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by Tim Beissmann

The first official photos of the facelifted 2011 Renault Laguna have been released around four weeks out from the vehicle’s unveiling at the 2010 Paris Motor Show on September 30.

But according to Renault Australia managing director Rudi Koenig, the update is no certainty to come to Australia, with the largely unloved Laguna potentially on its last legs as the international medium-large Latitude sedan waits in the wings.

“Laguna hasn’t worked well in Australia. It’s basically been an expensive car,” Mr Koenig said.

“The early models of Laguna had some issues. The current model is a good car, but we haven’t been able to sell them in volume, and at the moment anyone who is selling premium products is finding it a bit tough.”

He said Renault Australia was currently still weighing up the financials of the situation but said an announcement on Latitude would be made at October’s Australian International Motor Show.

“At the Motor Show in Sydney next month we’ll be doing a presentation covering that off, so it’s not quite confirmed yet but we’ll have something to say about it at the Motor Show.

“What we can say at the moment is that Renault Australia has Latitude under consideration, and if it is [introduced] it would replace Laguna,” Mr Koenig said.

He admitted that if Latitude was secured for Australia it would not arrive until 2011, with Renault already committed to introducing six new models before the end of the year.

The images of the 2011 Laguna hatch and wagon reveal a tweaked front end with reworked headlights, a more muscular bumper and more pronounced grille.

The interior also appears to benefit from a subtle refresh, with the model shown in the images scoring a stitched dashboard and soft-touch textures. Renault will confirm the full list of upgrades at the vehicle’s launch.

What it has already confirmed is that the brand’s 4Control four-wheel steering system will become available on the 110kW diesel and 125kW petrol models, while a cleaner 1.5-litre 82kW diesel engine – which emits 120g/km CO2 – will join the European line up.




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