Origins of the 2-tone ‘floating roof’ styling feature

The 2-tone (usually black on top) colour scheme that has become common today can trace its origins to the first generation of the Renault Captur which was launched in 2013 in Europe. Although such an idea was available before then (Perodua offered it with the Kelisa in 2003), it was Renault that popularised it by offering it on a wider scale with the Captur.

Perodua Kelisa [2003]
In 2002, Perodua produced a limited edition of the Kelisa with a black roof, around the same time the new MINI (inset) also came with a white roof.
Lexus RX [2015]
2015 Lexus RX
Today, some companies refer to it as a ‘floating roof’ because it appears that the roof is separate from the lower body and ‘floats’. The term was first used by Lexus when it introduced its fourth generation of the RX in 2015. Though the roof was the same colour as the rest of the body, a blacked-out area of the C-pillars created an effect of a ‘floating roof’.

Proton X50 [2022]
2020 Proton X50
Volvo XC40 Recharge EV [2023]
2023 Volvo XC40 Recharge
Before Renault made it available as a mass production option, the 2-tone effect was offered as a limited option due to the rigidness of automated painting systems which were not set up to do two different colours on one car. So when it was offered, it was usually a special option for which an additional painting process was required.

In fact, even when TC Euro Cars began assembling the Captur in Malaysia, the bodyshells had to be brought in already painted with the two colours as the local automated systems could not do it.

MINI Countryman Electric EV [2024].jpg
2024 MINI Countryman Electric

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