For quite some time now, the French automobile manufacturer Renault have had a luxury car project in the pipeline, aimed at the Indian market. Their premium car, called the Renault Latitude, features bold and rich combinations of styling, material finish, gadgets and upholstery, not to forget the majestic form and stance it has on four wheels. It isn’t going to be an easily affordable car, as would be evident from the visual design and technological cues in the complete package. The luxury car would be along the lines of premium city tourers with a massive powerhouse that conveys by deliverance rather than sound.
The car is expected to be powered by a roughly 2500cc petrol engine whose detailed specifications have not yet been revealed by Renault, and although it is obviously going to be high on cubic capacity, Renault claim a good mileage and a fairly high level of fuel efficiency. The power dissipated by the engine is expected to be in the 200 to 240 bhp range with a torque of 450 Nm.
Huge halogen lamps
From the styling point of view, the car is quite a head turner, with a blend of elegant beauty, and boldness clearly seen in the form of the car, which conveys attributes of respect and grandeur. The huge front fascia sports a big chrome grille flanked by headlamps on either side with clean, swept up corners. The huge halogen lamps are subtle yet slightly fluid, as they merge with the front quarter panels. The body panelling is soft to look at visually but with certain surface changes and other features that define a slightly concealed muscular body build. The bumpers have their own inset grille sections and quite dynamic surface flows. The character line that starts on the side from the contact point of the light on the quarter panel, goes all the way to the rear where it merges with the sparkling LED tail lamps also, shaped with a corner sweep.
Steering wheel buttons
The interiors reflect the simplicity and elegance of the Latitude’s exterior and spell luxury in quite a fashion. There is leather upholstery that covers up almost all of the insides of the cabin. The seats, dashboard stiches, door trims, steering wheel, and even the gear knob, have all be wrapped up in a lustrous and shining layer of leather which is pleasant and soothing to the visual senses and very comfortable to the touch and feel. The dash has a combination of both visual and functional ergonomics, and the many little illuminations contribute the essence of luxury along with the gadgetry. The steering wheel sports buttons for an automatic climate control system, cruise control button and a whole lot of audio controls.
The instrument cluster and dashboard are quite pleasing to the eyes. The Latitude features memory seat mapping, and height adjustment for the driver’s seat. Storage and space are ample, both inside the cabin – the small nooks and crannies scattered over the interior, like the standard issue glove box, a sunglass holder, numerous cup holders, stowaways, and the boot area. The GPS and infotainment unit in the dash is also quite well incorporated. The infotainment panel central to the dash is quite big and provides for quite a new age feel.
The music system comes with a multi CD changer, USB and I-pod connectivity, auxiliary input, bluetooth interface and speakers and sound units from Bose, at least six in number, to deliver brilliant sound accoustics.
Amazing drive quality
The car also comes loaded with the regular in class and price range features like Antilock braking system, EBD, ESP, three rear seat belts, traction control, parking sensors and camera guidance, bumper integrated fog lamps, airbags, central locking and immobilizer, braking assist etc.
Both the drive quality and handling are supposed to be amazing with a cultured and instant throttle response, and a sensitive power steering with cruise control. Top notch independent suspension system with constant response and feedback assures the comfort and relaxation that a car of this class has on offer.
A lot of features and specs are still to be disclosed by Renault and although the car has already been displayed at an auto show in Mumbai in the year 2012, there is reason to suspect that there might be a facelift and feature upgrade in order before the car’s official launch in India.
The exact price of the car, like other specifications is undeclared at the moment but we have reason to believe that it will be somewhere in the 30-35 lakh range.