There are few more glamorous events than the Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. That is why Renault chose these two A-list occasions to unveil its Laguna coupe, before its official Paris motor show debut in October.
The coupe has already been seen testing in Australia, along with the new Laguna hatch, which goes on sale this month.
The coupe is firmly in Renault Australia's sights, says spokesman Craig Smith. He says it would be a perfect star car in the Renault line-up, but he could not confirm specification, a likely price or when it could arrive.
“We have to justify some numbers to France,” Smith says. “But we'd love to get it.”
He says the Laguna coupe could be aimed at Peugeot 407 coupe and Alfa Romeo GT buyers, which means pricing from $55,000 if it reaches this country.
Renault has tried to give the coupe a technological point of difference with a new active chassis and four-wheel steering, shared with the GT sedan and similar to systems used by Honda.
The swoopy front-wheel-drive coupe gets two new V6 petrol and diesel engines.
In Europe it will also be available with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.
Australia will probably stick to the performance V6s, a 3.0-litre dCi and 3.5-litre petrol that deliver zero to 100km/h times of less than seven seconds. The V6 dCi delivers 175kW/450Nm. The V6 petrol has 178kW/330Nm. Both engines are mated to a AJ0 six-speed automatic sequential transmission built by Jatco.
The coupe is a full four-seater and is close to the concept car revealed at last year's Frankfurt motor show.
The production car shares some design features with the new Laguna hatch. Compared with the hatch, it is slightly shorter, wider and lower. At 2690mm, it sits on a 66mm shorter wheelbase. The four-seater is 4640mm long and 1830mm wide. In keeping with its sleek profile, the car is 1400mm high.
The proportions are nicely balanced. A character line from the grille rises into the shoulder line and sweeps into the rear hatch, underpinning the coupe's design cohesiveness.
At the front, designers have created a purposeful air with a wide under-bumper air intake, long bonnet and new headlight design.
At the back, the car has a stumpy but broad rear end and slimline LED tail-lights.
The four-wheel-steering system was developed jointly by Renault engineers and Renault Sport Technologies and is designed to enhance performance, stability and agility.
At low speeds, the active drive chassis and four-wheel-steering system enhance manoeuvrability. The turning circle is 10.8m.