Renault has launched a new range of bikes developed with Benelli.
Rival French car maker Peugeot is already a big player in the scooter marker and it seems Renault wants to grab a bit of the same growing pie.
The Renaults, which will initially go on sale in France and Italy but are likely to become available throughout Europe when production increases, will be sold and serviced by Renault car dealers as part of the Renault Sport range.
Initially, five bikes will be available, all dipping heavily into the Benelli parts bin. The Specimen 50 and 100 models will be familiar to Benelli Pepe owners, sharing the same distinctive 16-inch wheels but adding the option of a 100cc motor.
The Campus (a badge seen on Renault 5 cars in the past) 50 shares most of its mechanicals with the Benelli K2, the Kouranos 125 is effectively a rebadged Benelli Velvet and the Renault Fulltime 125 is the roofed Adiva scooter going under the Renault name.
Renault claims that in the future, its own designers will get involved.
To make repairs easier, all the bikes will be painted in colours from the Renault car range, allowing dealers to touch-up accident damage using existing paints.
All the bikes will be built at the Benelli factory in Pesaro, Italy, and the firm intends to sell 6000 in 2001 rising to 20,000 by 2003.
Prices start at around £1000 for the basic Campus and Specimen 50cc machines and ranging to £3000 for the roofed Fulltime 125.