It brought a significant departure in terms of design compared to its predecessor.
[Update] And the answer is... Renault Megane II.
Because of its rather unusual shape, this model was quite the oddball in its segment when it came out in the early 2000s. Even so, sales were pretty solid in the first years, especially in the car’s domestic market as well as in U.K. It went on to win the European Car of the Year award and had some interesting features for a model in its class at that time, with perhaps the most important being keyless ignition.
The automaker wanted to cover all the bases in the market and as such offered the car in a multitude of body styles: three- and five-door hatchbacks, wagon, coupe, sedan, and a convertible with a hardtop. On top of these, the funky hatchbacks received performance versions later in the life cycle featuring a more powerful engine, lowered sports suspension, an aggressive body kit, and a slew of other upgrades.
A mid-cycle facelift was introduced about four years after the model’s launch and that brought along some mild cosmetic tweaks as well as a few hardware changes. Depending on body style, the vehicle was produced at many factories all over the world before it was discontinued in 2008 to make way for the new generation, which itself was retired last year.
Larger than its predecessors, the current model is perhaps one of the most attractive cars in its segment and can be had as a five-door hatch, four-door sedan, and as a wagon. The other body styles won’t be offered this time around, but there will be a hot version. It has already been teased by the company and we could see it as early as next month at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix. There had been some rumors about this spicy version switching to an all-wheel-drive setup, but latest intel suggest it will remain FWD.
Can you figure out the car’s identity? If so, please do share it with us in the comments section below. We’ll update the article tomorrow morning (GMT) with the make and model.