This is probably one of the first times that a car-related article starts with a cooking lesson, but here we go. Heat up some cream until it simmers gently, and then pour it onto some chopped bits of chocolate, before stirring and trying not to get too enchanted by its deliciously sweet aroma (it is a losing battle, we know).
The result is called ganache, and can be used as a glaze, icing, sauce or a filling for all sorts of sugary pastries. Furthermore, it is exactly this kind of tastebud-tickling treat that inspired Renault to create its Valentine’s Day Japan-exclusive model, adequately dubbed the ‘Lutecia Ganache’.
It is indeed very hard not to mentally picture a giant chocolate bar when casting a look at this Clio (called Lutecia in Japan). Contrary to everyone’s first impressions, the bodywork is not dipped in liquid confectionery, but painted in a hue of brown that Renault has christened ‘Marron Aldan’, and which aims to convey “the bittersweet taste of chocolate you get at the beginning of love”.
On the inside of this bar – sorry, car – is, regrettably, no praline filling to be found, yet the many accents in cocoa colour definitely still hint at the exterior theme. The technical features, on the other hand, remain thoroughly un-chocolaty: it would be downright dangerous to find any sugar in the 17-inch wheels, 88kW 1.2-litre turbo engine, or six-speed EDC gearbox.
In exchange for 2,448,000 Japanese yen (AU$ 25,238), this hazel hatchback might wow your sweet tooth sweetie on February 14th. Potential buyers should make up their minds quickly, though, for Renault plans to launch only 100 units of the Lutecia Ganache… Or you could always go for self-made ganache, of course (see instructions above). Our pleasure.