Fleet News

Renault set to tackle top German marques

RENAULT is planning to roll out a svelte rival to Germany's best cars in an ambitious bid to win recognition as a prestige car maker. Due to be on sale by 2001, the plush saloon will be lined up as a direct competitor to BMW's 7-series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class.

Work on the flagship car for the new millennium is thought to have reached an advanced stage - and clues to how it will appear will be revealed when a concept forms the centrepiece of the Renault stand at the Paris Motor Show in September. The bid to join Europe's elite group of prestige car makers will be backed up by a 'niche' stablemate to the saloon, thought likely to be a coupe, to be introduced later.

Also to come off the luxury car platform will be the next-generation Laguna. Due in 2000, the new mid-range model will effectively kill off the Safrane, which will be withdrawn the following year. A Renault spokesman said: 'As higher-power engine options have become available, more luxurious versions of the Laguna are seen as having the potential to satisfy much of the market for the current big car.'

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