Renault’s Laguna is back, but it may be called something else. The latest spy shots confirm reports that the successor to the French family car is under development with an executive saloon feel designed to rival the VW Passat. The interior can be seen for the first time in the images. The car is due to appear at the end of 2015.
The images indicate Renault has abandoned the traditional hatchback or estate bodystyles of the Laguna, with the saloon bodystyles of the Passat and Mazda 6 the main target. It features the same family face as the recently spied 2016 Megane, as well as a sleeker profile than before.
Our first view of the cabin is in these revealing spy shots that show the virtually undisguised dashboard design. It’s clearly a step forward for Renault, as the now familiar R-Link system is ditched in favour of a large portrait central touchscreen, similar in concept to the one found in the Tesla Model S.
Digital instruments can also be seen, with infotainment controls on the centre console and sepearte analogue knobs for the ventilation. French design flair remains, with the leather-stitched dashboard and extensive wood trim putting us in mind of the old Renault Vel Satis.
Renault has previously been indecisive about building a Laguna replacement due to the declining market for large ‘three-box’ family models. The last Laguna also sold in very small numbers in the UK, but the firm is hoping to rejuvenate the image of large Renaults with this car.
Whether the saloon will carry the Laguna moniker is still unknown, with the executive vice president at Renault, Bruno Ancelin, stating, “there are a lot of possibilities, but it is not an obligation for us to use the same name in different countries.”
“There is a market for that [D-segment saloon] it’s the market of the Passat, it is the king of this market in Europe. [The market] is not positively evolving so of course the benefit today is more in favour of the D-segment crossover.”
Renault has confirmed the new saloon will be a global model but it is not yet know whether the UK will be a recipient of the Laguna replacement, with UK boss Ken Ramirez admitting ,“I have to say it’s not a priority. I don’t think you need to have a full range.”
Find out about Renault’s plans for a 7-seat SUV based on the Nissan X-Trail here.