Drawing inspiration from the 1994 Renault Modus Concept Van, two new concepts from Renault - Modus2 and Operandi - are once again pushing back the boundaries of light commercial vehicle design. Their lines - rounded at the front and more structured at the rear - are highly appealing and reminiscent of the design of passenger cars. Extremely comfortable, modular and compact, these 'hyper-urban' vehicles are easy to use in all professional contexts, particularly when loading and unloading is involved. Fitted with a hybrid engine, Operandi and Modus2 blend into the urban traffic stream in a totally environmentally friendly manner.

Modus

In 1994, Renault unveiled Modus, a new concept for a small light commercial vehicle. Modus enjoyed a strong, appealing style, excellent functionality, versatility, compact size and a "clean" hybrid engine - all specially designed for professional use. Compact (3.65 m long), its highly unusual style, featuring a drive station covered by a large glass bubble, a sunroof and round side windows proving a strong antidote to the generally-held notion that a vehicle cannot be functional and attractive at the same time.

Renault is riding the same wave of innovation with these concept that created its current LCV product line-up, with the strong, innovative design of the Kangoo Van, Master and the new Trafic which will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Commercial Vehicle Show on 21 September.

Modus2 and Operandi, two new "hyper-urban" vehicles

Renault is using the new concept vans Modus2 and Operandi to make progress on its design of light commercial vehicles in urban contexts. The silver grey colour, which gives an elegance to the vehicles not usually found in LCVs, is not their only distinctive feature.

Visually, the link between the two latest hyper-urban vehicles and the original Modus has been clearly maintained. They have the same smoothed shape and the same rounded form at the front, providing fluid, non-aggressive lines and, above all, the trade-mark bubble windscreen. This modern, understated design also gives the vehicle an attractive and appealing side which is normally absent in LCVs and traditional vans. The hyper-urban vans are user-friendly and fit perfectly into the architecture of the urban landscape.

Unparalleled comfort and modularity for unlimited types of use

Only 3.60 m long, 1.63 m wide, and 1.75 m and 1.54 m high, respectively, Operandi and Modus2 are extremely compact. They have been designed for dedicated urban professional use. Their modularity and functionality makes loading and unloading situations easy to handle. Space has been rationalized to a maximum extent for greater comfort and efficiency. Modus2 has an engine compartment located at the front, and with four seats, it is intended mainly for passenger transport. Operandi has a rear engine compartment in order to increase loading space by placing the cab as far forward as possible. On this vehicle, Renault has introduced the concept of "asymmetrical loading". The passenger seat can fold away completely under the dashboard to increase loading space. This turns the vehicle into a delivery-dedicated monospace. Drivers can maintain their personal space by partitioning off the drive station from the load cell with a small sliding shelf. The load space is easily accessible through the rear sliding doors, which can be slid to either the left or the right to be opened.

The interiors of these concept vans are also entirely modular. They can be "personalised" depending on the type of goods delivered and offer a number of different interior layouts to suit a wide range of uses: an intermediate loading shelf can be installed for the delivery of small parcels, and side storage areas can be used to keep a set of tools handy or to hang clothing.

With a video screen mounted on a pivoting unit installed in the upper part of the cabin, the hyper-urban vehicles are fully adapted to modern delivery methods. They open the way to what can be termed "electronic deliveries" with information transmitted in real time to the cabin screen. The driver has a bright, comfortable cabin and stowage space overhead.

Hyper-urban vehicles to facilitate professional mobility in towns

"Good citizens", the concept vans are clean vehicles with a low environmental impact. Their hybrid engines mean they can function in all-electric mode in town and in combined combustion-electric mode for suburban use. Highly compact, they are perfectly suited to urban traffic and greatly simplify mobility for professional use.