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Renault Laguna Coupe (2008): first pictures

Sat, 24 May 2008

By Ben Pulman

First Official Pictures

24 May 2008 21:00

How do you add a dash of pizzazz to the underwhelming looks of the Laguna saloon? Renault’s answer - in the shape of the new Laguna Coupe - seems like a good one: lop off two doors, drop in a 3.5-litre V6 from the Nissan 350Z and garnish with your own four-wheel steer system. Make the car shorter and wider than the saloon and then get your imposing Lebanese CEO to drive it around the Cannes Film Festival.

Also make sure it goes for a lap or two of the Monaco GP track, and keep the Laguna name proud across the rump so the general public relates the stunning coupe to your humdrum saloon. Orders fly in, brand awareness goes through the roof and all is well at La Regie. That's the idea, anyway.

Ah, here’s the problem. Renault showed off a Laguna Coupe concept at the 2007 Frankfurt motor show. By CAR’s own admission, and the reaction of you, the reader, this was the best-looking Renault in recent memory. Now take a look at the production car pictures (top row) and tell us what you think compared to the Coupe concept (bottom row).

We're reserving judgment until we see the Coupe in the metal, in natural light and in a colour other than this car's rather drab hue. At at first glance though, it appears that the production car has ignored the concept's potential.

Details from Renault are still scant but it's clear that gone are the shapely rear haunches, flush exhausts, the LED headlights, smoked 20-inch wheels and the silver slivers that were door handles.

In their place are regular headlamps, 17 or 18-inch wheels that look overwhelmed by the bodywork, and big chunky door handles and wing mirrors.

It's not all bad though. The rear still has a touch of Aston Martin to it, the LED taillights remain and the Coupe still has a very curvaceous design. The doors are frameless and while the interior might  be standard Laguna it features higher quality materials.

Click 'Next' below to read more about the Renault Laguna Coupe

By Ben Pulman