New Renault Laguna | Part Four

New Laguna is equipped with the third-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP) which notably includes eight airbags. Developments include the adoption of an audible warning if the passenger seat belt is not fastened, airbags which cater for a wider range of impact configurations, and new-generation head restraints with integral adjustment for the front seats. These feature support runners which now slide within the head restraint itself rather than in the upper part of the backrest. They improve the posture of the back and provide better support for the head.

In the area of child safety, the rear side seats can be fitted with a convertible child head restraint. In the closed position, this looks the same as a standard adult head restraint. When it is opened it flips lower to form a protective cocoon around the head of a child seated on a booster.

New Laguna has an ESP with understeer control that now takes account of the elasto-kinematics of the suspension and wear in the tyres. A new-generation ABS/ESP unit (MK 60 P) also ensures faster reaction of the ESP. New Laguna thus enjoys better control and exhibits faster times through obstacle-avoidance tests.

The ASR traction control function complements the ESP when starting from rest or accelerating in conditions of poor adhesion. It is also now more effective on "split-mu" surfaces, with grip on a single wheel, or on gradients up to 15%.

By comparison with the previous version, adaptive-range xenon headlamps provide improved lighting. The headlamps are equipped with a "lifting dipped beam" function to improve light output. In addition, the beam height is constantly controlled, both statically and dynamically, to take account of the car’s pitch attitude. In urban driving and at low speeds, the beam adapts itself by angling downwards. It does not dazzle other road users. With the adoption of elliptical lenses, the xenon-type dipped beam units gain in size, output and consistency.

Six levels of luxury

Laguna always enjoyed the reputation of being the best equipped car in the class and the 2005 model cranks up the equipment tally to even higher levels. Trim levels are still six – three majoring on luxury - Expression, Privilege and Initiale and three emphasising Laguna’s sporty nature - Extreme, Dynamique and GT.

Full prices and specifications will be revealed shortly prior to cars entering the showrooms.

Published 9 February 2005 Melanie Carter

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