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New Renault Trafic voted International Van of the Year 2002

The new Renault Trafic has been voted the International Van of the Year 2002 having comprehensively beaten all other rivals to the title. This honour comes hot on the heels of this year's UK What Van? Awards where the Trafic scooped the Van of the Year trophy. In common with this award, Renault shares the International Van of the Year 2002 prize with the Trafic's sister model, the Vauxhall Vivaro.

Chosen by a panel of LCV journalists from 20 European countries, including UK judge, Truck Magazine's editor Andy Salter, the new Trafic scored an amazing total of 115 points - well ahead of its closest rivals, the Vauxhall Combo (34 points), the Ford Transit (24 points) and the Fiat Doblo (19 points).

And new Trafic is in good company, joining the Renault Master which was International Van of the Year in 1998, and Kangoo van which came second the same year.

New Trafic was chosen for its striking, original design, smooth and efficient common rail dCi turbodiesel engines, low operating costs, reliability and durability, and its many practical features for business users plus its generous safety equipment, a hallmark of all Renault vehicles. By setting a new benchmark in the segment, the Renault van was assured of the ultimate accolade.

A working tool for all needs

Designed by Renault's Corporate Design Department based within the company's Technocentre outside Paris, new Trafic was developed by the engineering team of Renault's LCV unit at Villiers St Frédéric near Paris. Manufactured at the IBC plant in Luton - beside the GM version, Vivaro - it is the first Renault vehicle to be built in the UK for over 30 years. IBC will produce the van at a rate of 86,000 vehicles per year. Meanwhile, Renault and Nissan have announced a joint investment of 250 million euros to start making the vehicle, codenamed X83, at Nissan's plant in Barcelona, Spain, at a rate of about 64,000 units per year from the end of 2002.

On sale now, the 1.9dCi common rail diesel short wheelbase, low roof version (SL27dCi) of new Trafic features the latest in common rail diesel technology - 82bhp and 100bhp versions of the 1.9dCi engine both provide 38mpg in the combined cycle - these engines offer new levels of refinement and flexibility to the panel van sector, thanks especially to Renault's new PK6 six-speed manual gearbox - a first in the market - which features with the 100bhp engine. These two engines will be joined by a 120bhp 2.0 16V petrol engine early in 2002.

New Trafic is available in 33 versions with two wheelbases (3,098 and 3,498cm), two payloads (1,000 and 1,200kg), three types of bodywork in the UK (panel van at first, to be followed by platform cab and minibus in 2002), with various body conversions available from insulated and refrigerated modules, to camper vans and ambulances.

Standing out from the crowd Bringing together a daring streamlined shape and the robustness of numerous protective features, new Trafic marks a break with conventional commercial vehicles. In addition to its class-leading range of engines, all of which combine smoothness and performance, and the Renault six-speed manual gearbox, the new Trafic stands out from the crowd with its low operating costs. Its routine maintenance interval is now 18,000 miles (or two years) and the engines are built to last 150,000 miles.

The cost of repairing minor impact damage has also been reduced while repair times are lower by a factor of four, as are the number of components affected by a 10mph impact, the radiator, front and rear longitudinals, front wings and rear floor being kept intact. In addition security is maximised with deadlocks and alarm fitted as standard. This has allowed the new Trafic to benefit from a 4E insurance rating - the best ever for a commercial vehicle in its sector.

Cost savings are also maximised by the offer of a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty for new Trafic, which includes three years' roadside assistance cover provided by the Automobile Association.

The new Trafic van has been a distinctive addition to the roads since going on sale in September and with the range starting at £11,995, new Trafic also makes sense for another reason now - it's the best van you can get your hands on!

Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of Renault

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