The flowing, uncluttered lines of Laguna Coupé's design express motoring enjoyment. There is no mistaking either the legacy it has inherited from the Fluence concept car unveiled in 2004, or its kinship with the Renault Laguna range which it is destined to top. With a length of 4.64m and a width of 1.83m, its proportions are nicely balanced, while the character line which stems from the grille rises forcefully across its flanks, gracefully picking out the form of its front wings before extending rearwards to highlight the car's muscular haunches.
The glazed area of the windows is shown off to best advantage by a pure, flowing arc. Sitting on its specific 17- or 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels, Laguna Coupé's stance exudes a sense of dynamism and power that is reinforced by its wheelbase of 2.69m and height of 1.40m.
This feeling is echoed by the pronounced crease-lines of its long bonnet and slim headlamps. The dark finish of the lenses gives a determined gaze that is further emphasised by the sidelights, which in turn contribute to the dynamic lines of the bonnet. Meanwhile, the rear end features a very short overhang and broad, well-formed shoulders that play a big part in suggesting forward movement.
In order to offer the same high level of comfort and quality as the saloon version, Laguna Coupé's cabin features similarly plush appointments. The same 'suspended' dashboard as Laguna saloon sweeps from door to door with no visual evidence of a link with the console. The car's upper-range status is underlined by the specific brushed-aluminium trim which carries over from the doors to the dashboard to encompass the radio and navigation displays. The doors themselves are finished in the same material as the upholstery, providing further evidence of Laguna Coupé's exclusive pedigree.
Following its introduction on the GT version of Renault Laguna last spring, this carefully-honed chassis has naturally been carried over as an option for Laguna Coupé and is particularly suited to being associated with either of the new car's V6 engines.
Based on specific settings, the control of body-roll gives occupants a car that corners flat, a sensation reinforced by the absence of transient dynamic phenomena through turns, as well as by its directional precision at low steeringwheel angles. On the active safety front, the 4Control chassis with four-wheel steering excels not only under braking in difficult conditions (asymmetric grip, deployment of ESP), but also – and above all - when taking avoiding action (the so-called 'elk test').
Under the bonnet of Renault Laguna Coupé, the new three-litre V6 dCi (2,993cc), which develops 235 hp and peak torque of 450 Nm. It powers the new Laguna flagship from standstill to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds, yet its combined cycle fuel consumption is 39.2 mpg (192g of CO2/km). Meanwhile, the torque of the petrol 3.5 V6 powerplant, which is mated for the first time with the six-speed automatic transmission it shares with the diesel V6, is 330 Nm, while maximum power is 240 hp. The V6 petrol-engined version covers the 1,000-metre standing start in 27.6 seconds.
The petrol 2.0 Turbo is available with automatic transmission and boasts peak power of 170 hp, plus maximum torque of 270 Nm. The 205 hp, 300 Nm version can be ordered with a manual gearbox. The diesel range is built around the 150 hp, 175 hp and 180 hp versions of the 2.0 dCi with torque of 340 Nm, 380 Nm and 400 Nm respectively. These Euro5-ready powerplants are available with a manual gearbox and particulate filter. The dCi 150hp version is available with automatic transmission.
New Laguna Coupé is the first vehicle of the Renault range to benefit from the new generation Audio range. To this end, Renault has developed a partnership with the digital audio processing specialist, Arkamys. In terms of connectivity, Renault Laguna Coupé is comprehensively equipped thanks to the standard auxiliary socket and MP3 compatibility. Bluetooth® telephony and audio streaming are available as options.
Like the rest of the Laguna range, with which its shares robust design and demanding production processes, Renault Laguna Coupé comes with a three-year/100,000 mile warranty, whichever comes first. It launches in the UK in January 2009.