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