Stylish, expressive Renault Laguna GT introduces the new Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering (4WS), developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies to yield the ultimate in driving pleasure for handling, response and precision. With a choice of two exclusive high-performance engines: 2.0 dCi 180 and 2.0 Turbo 205, Laguna GT makes a sparkling entry into the select field of performance saloons.

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering brings many benefits, starting with manoeuvrability, extremely rigorous dynamic response, and unequalled steering precision which gives the driver truly intuitive control over the cornering line, to attain new heights in driveability and active safety. The steering is immediately reassuring even at low speeds, while extreme precision is achieved through very small steering wheel angles. In town and on winding roads, the car is easy to drive: manoeuvrable and precise. Advanced roll control means the car corners flat, without leaning into the bend.

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also excels in active safety, both under difficult braking conditions (with good control over asymmetrical grip, and ESP matched to sporty driving styles), and during avoidance manoeuvres at speed (‘elk’ test).

With its distinctive design, Laguna GT offers a unique combination of driving pleasure, peace of mind and affordability, backed by a three-year/100,000 mile warranty.

Impressive manoeuvrability

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel-steering makes Laguna GT exceptionally easy to handle in town and superbly agile on winding roads. At speeds of less than 38 mph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to an angle of 3.5°. This brings two advantages: a smaller turning circle, for easy manoeuvring; and smaller steering wheel angles thanks to the more direct, specially calibrated steering.

With four-wheel steering on the Active Drive chassis, Renault Laguna GT has a 10 per cent smaller turning circle than with two-wheel steering: 10.80 metres (with 18-inch tyres) instead of 12.05m. The greater the rear-wheel steering angle, the smaller the turning circle. Enhanced manoeuvrability is especially remarkable in tight parking situations and along narrow city streets.

With front wheels and rear wheels turning in opposite directions, the car effectively pivots, which means smaller steering angles are needed for the same turning effect. Whereas it takes a 16° steering wheel angle to produce a 1° turn in the front wheels on New Laguna, it takes just 13.5° with the Active Drive chassis. And this drops to 12° when the rear wheels are turned at the maximum 3.5° angle in the opposite direction to the front wheels. Because steering is more direct, with less need for wide steering wheel angles, the impression of manoeuvrability and agility is greatly enhanced. For any given bend profile, the driver will need less action on the steering wheel. This makes for more effective avoidance, with the car seeming to avoid obstacles effortlessly.

Ultra-precise steering

From 38 mph, the emphasis is on steering precision. The rear wheels turn simultaneously in the same direction as the front wheels, to enhance stability, almost as if the car were running on rails. The Active Drive system with four-wheel steering counters the centrifugal force that tends to push the rear end outwards round bends, and thus raises the safe cornering speed. The rear axle is set on the ideal trajectory, with a rear-wheel angle usually below 2°, for stability and efficacy. The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering enhances dynamic handling, with sound, reassuring response for outstanding driving pleasure.

Unparalleled active safety

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also improves safety for heightened reassurance during avoidance manoeuvres. In an emergency situation, the rear-wheel angle can rise to 3.5°. The 4WS control unit monitors steering wheel angles to detect avoidance situations (recognised by a sudden increase in steering wheel angle) and adapt the rear-wheel turn angle accordingly. Cut-in of the ESP system, specially configured for more progressive driving styles, is delayed, so that the manoeuvre can be performed both safely and more swiftly. ESP is only activated when necessary, being applied gradually in synchronisation with the rear-wheel turn action. Via the ESP/ABS unit, the 4WS control unit also detects asymmetrical braking situations, adapting the rear-wheel turn angle automatically to keep the car stable with no driver action required. This helps the driver keep control during critical situations, and ensures uninterrupted peace of mind during everyday driving conditions.

