Renault is to become the first European manufacturer to introduce a swivel-seat in its vehicles.

The seats, which will be optional on some new Renault Clio models from June, are likely to be well-received by elderly or disabled travelers with restricted mobility.

Renault's new seat will swivel by 75 degrees when a lever underneath the seat is pulled, allowing the occupant to move easily out of the vehicle. Tugging the lever again will rotate the seat back to its original position.

Renault says that the swivel seat has no effect on the functions or upholstery of the existing seat, making it far easier to install than seat conversions that are fitted as extras. The safety equipment for the swivel seat is exactly the same as the standard seat model.

The seat costs €1,600, significantly less than the cost of a conversion, which Renault claims is around €2,500. It will be available in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland in 2010 and other markets at a later date.

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