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Stunning Laguna Coupe in SA

2010-04-01 07:57
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Renault
Model Laguna Coupe
Engine 3.5l V6
Power 177kW @ 6 000r/min
Torque 330Nm @ 4 400r/min
Transmission Six-speed auto
Zero To Hundred 7.4 sec
Top Speed 244km/h
Fuel Tank 66l
Fuel Consumption 10l/100km
Weight 1 522kg
Boot Size 423l
ABS Yes with EBD, EBA, ESP
Airbags Eight
Tyres 225/45/ R18
Front Suspension McPherson struts
Rear Suspension Beam
Warranty 5 year/150 000km
Price R499 900
Laguna Coupe 2010: Driving
Laguna Coupe 2010: Street Race

Would you pay R500 000 for a two-door Renault? Well, if it’s one of the best looking cars on sale, you probably would (should?).

Renault has announced it will (finally) be retailing the brand’s headline two-door offering - Laguna Coupe - locally.

Although the Laguna range as a whole is still absent in the local market, Renault has decided to import the range topping two-door coupe as a hero car of sorts for the brand.

Pretty (good) looking

The Laguna Coupe came to prominence as a design study to coincide with the launch of the sedan at the Frankfurt motor show back in 2007. It wowed visitors to the Johannesburg motor show a year later and it has to be said: the concept’s striking styling and simple detailing has been left relatively untouched by road car homologation.

All things considered the Laguna Coupe is a supremely stylish car. The shape is quite simple, with neatly crafted proportions and classic long-nose GT overtures.

Mechanically the Laguna Coupe features a raft of standard features and some rather clever engineering to ensure its driving experience is commensurate to the 'wow-factor' styling.

Despite the cabin cueing an awful many Laguna sedan styling details its the plush leather trim, 10-speaker Bose sound system and genuinely clever Carminat TomTom SatNav ensure the Coupe retains a character all of its own.

Oversized steering wheel boss add odds with the dramatic exterior styling. Joystick menu control behind the transmission selector is clever, yet lacks a menu logic button - much like first generation iDrive...

Big six power

Powering the Laguna Coupe is a 3.5l V6 petrol engine producing 177kW and 330Nm. Driving the front wheels via a six-speed planetary geared automatic transmission, Renault claims the Laguna Coupe is good for a 7.4 second 0-100km/h benchmark sprint before topping out at 244km/h.

The Laguna Coupe’s best feature is undoubtedly its four-wheel steering system.

A design fad during the early 1990s amongst Japanese manufacturers, the idea of four-wheel steering has fallen completely out of fashion during the last decade. In principle it remains rather clever though: actuating steering angle on the rear wheels, which enables a car with a generous wheelbase (and cabin space) to trim its turning circle, whilst sharpening up high-speed steering responses too.

The Laguna Coupe’s four-wheel steering system operates via an electric actuator on the rear axle, which analyses slip angles and steering input to calculate the degree of rear-wheel opposite steering required. In emergency avoidance scenarios the Laguna Coupe's four-wheel steer system can enact an opposing aft axle wheel angle of 3.5 degrees.

Supplying the four-wheel steer system’s technology to Renault is Japanese drivetrain company Aisin.

Without a B-pillar it would have been perfect. What else under R500 000 looks this good though? Scirocco perhaps? Laguna's infinitely more spacious though.

Torsion beam rear?

The only issue we can surmise from the Renault Laguna Coupe specification sheet is its beam rear suspension set-up, which is strikingly add odds with the all-wheel fully independent specification of other two-door competitors.

In Europe there has been a musing of discontent concerning the car’s ride quality due to its rather unsophisticated aft-axle suspension set-up…

As a package though, it’s an awfully pretty vehicle with proper V6 power and promises a rather unique dynamic driving experience due to its four-wheel steering system.

Whether it shall suffer the same fate (being criminally ignored) as Peugeot’s equally striking 406 Coupe did remains to be seen.


Renault Laguna Coupe R499 900

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