Following its reveal at the glamorous Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, the public will get its first chance to inspect Renault Laguna Coupe at close quarters at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. As the spearhead of the Laguna range, it has been designed to offer sheer driving pleasure and plays a key role in Renault’s growth plans for the upper-range market.
Like the Fluence concept car which provided a stylish preview of the real thing, the production car irresistibly suggests sheer motoring enjoyment. The flowing lines of the newcomer’s elegant, uncluttered design express timeless beauty, while its performance provides unprecedented pleasure behind the wheel thanks to the same 4Control chassis with four-wheel steering that has been widely acclaimed by European media on the GT version of Renault Laguna. In addition to the existing 2.0-litre petrol and diesel versions, the launch of this image-forging model sees the introduction of two new V6 powerplants. The brand new V6 dCi, which promises to become a benchmark in terms of performance and driving pleasure, delivering peak power of 235hp, while the new petrol-fuelled 3.5 V6 gives out 240hp. The cabin places the emphasis on quality and refinement. Incorporating the Bose® Sound System formed part of Renault Laguna Coupe’s design process to provide an incomparable listening experience. Like all upper-range Renault models, Laguna Coupe comes with a three-year/150,000km warranty.
Renault Laguna Coupe’s design has a great deal in common with the dynamic, racy concept car revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007, including elegant styling and proportions which boast all the hallmarks of a truly exceptional coupe. Renault President, Carlos Ghosn, gave Renault Laguna Coupe its first public airing at last May’s Festival International du Film in Cannes. The same weekend saw Renault Laguna Coupe make a guest appearance around the legendary circuit of the Monaco Grand Prix in the hands of ING Renault F1 Team’s test drivers to provide a dynamic demonstration of its sporting credentials. Its racy front points to the availability under the bonnet of the Alliance’s star powerplants which have been designed and developed to ensure driving enjoyment. Indeed, combined with the optional 4Control chassis with four-wheel steering, they deliver true driving pleasure.
Head-turning, racy styling
The flowing, uncluttered lines of Laguna Coupe’s elegant design express timeless beauty and sheer motoring enjoyment. There is no mistaking either the legacy it has inherited from the Fluence concept car unveiled in 2004, or its kinship with the Renault Laguna range which it is destined to top. With a length of 4.64m and a width of 1.83m, its proportions are nicely balanced, while the character line which stems from the grille rises forcefully across its flanks, gracefully picking out the form of its front wings before extending rearwards to highlight the car’s muscular haunches.
The glazed area of the windows is shown off to best advantage by a pure, flowing arc. Sitting on its specific 17- or 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels, Laguna Coupe’s stance exudes a sense of dynamism and power that is reinforced by its wheelbase of 2.69m and height of 1.40m.
This feeling is echoed by the pronounced crease-lines of its long bonnet and slim headlamps. The dark finish of the lenses gives a determined gaze that is further emphasised by the sidelights, which in turn contribute to the dynamic lines of the bonnet. Meanwhile, the rear end features a very short overhang and broad, well-formed shoulders that play a big part in suggesting forward movement. The Renault Laguna Coupe’s dynamism is also apparent through the aerodynamic diffuser and square-section chrome-trimmed tailpipes that come with the top-end engines. The slender rear lights give Laguna Coupe a bright, distinctive lighting signature which conveys a blend of refinement and power, especially at night when the indicators form a halo that picks out the contours of the slim red LEDs.
Attention to detail inside
In order to offer the same high level of comfort and quality as the saloon version, Laguna Coupe’s cabin features similarly plush appointments. The finish, aspect and quality of the materials that have been selected ensure a sensation of harmony and well-being. The same ‘suspended’ dashboard as Laguna saloon sweeps from door to door with no visual evidence of a link with the console. The car’s upper-range status is underlined by the specific brushed-aluminium trim which carries over from the doors to the dashboard to encompass the radio and navigation displays. The doors themselves are finished in the same material as the upholstery, providing further evidence of Laguna Coupe’s exclusive pedigree.
The driver is pampered by the relaxing driving environment, and all the controls and displays have been carefully designed and positioned to be as effortless to use or take in as possible.
Rear passengers will also appreciate Renault Laguna Coupe’s interior. The specific characteristics of the exterior design (wider rear track for an enhanced, more dynamic stance) have led to a specific approach to the rear of the cabin. With no middle seat, the two back seats have been brought closer together, yet without detracting from their remarkable rear elbowroom which stands at 1,436mm.
Meanwhile, the black, soft-touch trim that picks out the top of the door panels runs around the entire cabin, enveloping the occupants. This ‘lounge’ effect exudes an unmistakable sense of reassurance and protection.
