The Renault brand was born in 1898 and from the first moments of its life, the company understood that motorsport sells cars. More than a century later, the company still relies on this principle, playing in the Formula One garden.
Fortunately, this is not just marketing - while most vehicles wearing the Renault badge fail to offer the slightest emotion to any helmet bearer, the creations handled by the Renaultsport are nothing short of four-wheeled controlled explosions.
Let’s take the Megane RS, for example. This is a hot hatch that can make fun of rivals with a much stiffer attitude (read Germans) at any time. But what if you want an interesting Renault that’s not necessarily aimed at being thrown at any corner that can be found on a certain route?
Well, let’s see! A quick dive into the French carmaker’s range brings one, and only one, answer: the Laguna... Coupe. But is this car capable of generating more than a few synapses in your brain? Before we move on to check for that, let’s take a look at it from the market placement point of view.
The Laguna Coupe is almost the only fish swimming in the non-premium European mid-size coupe segment. The BMW 3 Series and the Audi A5 come with a totally different approach, so only the Peugeot 407 Coupe or the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe could be called “competitors”. However, the first seems to be a bit outdated, while the latter is too fresh to be able to really have something to say.
Even Renault itself has neglected this segment for a long time. Pressing the “rewind” button, we have to go back to the eighties to find the vehicle’s spiritual ancestor: the Fuego. However, over the years the company prepared the public for the introduction of the model, with the appetizers taking the form of the 2004 Fluence Concept and the 2007 Laguna Coupe Concept.
So, has Renault packed enough heat in the Laguna Coupe? We chose to answer this question by inviting an example of the vehicle powered by the 180 hp 2.0-liter diesel (you’ll see why we chose to place the oil-burning part of the designation at the end) and fitted with the 4Control four-wheel-steering to become our test bride. Like any entity that is aware of its charms, she chose to bring her caprices along, dressing herself in black and wearing winter tires at the beginning of the summer...
Before we move on, we have to mention that, during our experience, we also got to play a little bit with a Laguna Coupe Monaco GP limited edition.Continue reading