GT must earn stripes

The La­guna’s suc­cess will be de­ci­sive for a GT ver­sion here, re­ports NEIL McDON­ALD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige News -

IN ONLY a few months the new Re­nault La­guna will ar­rive. But Re­nault Aus­tralia is cast­ing its net wider af­ter the French car­maker showed off the new GT ver­sion in Europe.

‘‘We’re look­ing at it, but it’s too early to con­firm ei­ther way,’’ Re­nault Aus­tralia spokesman Craig Smith says.

‘‘The suc­cess of the new La­guna launch will be a big fac­tor.’’

If the La­guna is a sales suc­cess, the GT could be here by the mid­dle of next year.

In Europe, the GT has an ‘‘ac­tive drive’’ chas­sis with four-wheel steer­ing and the choice of two high­per­for­mance en­gines in the 134kW/ 400Nm 2.0-litre dCi turbo-diesel and the 152kW/300Nm 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo petrol.

If Re­nault Aus­tralia were to de­cide to bring in ei­ther ver­sion, the five-seater could sit com­fort­ably above the Clio Re­naultS­port.

The ac­tive-drive chas­sis and four­wheel steer­ing pro­vide en­hanced lev­els of road­hold­ing, se­cure emer­gency brak­ing and high-speed ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity.

Vis­ually, Re­nault has adopted a less-is-more approach. The GT has no gar­ish go-fast en­hance­ments. In­stead, there’s a deeper grille, twin ex­hausts, sports al­loys and a pre­mium in­te­rior.

The car’s sub­tle char­ac­ter is un­der­pinned by lat­eral air in­takes and head­lights with black masks.

The La­guna GT sits on spe­cific, gen­er­ously sized 225/45 18-inch Bridge­stone Potenza tyres, which had their ori­gins in For­mula One, and the spe­cial Cel­sium wheels barely con­ceal 320mm di­am­e­ter discs at the front and 300mm discs at the rear.

Inside there’s pale grey al­can­tara and leather sports seats, cross-drilled alu­minium ped­als, a sports gearshift lever and a spe­cial steer­ing wheel.

The GT’s turbo-diesel and tur­bopetrol en­gines are geared for per­for­mance. The 2.0-litre dCi de­liv­ers its peak power at 3750 revs and peak torque comes in at 2000 revs. The 2.0-litre petrol turbo de­liv­ers peak power at 5000 revs and peak torque from 3000 revs.

The petrol en­gine is de­rived from Re­nault Sport tech­nol­ogy, as fea­tured on Me­gane RS, but specif­i­cally op­ti­mised for La­guna GT.

The 110kW/340Nm 2.0-litre La­guna dCi goes on sale in Au­gust, the petrol mod­els in Septem­ber.

Born to be wild: the Re­nault La­guna GT’s turbo-diesel and turbo-petrol en­gines are geared for power per­for­mance.

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