We've seen a wave of new concept SUVs from the likes of Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi in the last six months ago and now its French manufacturer Renault's turn with a new concept version of its Kangoo passenger van model unveiled for this weekend's 19th International 4WD and SUV Motor Show in Val d'Isère.

The concept is called 'break'up' ('break' is often used to denote a station wagon/estate car in Europe)and is a 4WD model built on the Kangoo passenger van platform and aimed at those who like outdoor leisure activities such as mountain biking, skiing, paragliding and windsurfing.

Although longer, the break'up is said to be as easy to manoeuvre as the basic Kangoo which has been a smash hit across Europe since its launch in 1997.

The concept has a 1.6-litre 16V petrol engine developing 110bhp and 17-inch alloy wheels and the high ground clearance and permanent four-wheel drive should make it a practical off-road SUV should it go into production alongside the regular two- and four-wheel drive Kangoos.

The roof and body side panels open at the rear to make the vehicle as versatile as a 106-litre pickup.Saloon-type swing doors can be opened to an angle of 90° in both directions (towards the outside or towards the inside of the pickup body), making it possible to load items of all shapes and sizes and even carry those that do not fit fullt inside the vehicle.

A multi-functional fastening system patented by Renault and made up of two clamps on the floorpan and two straps above the rear window makes transporting bicycles easy.

The clamps, which form part of the floorpan, unfold towards the outside of the vehicle to support the rear wheels of two bicycles, while the front wheels are fastened to the straps over the rear window. The system is completed by two side arms located along the inside of the vehicle to the left and right of the rear uprights, and which can be unfolded to hold the bicycle frames in place and keep them stable. They also contain an anti-theft lock.

Renault has also developed a matching Sport concept bike, with carbo-titanium fairing that gives it a light, sporty appearance. The bicycle transport system also has the advantage of leaving the rear number plate perfectly visible.

The rear uprights are made of steel, hollowed out to preserve the Kangoo shape and incorporate the rear lamps. The hollow shape of the two side rear windows provides several stowage zones.

The Kangoo break'up also has a small detachable and lockable suitcase on the right side of the load bay.

An electrically operated glass partition separates the cabin from the pickup area and supplies extra light in the vehicle. Beneath the partition, the pickup body holds a spare wheel with a protective cover bearing the Renault logo.

Like production Kangoos, the concept has five real seats and two sliding side doors but features new peacock-blue upholstery in a new, particularly tough fabric called coated fleece said to be both comfortable and easy to clean because it can be washed with a sponge.

The break'up also has a large glass sunroof, divided in two by a crossbeam, that covers the full length of the vehicle to offer an extensive glazed surface.

A wide-screen Philips Carminat navigation screen is fitted as standard.