Dynamic control logic

Developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies, the Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering implements electronic control of vehicle dynamics. A sensor on the steering column sends steering wheel angle information via the CAN network to the 4WS control unit, located behind the rear axle. The 4WS control unit also inputs vehicle speed from the ESP/ABS unit. And it tracks steering wheel angle information to detect sharp steering wheel movements symptomatic of a sports driving style or avoidance situation. All these parameters are analysed to determine the required rear-wheel turn angle, which is implemented by means of an electric actuator on the rear axle. Dynamic vehicle behaviour is precisely modelled to set the ideal vehicle trajectory at each instant, on the basis of the driver’s input and the actual situation of the vehicle. The controller and electric actuator are supplied by Aisin, a Japanese equipment supplier reputed for its experience in four-wheel steering systems.

High-performance engines

The diesel version of Renault Laguna GT is powered by a 2.0 dCi engine, best-in-class for performance, driveability and acoustics. In this implementation, it yields exceptional peak power of 180hp at 3,750rpm, with peak torque of 400Nm available from 2,000rpm, for instant, sustained build-up through to 5,000 rpm. A reduced-inertia variable-nozzle turbocharger enhances dynamic response at low revs to achieve impressive performance: 29.6 seconds for the 1,000m standing start, and 0 to 62 mph in 8.5 seconds. This new unit is fitted with a particulate filter and EGR valve with enhanced cooling, which combines driving pleasure with an environmental conscience: combined cycle fuel consumption is just 6.5 litres/100km, which translates into CO2 emissions of just 172g/km. With its ultra-fast glow plugs, the 180hp 2.0 dCi unit comes to life the moment the Start button is pressed, even in conditions of extreme cold (down to -23°C).

The petrol version of Laguna GT is powered by a sports version (205hp at 5,000rpm and 300Nm from 3,000rpm) of the two-litre 16-valve unit, derived from that in Mégane Renaultsport, and specifically optimised for Laguna GT, to yield the best in performance, handling and driving pleasure. It is superbly versatile, combining velvety refinement with astonishingly crisp response, ideal for performance-oriented driving. Design features such as the special air-intake system and twin-scroll turbo ensure the rev-counter leaps forward at the slightest touch of the throttle. Laguna GT 205 accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 7.8 seconds and takes 28 seconds to cover 1,000 metres from standstill. Yet fuel consumption is a very reasonable 8.2 litres/100km, which makes for CO2 emissions of just 194g/km.

Distinctive GT styling

With its distinctive streamlined profile, Laguna GT expresses an elegance that goes much further than sporting aptitude alone. The plunging bonnet ends in a purposeful front bumper, larger front grille, lateral air-intakes and black-background headlamps. Renault Laguna GT is fitted with generously sized 225/45 Bridgestone Potenza tyres, a Formula One spin-off, mounted on special 18″ ‘Celsium’ wheels. The highly efficacious braking system uses 320mm diameter discs at the front and 300mm discs at the rear. Aerodynamic sills reflect the promise of the Active Drive chassis, extending from the front of the car to the twin tailpipes at the rear. GT attributes run through every detail, including the gloss black door mirrors and smoked rear lights.

Sports interior

As well as appearing outside on the B-pillar, the exclusive GT logo is also embossed into the light grey alcantara on the backrests of the front seats. As on all Laguna versions, the interior design exudes an impressive sense of comfort and quality for all occupants. Sports design details abound highlighting the GT version: drilled aluminium pedals, aluminium gearshift knob, leather and alcantara upholstery, increased lateral support on the front seats and a specific GT steering wheel. Close attention has been paid to materials and finish, true to the car’s unwavering commitment to pure driving pleasure.

  • GT version with three-year/100,000 mile warranty
  • Laguna GT is available in Hatch and Sport Tourer guise, sitting in the range below the luxurious Initiale. With its Active Drive chassis and specific powerplants, this is a car for demanding, image-conscious motorists. Yet it is remarkably affordable for a vehicle with this spectrum of features. Laguna GT takes up a unique position in the performance saloon market, offering an impressive driving experience with total peace of mind.
  • Pricing, specification and technical information for New Laguna GT models will be released nearer to UK launch in April 2008.