There has never been a hot version of the Laguna from Renaultsport – the performance arm of the French car maker – and our advice is don’t hold your breath for one any time soon.
With the MkIII Laguna launched last year, the timing would be perfect for the debut of a flagship model on the home turf of the Paris motor show in October 2008. But Patrick Pelata, Renault’s director of product planning, told CAR Online the quality of other super-saloons coupled with environmental concerns meant it wasn’t likely.
Instead, Renault will show the production version of the Laguna Coupe Concept (above right) this summer, and that will be at Paris along with the new Megane hatchback. Eventually there will be a four-wheel steer version of the Coupe, but a Renaultsport version is unlikely, says Pelata.
Pelata: ‘Not the right direction…’
The product chief says: ‘To do it [a Renaultsport Laguna] with the competition there is in this segment you need a big engine. You need 400bhp and that’s not Renault. We would be losing our soul to get there and that’s not Renault territory. It’s the worst moment to do it because the market is going green. I’m not sure more power is the right direction for us to be going.’
Renaultsport has been busy recently, with the Clio 197 hot hatch, the lightweight Clio Cup and a sporty Twingo all relatively new to showrooms. Pelata said there would be more from the performance division very soon, including models that would act as a halo for the whole company.
Click ‘Next’ to read more about Renault’s performance plans
Added spice on the way
Pelata added: ‘I can't tell you much but we have several cars in the pipeline that we hope will add some spice to the Renault brand.’
He confirmed such models would be based on three key criteria. ‘They should not be expensive or exclusive, they should be a lot of fun and not cars that swallow a lot of gas.’
Hot Renaults by 2010
These vehicles aren’t unlikely to be seen before 2010 or 2011, and Pelata also ruled out a supercar from the company.
‘Renault will never do a Nissan GT-R,’ he warned. ‘We are not the brand and these are not our customers for that.’
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