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Renault's future performance models

Thu, 24 Apr 2008

By Richard Yarrow

Motor Industry

24 April 2008 10:20

There has never been a hot version of the Laguna from Renaultsport – the performance arm of the French car maker – and our advice is don’t hold your breath for one any time soon.

With the MkIII Laguna launched last year, the timing would be perfect for the debut of a flagship model on the home turf of the Paris motor show in October 2008. But Patrick Pelata, Renault’s director of product planning, told CAR Online the quality of other super-saloons coupled with environmental concerns meant it wasn’t likely.

Instead, Renault will show the production version of the Laguna Coupe Concept (above right) this summer, and that will be at Paris along with the new Megane hatchback. Eventually there will be a four-wheel steer version of the Coupe, but a Renaultsport version is unlikely, says Pelata.

The product chief says: ‘To do it [a Renaultsport Laguna] with the competition there is in this segment you need a big engine. You need 400bhp and that’s not Renault. We would be losing our soul to get there and that’s not Renault territory. It’s the worst moment to do it because the market is going green. I’m not sure more power is the right direction for us to be going.’

Renaultsport has been busy recently, with the Clio 197 hot hatch, the lightweight Clio Cup and a sporty Twingo all relatively new to showrooms. Pelata said there would be more from the performance division very soon, including models that would act as a halo for the whole company.

Click ‘Next’ to read more about Renault’s performance plans

By Richard Yarrow