The quiet death of the 203bhp, four-wheel steer Renault Laguna GT, a car now notable by its absence from a simplified and gently revised Laguna range, might not seem like a particularly sad moment.

After all, the car’s steering lives on in the Laguna coupe, and the engine from the diesel version lives on. But the passing of the Laguna GT also marks the passing of a whole genre: the sporty repmobile.

Back in the '80s and '90s, more or less every middle-manager’s dream was to bag a tasty version of a humble family saloon as their company car. The Peugeot 405 Mi16, Vauxhall Cavalier GSI and the like were all seriously desirable motor cars. More recently, the Mondeo ST220 or V6 versions of the 406 and first-generation Renault Laguna all had a certain appeal.

Sadly, the ubiquity of BMWs, Audis and Mercs on company fleets has all but destroyed the sporty repmobile’s USP. Look no further than the fact that the Laguna GT has been dropped after little more than a year on sale if you want proof of that.

It’s going to be up to the forthcoming Vauxhall insignia VXR to fly the flag for the mainstream performance saloon. Let’s just hope it’s good.

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