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Renault Ondelios: The Land of the Lost Has New Wheels

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2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

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A long time ago, on a network far, far away, there was a land where Will and Holly Marshall fought the Sleestak, fiddled with a weather matrix, and lost their father to a Dick York-style identity swap. All along, the Marshalls were looking for a way to get out of the Land of the Lost--and Renault has finally gotten around to penning a concept for just that in the predatory but family-friendly Ondelios.

Part MPV, part Space Shuttle, and part Dyson vacuum, the gull-winged Ondelios takes the notion of a crossover vehicle to otherworldly extremes. It looks ready to challenge the time-space continuum--particularly with its grille, which is either a handsome detail patterned after Japanese washi paper, or the warped cell window shade left behind by a former tenant who never paid his security deposit. Huge 23-inch wheels instantly date this in archaeological SUV terms to the mid-2000s.

Like a consciously weird Chrysler Pacifica or a post-gastric-bypass Benz R-Class, the Ondelios' interior has seats for six. The seats are said to be designed like leaves in which passengers can curl up for a comfy ride; fittingly, leather and fabrics blend from grey to purple like a big eggplant. Multizone electronics, climate controls, entertainment systems, and other "smart" technologies are another nod to the excesses of family transport in the post-post-modern era--as is the casual nod to recyclability.

For real cliches, you need to head to the Ondelios' powertrain specs, where a 205-horsepower diesel engine is mated to electric motors for oil-burning ersatz four-wheel drive. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission handles the shifting. It's a carefully synthesized package of existing ideas in a somewhat daring wrapper. It's Coldplay.

Renault says this is its vision for a high-end car of the near future. We say, um, OK. We also remind you there's a film version of "Land of the Lost" coming and Will Ferrell is attached, and that sounds like a lot more fun.

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

Enlarge Photo

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

Enlarge Photo

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

2008 Renault Ondelios Concept

Enlarge Photo
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  1. OMG, it's Bender from FUTURAMA!!!
     
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