Now we know what we spied en route to Le Mans: the Renault Talisman

Published: 03 July 2015 Updated: 07 July 2015

► New Renault Talisman spied
► Mystery car en route to Le Mans
► Now we know it’s Laguna successor

Here’s one puzzle we solved this week: CAR magazine’s art editor Matt Tarrant spotted this camouflaged prototype on manoeuvres as he drove down to the 2015 Le Mans 24 hours. We now know this was the new 2015 Renault Talisman, the French firm’s replacement for the Laguna.

At the time this was unclear to Matt, who spied it as he drove through Rouen on his way from the Eurotunnel to La Sarthe. It was one of two Talismans (or is that Talismen?) driving in convoy.

It looks very… Germanic!

Indeed it does. It’s now clear to see how the retro-effect disguise cleverly masked the huge Renault diamond badge dominating the snout, and make out the Teutonic high flanks along the side. With hindsight, we can also make out the J-shaped driving lamps poking through, bisecting the front bumper.

‘We saw this pair of prototypes as we drove through Rouen on our way to the race,’ said Matt. ‘Two things struck me about the Talisman: its size – it’s huge! – and the high, slab sides. Despite being on French registration plates, we really didn’t think it was French. It looked markedly different to the Laguna.’

The Talisman will not be produced in right-hand drive, precluding it from sale in the UK and Ireland. Instead, it accompanies the new – equally left-hand drive only – Espace, as part of a concerted effort to offer a more premium choice at the top of its range.

Click here for our guide to secret prototype camouflage.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words