Admit it. You've been waiting for Renault to give its Laguna a bit of the ol' up and under, haven't you? Well, they may have, depending on your definition of that vaguely British-sounding turn of phrase. But whether it's sex appeal you were looking for, or you hadn't given it a fool's farthing, the new Renault Laguna is upon us. Aside from visual alterations, at launch the slightly recast Laguna will get a range of engines, starting with a 2.0-liter petrol four with 16 valves and 145 hp and a turbo version producing 170 hp. In diesel, there's Renault's 1.5 dCi, which delivers 110 hp and a 2.0 dCi that comes in 130hp, 150hp and 175hp variants. Renault says additional engines will be added soon after the Laguna's launch at the Frankfurt auto show in September. Actually, it looks great as an updated Rover SD-1, but a bit on the dour side for a Ghosn-era Renault.
New Laguna, for driving pleasure and peace of mind
New Laguna's refined lines have been carefully crafted to create a dynamic, fluid design that effortlessly underpins the model's status as a true Grand Tourer.
Thanks to its impeccable handling and broad range of powertrain packages, New Laguna guarantees genuine driving pleasure:
• Impeccable handling
New Laguna's responsive chassis stands out as one of the best on the market in terms of both steering precision and control of cornering roll thanks essentially to the new model's closer-ratio steering and uprated suspension. Significant work has also gone into the tuning of its damping performance to ensure even greater driving pleasure and comfort.
• A broad range of powertrain packages
The New Laguna line-up features the brand's familiar engines, including the 130 and 175hp versions of the 2.0 dCi (96/127kW) which are particularly responsive and punchy when mated to Renault's AJO automatic transmission.
Meanwhile, the economical and environmentally-respectful 1.5 dCi 110hp (81kW) combines remarkable performance with even lower fuel consumption, returning a frugal 5.1 litres/100km (equivalent to 136g of CO2/km) to offer one of the segment's most attractive compromises between performance, fuel economy and emissions. Developed jointly by Renault and Nissan, the smooth, responsive 145hp (103.4kW) 2.0 16V petrol engine ensures a particularly high level of acoustic comfort.
The following features ensure peace of mind for all New Laguna occupants:
• Class-leading active and passive safety
New Laguna benefits from Renault's extensive experience in the field of safety and special attention has been paid to the new car's side impact protection performance. Equipment includes an exclusive new-generation double lateral airbag (thorax + pelvis) which is based on a twin-chamber, dual pressure system triggered by two sensors located in the front door and B-pillar. A specific algorithm adjusts the system's deployment time as a function of the force of the impact. On the active safety front, New Laguna's brakes are amongst the most fade-resistant on the market.
• Optimised comfort
In addition to its finely-tuned suspension, New Laguna offers a degree of acoustic comfort that sets new standards in its segment, thanks notably to more effective soundproofing between the engine compartment and cabin. Meanwhile, the particularly demanding brief relating to thermal comfort has led to the introduction of a new, externally-controlled, high capacity compressor that is capable of producing cold air particularly quickly.
• Extremely practical
It is now easier than ever to take in the information displayed on the dashboard, while careful attention has also been paid to drive-station ergonomics. A long list of practical features, including parking brake assist and the second-generation hands-free card, further contribute to taking the stress out of day-to-day motoring. Last but by no means least, the Estate version is equipped with a system that allows a flat boot-floor to be obtained at the push of a button.
From the design and validation phases through to production and servicing, New Laguna has been engineered for robustness and reliability:
One of the chief pledges of the Renault Commitment 2009 plan concerned New Laguna directly, namely the target for the new model to rank among the top three cars in its segment in terms of product and service quality. In addition to the more stringent design and production processes that have been put into place, more than 120 New Lagunas were subjected to the equivalent of six million kilometres of testing in the most gruelling climatic and road conditions imaginable.
New Laguna rivals with the best in its segment regarding running, repair and servicing costs:
• This has notably been achieved thanks to its 110hp (81kW) and 150hp (110kW) dCi diesel engines which return fuel consumption of 5.1 litres/100km and 6.0 litres/100km respectively, equivalent to 136g and 158g of CO2/km.
• As one of the models covered by the Renault eco2 line - an appellation conceived as a hallmark for the range's economical and ecologically-sound vehicles - a version of New Laguna will be available that emits just 136g of CO2/km and incorporates a high 35kg of recycled plastic. To further optimize fuel consumption, New Laguna tips the scales at an average 15kg less than its predecessor.
New Laguna will be unveiled to the public at September's Frankfurt Motor Show and is scheduled to go on sale from October 2007.
Renault Laguna Teasers [internal]