Renault recently sealed a huge deal to provide Australia Post with its vans, and the model chosen to replace the existing Mercedes Sprinter fleet is the new Master L1H1.
L1H1... it might sound like the name of a terrible virus but it is a new Renault van that helps bridge the gap between the mid-sized Trafic van and its big brother, the Master.
The L1H1 Master, which Renault refers to as the Low Roof model, follows the addition of a Master cab chassis model and a high roof van variant to the Australian Renault line-up.
It is 500mm shorter than the next smallest Master and its roof is 195mm lower. The smaller footprint makes the van more agile — it has a relatively small turning circle of 12 metres.
Renault says the new compact Master is aimed at urban operators making several stops per day, who need a little bit more cargo volume than a Trafic. The L1H1 has 33 per cent more cargo capacity than the long-wheelbase Trafic, which is physically longer than the new Master variant.
Its cargo capacity is eight cubic metres, putting it between the 6m3 of the long wheelbase Trafic and the 10.8m3 of the medium wheelbase Master. It has a payload of 1600kg. The L1H1 has seating for three and space for two 1200mm square pallets in the back.
There is just one engine, a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel (110kW/350Nm). Renault Australia light commercial vehicle manager Lyndon Healey says the L1H1 is a city-friendly van for operators who want decent carrying capacity in a shorter vehicle.
"The L1H1 is almost the same length as a typical large Australian family sedan, so it can fit into metered parking spaces, a big advantage over some rivals," he says.