News - Renault - Laguna
Laguna to fly the flag for Renault
Renault's all-new Laguna will be launched at the Paris motor show
18 Sep 2000
By BRUCE NEWTON
THIS is the flagship for Renault's relaunch in Australia - the new generation Laguna II.
The car will have its world launch at this month's Paris motor show and we should see it just months later as the centerpiece of Renault's stand at the Melbourne motor show in March next year.
The new generation Espace people-mover, the Scenic mini-people mover and its four-wheel drive RX4 brother, the Megane cabriolet, and Clio five-door hatch should also be on the stand.
The Renault range is expected to go on sale around the country at the time of the show.
Renault was originally scheduled to launch here late in 2000, but that was put back because of delays in establishment of the dealer body and obtaining ADR-compliant cars.
Renault has tried and failed at least three times previously in Australia. This time, the French giant's return is being handled by Nissan Australia, a tie-up made possible by Renault's purchase of a controlling interest in the local affiliate's parent.
We can expect to see the five-door hatch version of the Laguna II in Australia, including a 3.0-litre V6 engine with sequential shift automatic transmission.
Its natural competitors will be European prestige vehicles like the Volkswagen Passat, Peugeot 406 and Alfa Romeo 156.
Renault design chief Mr Patrick Le Quement said the Laguna II's new look combined "Latin flavour and Germanic rigour with a taut shape, incisive lines and wide-shouldered upper body sections".
Inside, the cabin features similar design themes and Renault says particular care has gone into selecting trim and finishing material, in an effort to raise the level of perceived quality.
The car comes crammed with state-of-the-art features including a keyless credit card-style entry system, new entertainment, navigation and cruise control systems, electronic brake force and emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control and tyre pressure monitoring system.
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