Four-wheel steering for an exceptional ride
Developed jointly by Renault engineering and specialists from Renault Sport Technologies, Laguna Coupe’s technologically-advanced chassis delivers the ultimate in dynamic sporting performance, as well as astonishing manoeuvrability at low speed. Its outstanding agility and stability set fresh standards in safety and surefooted handling, while the new car corners with unrivalled directional precision as if it were on rails. Following its introduction on the GT version of Renault Laguna last spring, this carefully-honed chassis has naturally been carried over as an option for Laguna Coupe and is particularly suited to being associated with either of the new car’s V6 engines.
At low speeds, the 4Control chassis with four-wheel steering takes the strain out of manoeuvring, and it takes drivers no time at all to familiarise themselves with its use. In town, as well as on twisty roads, the car is exceptionally easy to drive and offers crisp handling precision. Choosing the optimal cornering line becomes intuitive to further enhance the pleasure experienced behind Renault Laguna Coupe’s wheel. Based on specific settings, the control of body-roll gives occupants a car that corners flat, a sensation reinforced by the absence of transient dynamic phenomena through turns, as well as by its directional precision at low steeringwheel angles. On the active safety front, the 4Control chassis with four-wheel steering excels not only under braking in difficult conditions (asymmetric grip, deployment of ESP), but also – and above all – when taking avoiding action (the so-called ‘elk test’). Meanwhile, the high level of travelling comfort ensures peace of mind for all occupants who can sense Laguna Coupe’s unrivalled active safety in all situations.
Powertrains with pedigree
Under the bonnet of Renault Laguna Coupe, the new three-litre V6 dCi (2,993cc), which promises to become a benchmark in terms of performance and driving pleasure, develops 235hp and peak torque of 450Nm. It powers the new Laguna flagship from standstill to 62 mph in a mere 7.3 seconds, yet its combined cycle fuel consumption is an impressive 39.2 mpg (192g of CO2/km). Meanwhile, the torque of the petrol 3.5 V6 powerplant, which is mated for the first time with the six-speed automatic transmission it shares with the diesel V6, is 330Nm, while maximum power is 240hp. The V6 petrol-engined version covers the 1,000-metre standing start in 27.6 seconds. Renault Laguna Coupe naturally benefits from the Laguna line-up’s finest powertrains, and in particular the top performing versions of the range’s 2-litre powerplants, which all drive through a six-speed gearbox. The petrol 2.0 Turbo is available with automatic transmission and boasts peak power of 170hp, plus maximum torque of 270Nm. The 205hp, 300Nm version can be ordered with a manual gearbox. The diesel range is built around the 150hp, 175hp and 180hp versions of the 2.0 dCi with torque of 340Nm, 380Nm and 400Nm respectively. These Euro5-ready powerplants are available with a manual gearbox and particulate filter. The dCi 150hp version is available with automatic transmission.
Exquisite sound thanks to Renault’s new Audio range
New Laguna Coupe is the first vehicle of the Renault range to benefit from the new generation Audio range which sets out to profit from the latest acoustic and audio processing technologies to provide optimum sound quality and user-friendly connectivity.
To this end, Renault has developed a partnership with the digital audio processing specialist, Arkamys®. This association has given rise to the unique 3D Sound by Arkamys® experience which is poised to become Renault’s new benchmark sound. The 3D Sound by Arkamys® system, which is standard equipment on Renault Laguna Coupe, uses tailor-developed Arkamys® software to deliver high quality and unprecedented listening comfort thanks to three-dimensional sound spacialisation tuned specifically to the materials and forms of the interior.
For its premium audio system, Renault has chosen the unique know-how of Bose® which provides a high standard of acoustic performance exclusive to Renault Laguna Coupe. The conception and development of the Bose® Sound System began during the vehicle’s design phase in association with Renault’s engineering department. The set-up comprises 10 loudspeakers (including a woofer built into the rear parcel shelf), all equipped with neodymium magnets and an amplifier incorporating a Bose® digital signal processing system and a six-channel personalised equaliser. This tailor-developed audio system reproduces clear, balanced, distortion-free sound, even at high volumes. The Bose® Sound System, which is already available for Renault Koleos, stands out as the perfectly natural choice for such an exceptional car as Laguna Coupe.
In terms of connectivity, Renault Laguna Coupe is comprehensively equipped thanks to the standard auxiliary socket and MP3 compatibility. Bluetooth® telephony and audio streaming are available as options.
Renault Laguna Coupe stands out as the embodiment of this aspect of the brand’s savoir-faire which forms part of its very genetic make-up, as can be seen through its quality and finish which meet the most exacting standards.
Like the rest of the Laguna range, with which its shares robust design and demanding production processes, Renault Laguna Coupe comes with a three-year/100,000 mile warranty, whichever comes first. It launches in the UK in January 2009.