Motors & Me: Michael Conlan and his Renault Kadjar

Olympic boxing hopeful Michael Conlan with his Renault Kadjar.

Irish Olympic boxer Michael Conlan shows us around his Renault Kadjar

What are you currently driving?

I am currently driving a really great family car: The Renault Kadjar. It’s a diesel automatic, which is perfect for my weekly journeys to and from our training base in Abbottstown and, apart from loving the way it drives, I also love the white colour... pure... like myself!

Love at first sight, or just a means to get from A to B?

Honestly, I didn’t know too much about the Kadjar before I drove it. I had seen the ads, which I thought were great and, once I saw the car up close and sat into it, I absolutely loved it. A brand new car is a real treat – I mean, who doesn’t love that new-car smell? The colour white is my favourite in a car and it has tinted windows, which means you don’t feel you’re in a goldfish bowl when you’re driving in the city. So, definitely love at first sight.

What’s under the bonnet?

Yeah, I’m not great on this stuff, but my dad, John, tells me that my Kadjar has a 1.5 litre, 110bhp dCi engine. It also has a 6-speed automatic dual-clutch gearbox, which is at least as smooth as Paddy Barnes thinks he is. Someone told me it has a top speed of 113mph, but I couldn’t possibly confirm that. It’s a diesel and is really light on juice, but you wouldn’t know, as there’s virtually no noise inside, apart, sometimes, from the sound of my beautiful baby daughter, Luisne, sleeping.

Conlan says the 1.5-litre, 110bhp engine is ‘really light on juice’
Conlan says the 1.5-litre, 110bhp engine is ‘really light on juice’

Petrol head or Sunday driver?

I’m positively a petrol head. I love fast cars, always have since I was a little boy. One of my earliest memories is my da driving us to Dublin in his Ford Escort to see my nanny. I loved it. I loved any trip in the car and it helped that my da thought he was Ayrton Senna, which made all those journeys exciting.

What was your first car?

My first car (which isn’t that long ago) was an Opel Corsa 1.2lt. I loved that car, and the independence it gave me. I could suddenly go anywhere whenever I wanted. I didn’t have to rely on someone else for lifts to training and fights and I could make sure my girlfriend got home safely.

What else do/did you own?

After the London Olympics, I switched from the Corsa to an Audi A4 1.9 diesel estate, which was a great drive, very comfortable and handy for carrying all the lads’ luggage from Belfast to training in Dublin.

Dream drive in dream location?

Wow, good question. I’d have to say a Bugatti Veyron. Starting in San Francisco, along the coast, through Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and San Diego and on up to Vegas, via the Grand Canyon. What a trip or, indeed, the other way round, with the world title belt in the boot and my fiancée Shauna, up front with me (or possibly the belt up front with me!). Magical.

Michael Conlan
Michael Conlan

Passenger you’d most like on a long journey?

Sugar Ray Leonard: My all-time favourite fighter (he could box, he could brawl, he could do it all). Rihanna: For her voice, naturally. Paddy Barnes: For the pure, unadulterated madness. Conor McGregor: Can you imagine the slagging between him and Paddy Barnes? Priceless.

Passenger you’d least like?

Jeremy Kyle: I’m sure there’s no need to explain, but let’s just say that his show does my head in.

What’s on your playlist?

Ha, ha, ha. I’ll be hammered for this one, but I tweeted a photo recently of the inside of my Kadjar (I was bored and in a traffic jam) and someone outed me for having Rihanna playing on the Bose sound system; they had zoomed in on the photo. So, Rihanna (obviously), Drake, The Rolling Stones, James Brown and the like. I have a wide and varied taste in music.

  • Michael Conlon is part of the Irish boxing team travelling to Rio for the Olympics. He is a brand ambassador for Renault.


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