► Renault Talisman takes a Passat twist
► Talisman Estate joins the saloon
► No plans for sale in UK or Ireland
Renault has announced an addition to its strictly European Talisman model; an estate version will sit alongside the saloon, replacing the Laguna wagon. It's a chic-looking estate, packing a Germanic twist to the styling and increased loadspace all-round.
Luggage capacity is recorded at 1700 litres with the rear seats folded down, according to Renault. This puts it just ahead of the already-large Ford Mondeo Estate in bootspace, but it can't quite pip the class-leading Volkswagen Passat's 1780 litres.
See both new Talisman models unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.
Renault has already unveiled the Talisman four-door, its replacement for the slow-selling Laguna. It will go on sale on the Continent later in 2015 after its world debut at Frankfurt. But while you'll see it at the giant German expo on 17 September 2015, you won't see it at your local Renault dealership in the UK or Ireland. There are no plans for the Talisman to go on sale in right-hand drive, as Renault continues to operate a pared-back sales strategy over here.
Renault Talisman: the lowdown
The Talisman represents a definite move upmarket, according to Paris. Yes, you read that right. It's designed to be Renault's executive saloon and estate - the crowning model in its range alongside the reinvented, more crossover-inspired Espace. Five different trim levels will be available, mated to two petrols and three diesel engines.
Stretching from entry Life trim to the more luxurious Initiale Paris trim (see cabin photo below), the plushest Talisman models feature an 8.7in interactive screen, Bose surround sound and 19in alloys.
Engines include the Energy TCe 150 or 200 petrol turbos, which feature a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and Energy dCi diesels in 110, 130 or 160 tune and with a six-speed dual-clutch 'box. No official specifications have been released yet, but Renault claims low running costs, fuel consumption and CO2 figures.
Sounds like a Passat from Paris!
Quite so. The styling looks decidedly Germanic from the first official photos issued today. But commercial reality dictates that the more idiosyncratic, French-flavoured execs of the past decades - think Vel Satis and Avantime - haven't worked, so they've had to stick with a more formulaic interpretation of modern mainstream luxury.
Could this really be a German saloon competitor? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.