Renault plans new coupe

Renault Laguna
19 Sep, 2011 6:30pm Graham Hope

Renault reveals surprise sporty model on the way as the Laguna faces the axe

A surprise new coupe is being worked on at Renault, as it gets set to pull the plug on the Laguna.

The Ford Mondeo rival hasn’t been a massive success, and the company is now rethinking its strategy in the sector. The fresh approach will see it build a global large car based on a modular platform shared with alliance partner Nissan.

Intriguingly, though, this platform will also spawn a standalone coupe, which will not be a direct replacement for the current Laguna Coupé. A Renaultsport version is a certainty.

Vice President of Product Planning Beatrice Foucher said: “There will be at least one coupé in the line-up. It is necessary to have an emotional car like this to support our brand identity.”

Auto Express understands the model will be smaller than the current Laguna Coupé, and that Renaultsport has been heavily involved in the model from the outset – although it has not been charged with developing it 
in the same way it did the Wind.

Suggestions the model could be given the Alpine badge, which Renault is keen to resurrect on chic performance models, are wide of the mark, though. The Laguna replacement, meanwhile, will be developed and designed in Europe, but sold across the world in markets like Russia, Brazil and Korea, as well as here. It will have edgier styling and a new name.

The news comes at a time when Renault says it is reconsidering its presence in the larger car market. “We need to restate our offer,” admitted global marketing chief Steve Norman. And that is likely to mean the firm’s biggest EV yet. “We’re not going to do cars big in cubic capacity. In fact there could be no cubic capacity at all.”

A new Espace is coming, too, with Norman saying it will be more innovative than the replacement MPV canned a few years ago due to the financial crisis.

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