The New Renault Laguna achieves an exceptional NCAP rating in the latest tests - Safety in its genes and equipment | Part Two

 Safety in its genes and equipment

In addition to contributing to driving pleasure, weight optimisation also makes a major contribution to safety, giving shorter stopping distances to enhance active safety and less inertia in an impact to improve passive safety. New Laguna represents an average saving of 15kg across the range (up to 65kg in the case of the eco² 110hp diesel version) and this remarkable achievement makes it the first Renault model to be lighter than its predecessor, yet also safer in terms of protection thanks to its programmed collapse structure which has been engineered to absorb energy under impact, thereby sparing the cabin and ensuring that occupants are afforded the highest possible degree of protection.

In addition to its impressive chassis, New Laguna features class-leading braking performance. The new electro-hydraulic control unit incorporates the Brake Assist function which is triggered more quickly and with greater precision since it is insensitive to mechanical variations. Thanks to a 'pre-fill' function, the system prepares a build-up in hydraulic pressure if the driver's right foot suddenly lifts off the accelerator pedal. The combination of the chassis and more precise, auto-adaptive digital modelling of the vehicle's handling allows emergency situations to be detected more accurately. ABS and ESP are both standard and have been made more efficient by cutting in at the ideal moment to prevent jarring.

As well as the work which has gone into the technical aspects of New Laguna’s safety credentials, its cabin ergonomics also leaves drivers free to concentrate on the job of driving. Motoring data is displayed in a clearer, more graphic form, while the matrix dashboard display features several colours and its format varies as a function of the quantity and type of data being shown. The optional bi-xenon headlamps turn in relation to the vehicle's speed and steering wheel angle, giving up to 90 per cent extra light under cornering compared with halogen headlamps.

New Laguna also comes with modern driver aids such as cruise control, speed limiter, tyre pressure monitoring system, navigation systems and voice- or fingertip-controlled Bluetooth telephone equipment, as well as automatic headlamp and windscreen-wiper activation, plus front and rear parking sensors.

A pragmatic, committed approach

Renault's approach to safety is based on the study of real-life accidents and situations in a bid to provide products that are suited to the realities of motoring. The priority is consequently placed on providing the most efficient technologies possible to prevent the risk of having an accident, to take corrective action when faced with an unexpected driving situation and to protect passengers in the case of impact. Renault, which has long favoured a holistic approach that is not restricted to a single type of equipment or technology, has emerged over the years as the benchmark manufacturer when it comes to safety.

Published 19 December 2007 Melanie Carter

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