Spotted undergoing testing on public roads in Europe, the heavily camouflaged prototype gives us our first look at the new D-segment sedan that will replace the slow-selling Europe-only Laguna and Asian-made Latitude models in Renault’s showrooms around the world.
The images uncover a long, low and sleek stance for the new flagship sedan, which has a similar silhouette to the Volkswagen CC and other mid-sized ‘four-door coupes’.
Thin, sinister LED headlights flow out from Renault’s trademark grille, which has become a feature of the new design language created under design director Laurens van den Acker.
Subtly flared wheel arches sit between relatively long front and rear overhangs and surround a long wheelbase that suggests the new sedan won’t be dwarfed in the company of top-selling medium rivals such as the Mazda 6 and Toyota Camry.
Shots of the rear expose a lip spoiler on the boot lid and slimline LED tail-lights that appear to span the tailgate and rear-quarter panels.
Despite some overseas reports suggesting otherwise, our spies claim a source has told them that the sedan will be joined by a wagon variant within 12 months of launch.
Speaking with CarAdvice late last year, van den Acker said the new D-segment sedan – Renault is yet to confirm what name it will wear – was a car he was “very proud of”.
The French brand’s design boss said having a D-segment vehicle in its line-up was crucial in Asian markets – where large sedans sell in big numbers – and also important for the company’s status.
“I do think that if somebody drives an Audi A3, he is happy to know there is an A8 somewhere in the line-up. Even if he will never own it, you know, it pulls up the esteem of the brand.”
Renault launched the current-generation Laguna in Australia in 2008 but discontinued the model three years later. It currently sells the Fluence and Latitude sedans in very small numbers.
Renault Australia managing director Justin Hocevar told CarAdvice late last year the new medium-large sedan was not a high priority for the local division, but suggested it would be offered to customers if and when it was made available to our market.
“We’ve got C and D segment sedans right now – we haven’t got any plans to drop either,” Hocevar said.
“We’ll dial it up when appropriate.”
Click the Photos tab for more images of Renault’s new sedan.