Inalfa Roof Systems has developed and is assembling two separate sunroof systems for the new Renault Modus, a combination of supermini and mini-minivan attracting acclaim in Europe for its flexible cabin layout and ingenious touches such as an available boot access hatch in the rear tailgate.

With a glass surface of more than 1400mm x 900 mm, the optional exterior sliding roof adds to the impression of spaciousness in the new car. The transparent roof system covers almost the full roof panel and consists of two flush-fitting panels. The rear panel is fixed; the forward panel can tilt and slide open in three positions and the maximum opening is 500mm x 700 mm.

To minimise cabin heat, both glass panels are made of sun blocking glass and two manually operated sunshades can be pulled across. When the roof is opened a wind deflector unfolds to prevent wind noise.

Inalfa also developed a twin panel pop-up roof also offered as an option for the Modus. Two flush-fit glass panels can be tilted manually independently or can be completely removed from their aperture. A bag behind the rear bench seat stores the glass panels.

The Renault Modus is one of the first of a new generation of compact cars to be equipped with a large glass roof system that can tilt and slide to create such a large opening. Inalfa said that a trend towards large glass roof systems is becoming apparent but, until now, only larger cars offered the option.

The two sunroof projects were designed and engineered jointly by Inalfa and Renault, and both types were based on proven Inalfa technology already in development and/or production for Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Land Rover and other car makers.

The development process took 24 months and Inalfa is confident that a "significant" proportion of Modus output worldwide will have one or other of its sunroof systems but said it is too early to provide specific figures.

The roofs are supplied by Inalfa plants in the UK and Italy.

Inalfa Roof Systems has has been producing sunroofs since 1974 and now has 11 factories worldwide, along with technical centres in Venray, the Netherlands and Detroit.