Renault Laguna GT | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo

21 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Renault Laguna GT | evo Car Reviews | Car Reviews | evo

Range-topping Laguna sees the return of four-wheel steering

The Aisin company supplied the 4WS for the GT, just as it did for the Skyline

One thing the Laguna had never been its latest incarnation was surprising. The that it was exactly stylish to snag the odd glance without heads somehow told you you needed to know about how it drive. Quite pleasantly, And thank you for asking.

If it had been a its sound would have described as ‘polite’, and it would been able to do justice to one band: The Corrs.

At least the new launched last summer, its tepid, timid past in two respects: on the outside, vaguely was replaced with startlingly, odd (for the five-door hatch, and build quality took a leap of lunar landing The long overdue transformation in additional benefits: a classy, screwed together interior, accommodation, great (even than before) ride and truly exceptional refinement.

The idea was to bury the ropey old and establish a smart, premium-standard new one – a good move in a sector obsessed with design and Trouble was, the best of the and quality-obsessed competition – excluding the German suspects, let’s it the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6 – had a thing about crisp, handling, something the Laguna did Still a three star then.

And had Renault elected to launch another routine GT range-topper to off the hatch and estate lines, how it likely would have But what’s this coming the hill? The return, after years in the wilderness, of four-wheel As surprises go, it’s a good 4WS, like Betamax and the Digital Audio Tape, is one of technical innovations that promising but never caught on.

It a brief period in the sun in the ’80s the Honda Prelude and Nissan GT-R R32, but then filed under ‘unnecessary as a raft of new traction and stability grabbed the initiative.

Its comeback on the fastest Laguna is in no way connected to the strategic alliance Renault and Nissan – the Nissan-owned company supplied the 4WS hardware for the GT, as it did for the Skyline. The basics haven’t much.

Up to 38mph the rear turn in the opposite direction to at the front, decreasing the turning by 10 per cent, making it the same as a Above 38mph the rear turn in the same direction as the improving stability and grip by the centrifugal forces that act on the of the car during high-speed cornering. The between then and now is the electronic of the system, jointly undertaken by and Renault Sport Technologies, adds a new layer of safety (particularly when braking in conditions and taking emergency avoidance action) to what claims to be the traditional 4WS strengths of low-speed manoeuvrability, sharper responses and greater agility.

On paper, adopting 4WS looks something of a masterstroke, allowing the to retain its supple, cosseting while endowing the chassis the precision and resolve to take on the drivers’ cars in the class, most notably the Mondeo. On the it’s every bit as good as maybe even better.

the firmer springs and dampers, the 2.0T hatch you see here also a 178bhp 2-litre rides even more than the 2WS car on hand for comparison, yet makes it feel astonishingly and unresponsive on the more challenging of Corsica’s snaking tarmac. precision, grip and stability are of a different order. And there’s less elbow work at the helm.

Don’t think, with 2.2 turns between locks, the steering is nervous or edgy; the GT is one of those cars that seems to be in the right place on the rather than having to be steered there. It’s without being exacting, through combinations of bends, simultaneously tidy and malleable. gearchange and brakes, too.

What it isn’t is very ‘Throttle adjustability’ in the usual doesn’t exist. There seems to be the faintest possibility of the the moving a centimetre out of line. understeer is doggedly resisted when it eventually arrives, off merely restores the intended

And the unambiguously macho cabin – flat-bottomed steering wheel, pedal, semi-bucket seats – is at odds with the whispering, engine note and torquey but performance. Then again, as a low-stress, high-ability means of distance, ‘GT’ isn’t so far from the mark.

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