Renault is presenting its new 2005 model Laguna at the 54th Amsterdam Motor Show this month, which will be available in two body styles, Hatch and Sport Tourer.

Available to order prior to its showroom debut on Friday 18 March 2005, prices for the 2005 Laguna start with the Hatch 2.0 16V Expression at £15,775 on the road and the Sport Tourer 2.0 16V Expression at £16,775, both a drop of £200 compared to the previous model.

The new front design carries over the visual identity of the latest models in the Renault range, and includes a new one-piece component, which integrates the front bumper and the grille. The bonnet line is shortened and convex, the new headlamps extend along the sides, and the Renault badge is now more vertical. The V-shaped air intake in its lower section gives the vehicle a more dynamic feel, along with chrome-finished trim strips. At the rear, only the Hatch has a slightly changed tail light arrangement.

Inside, special attention was paid to the standard of finish and the ergonomics of the central controls. Perceived and actual build quality are said to have been enhanced in all areas, with a new design and new materials for the dashboard, and the integration of new technologies. The new dashboard features a new centre console with the hi-fi and heating controls placed higher.

A new moulding surrounds the upper part of the dashboard, while the fabrics used are more contemporary; velour has thus given way to softer micro fibre cloth. The car is available with two interior colour schemes according to trim level: dark charcoal or light beige.

A second flagship version will be available alongside the Initiale. The Laguna GT 205 is a Grand Touring version dedicated to driving enjoyment and is both sporting and civilised in everyday driving. It is only available with one engine – a new 2.0 Turbo developing 205hp with 300Nm of torque giving a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 146mph – only 0.1 seconds behind the smaller Clio Renaultsport 182.

It boasts an extensively modified chassis, specially developed Michelin Pilot Exalto 2 tyres on 17-inch wheels, and a 10mm-lower ride height. Aesthetically, it has several distinctive features: a special lower air intake grille, wheels with a smoked chrome finish, a rear wing on the Hatchback, satin-finished roof rails and dark tinted rear side windows on the Sport Tourer.

Inside, there’s leather upholstery in a mixture of dark charcoal and China red. The gear lever knob is satin-finished aluminium and the dashboard surround moulding has a chrome satin finish, while red piercings appear in the leather of the steering wheel, the door panels, the centre armrest and the centre panels of the bucket sports front seats.

The petrol engine range starts with the 135hp 2.0 16V (the 1.8 from the previous range has been dropped), the 2.0 Turbo 165 is now up rated to 170hp and the 3.0 V6 24V with 210hp and a five speed proactive automatic transmission remains available on the range-topping luxury model, the Initiale.

The 2005 Laguna’s diesel engine range gains an important newcomer. The most popular 1.9 dCi 120 is now also available in a Euro IV compliant version with a 10hp power upgrade to 130hp and a particle filter (FAP) fitted to the exhaust making it one of the cleanest diesels on the market for its power rating. The entry-level 1.9 dCi 90 Euro IV is now upgraded to 95hp and the fourth dCi engine remains the 2.2 dCi 150 which can be had with a five speed proactive automatic transmission.

The new Laguna is equipped with new technologies devoted to travelling comfort and driving enjoyment: the Renault Card with hands-free engine ignition available on Mégane/Scenic and Espace debuts on Laguna, the parking brake is now automatic and a new Carminat 3D Navigation and Communication centre is available that combines a new top-level 3D navigation system with “birdview”, a Cabasse Tronic 4x50W audio system with 6CD changer in the dashboard and the ability to play CDs in MP3 format, and hands-free controls for a Bluetooth telephone.

It is controlled via a central multimedia selector installed in line with the centre armrest, where the conventional handbrake used to be. Drivers can operate it without taking their eyes off the road, thanks to its different-shaped buttons which enable tactile recognition.

The new Laguna has an ESP system with understeer control that now takes account of the elasto-kinematics of the suspension and wear in the tyres. A new-generation ABS/ESP unit (MK 60 P) also ensures faster reactions. The ASR traction control function complements the ESP when starting from rest or accelerating in conditions of poor adhesion. It is also now more effective on “split-mu” surfaces, with grip on a single wheel, or on gradients up to 15%.

The adaptive-range xenon headlamps are equipped with a “lifting dipped beam” function to improve light output. In addition, the beam height is constantly controlled to take account of the car’s pitch attitude. In urban driving and at low speeds, the beam adapts itself by angling downwards.

Full prices and specifications will be revealed shortly prior to cars entering the showrooms.