6 April 2005

Renault design director Patrick le Quement has promised that the new Laguna will move car design forward for the French maker. The shape and specification for Renault’s next family saloon – still an important fleet car in Britain, selling around 25,000 units annually and recently facelifted – has been decided for some time, and the model is due for launch in 2007. ‘It’s better to take a big step and then consolidate for a while than to present a blizzard of innovative designs one after another,’ said le Quement, ‘otherwise you risk leaving people behind. The Laguna will not be controversial, exactly, but it will be very beautiful. It is time we made a really beautiful Renault saloon.’ According to le Quement, the new Laguna will be the first production car in a new Renault design phase which began with the Fluence concept coupé (above, right), shown at last summer’s Louis Vuitton concours d’elegance. ‘There will be a very strong relationship between Fluence and Laguna’, he says. Le Quement is surprisingly complimentary about the Peugeot 407, a Laguna rival, with its bold features and radical windscreen rake. ‘I understand their objectives,’ he said, ‘and they’ve done a good job. The long front overhang doesn’t please everyone, but the idea of producing a striking design in a class which had problems attracting buyers is good strategy. But in the new Laguna we think we have the car that will put them back in their box.’

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