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by George Skentzos

Even though Renault has already released the first official images of its upcoming Laguna replacement – the Renault Latitude – the test mule has still been spotted in the final stages of development.

There is no need to speculate on what lies beneath the camouflage, although with hindsight it provides an interesting twist on the spy photograph formula by revealing the model before we catch a glimpse of the development prototype.

The Renault Latitude is based on the Samsung SM5 which in turn is based on the Renault Laguna platform, with Renault planning to build the new model in Korea alongside the Koleos.

While the engine line-up is yet to be confirmed, our sources speculate it will be similarly equipped to the SM5 with the possibility of a few Euro6-compatible engines from the Mercedes-Benz stable finding their way into the car.

At the very least it is well known that Carlos Ghosn, chairman for Renault-Nissan, wants Renault to expand into the North American market in the long term which could prove to be a much simpler task with some help from the Mercedes-Benz dealer network.