calculated as a function of available grip. In normal conditions, torque is delivered to the front wheels only. Should less grip become available, however, up to 50% of torque is transferred to the rear.

This front-rear split is ensured by an electronic coupler and controlled by the latest-generation 'all mode 4x4-I' system developed by Nissan for its new X-Trail.

Two-wheel drive models will also be offered.

The Koleos also has a hill start assist function which is automatically activated on gradients of more than 10%, and hill descent control activated via a button which automatically holds the vehicle's speed at a maximum of 7km/h on downhill gradients of 10%. This function works in reverse gear, too.

The navigation system has a number of specific off-road features, including an altimeter and barometer. The vehicle's angle of inclination, the slope and an altitude graph are also displayed, as is a digital compass.

The Koleos has a split-opening, 'clamshell'-type tailgate. The upper part of the hatch permits access to the boot in cramped spaces and allows items of more than one metre wide to be carried.

When lowered, the bottom part of the tailgate facilitates the loading of long items and serves as a handy seat for two adults (up to 200kg) when the vehicle is parked.

The Koleos will have a variety of Alliance engines. The Renault 2.0 dCi Euro 4 diesel engine (M9R) is available with a choice of 110kW or 127kW power outputs.

The 110kW versions can be ordered with either two- or four-wheel drive and with either a six-speed manual gearbox or automatic transmission. The 127kW version is six-speed manual and all-wheel drive only.

The petrol engine option is Nissan's 126kW 2.5-litre  unit with either manual six-speed gearbox or continuously variable transmission (CVT).