RAC Cars News


Renault Stepping Up Its Game

By raccars Published

Renault bosses have been sharing information about the company's future developments, which promise to be interesting. Ideas include an exciting plan for the company's sporting brand, Gordini.

Going forward, Renault plans to reserve Gordini status for only its highest performance special editions, as a prestige adjunct to Renaultsport. Chief operating officer, Carlos Tavares, wants the Gordini badge only to apply to the most "extreme" models, aimed at track racing, as opposed to signifying cosmetic revisions, as seen in Clio and Twingo special editions of the past.

Gordini trademarks will include performance enhancements in the form of higher power output, reduced ride height, beefier braking and lighter chassis frames. Road legal status may not apply to some of these models. The philosophy is to add prestige to Renault's sporting endeavours rather than increase sales volume and are likely to apply to the Clio and Megane models and, potentially, the Laguna.

Tavares also expanded upon the company's plans for its Laguna hatchback. The model is due for an update and the company boss has conceded that it "needs more emotion." The existing Laguna is a solid, practical car that needs a more adventurous hand in the design. The same "fluid and emotional" aesthetic that Renault has applied to its recent smaller models will apply. It is thought that the coupe and estate versions of the Laguna were unpopular with buyers as a result of bland styling.

Carlos Tavares even deemed the hatchback's rear end as looking "a little bit strange." He pointed towards the latest Renault models, the Zoe, Clio and Captur, to show the direction the company's design language is planning to take for future models. The next Laguna is expected to appear in 2014 or 2015, but information on UK models has yet to be revealed.

Renault design chief, Laurens van den Acker, was similarly forthcoming recently about plans for a dramatic updating of the company's flagship Espace model, which will follow the brand's latest design cues and also distance itself from its traditional MPV market segment, in favour of a more versatile crossover status. Under van den Acker's guidance, the company is keen to push its French origins by focusing on aesthetics in the form of glamour and sensuality, as seen in its 'Circle of Life' collection of concept cars of the last few years.

Renault and particularly its sporting brand, Renaultsport, is currently riding high on its motorsport success and its flourishing budget arm, Dacia.

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