• Aug 28th 2008 at 8:27AM
  • 19

Click above to view the Renault Safrane in high resolution

The Persian Gulf is fast becoming a demanding market for luxury automobiles. So demanding, in fact, that some automakers have begun creating special models just for consumption there. Just days ago we brought you news that Rolls-Royce, having already shipped a golden Drophead Coupe for one special customer, was launching a limited edition Phantom saloon called the Peony edition.

This, however, is not a special Rolls-Royce. We won't list all the ways in which it isn't a Roller, but will save your time and ours by listing instead what it shares in common. It's a luxury sedan, and it's made specially to be engulfed by the Gulf market. That's about it. The Safrane nameplate was previously used for Renault's lackluster flagship sedan, replaced by the reviled Vel Satis in 2000. So what is this exactly that has revived the name? A rebadged Samsung SM5, essentially. That vehicle is produced in an 80.1% Renault-owned joint venture in South Korea. If you're noticing some similarities with our own Nissan Maxima, you've got a keen eye, as it shares its platform with the last-gen Maxima as well as the Nissan Teana (itself available only in the Asian market).

Unless you live in Dubai, you probably won't be seeing one of these any time soon, but you can check it out in the gallery below.

[Source: Renault via CarScoop]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why does it look like a freakin Impala? Gimme the Maxima....
      • 7 Years Ago
      interesting. most carmakers would take an old platform and move it downstream (read old Audi A4 as new SEAT) but Carlos? no, lets take an old midmarket platform and move it up to a luxury class.

      If Renault can really pull this off, my a$shat's off to Ghosn.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Um, doesn't "the Persian market" actually equates to Iran?

      Yes, I know what you really mean. It's just that you're saying something else...
      • 7 Years Ago
      it has a bit of Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Maxima to it
      • 7 Years Ago
      I would love to roll up to Club Perj in one of these!
      • 7 Years Ago
      To think I thought Toyota had cornered the market on blah. This thing might induce drive-by narcolepsy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It is very inetresting how the rebadging of platforms can bring new life in another market. This is will bring the $$$ for the car companies. The car manufacturers who embrace this business model will be successful on a global level. Look at VW at the high end perspective: VW:AUDI,BENTLEY,LAMBORGHINI,BUGATTI. They all have styling cues from one another. It works well when the technology is shared across the board. Mercedes dumped the technology from the S-Class into the new C-Class to generate more sales. It worked. There are more of the C-Class on the street lately than Japanese brands. This will work.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's not a Maxima, that's a Teana.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What better way to portray American ignorance than to equate the Gulf and Persia as the same place. This new Safrane is for the GCC market (aka Arabs). Arabs and the GCC have nothing to do with Farsi-speaking Iranians (aka Persians). Even the Iranian car market has completely separate homegrown offerings.

      - Shahzad Sheikh (editor of car middle east)
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK guys, it's obviously bad photoshop work. The pictures are from the Samsung Motors website - http://www.renaultsamsungm.com/main/index.jsp The car is SM5, somebody only changed the name on the plate and the logo (BTW Renault doesn't use this small logo from years). Even if Renault plans to rebadge this car (there are some rumours) there will be far more changes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      looks more like an M35/45 from the side profile than a maxima
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks good, the front end looks like that big Citroen, and the rear doors reminds me of the second generation altima, the rear tailights are something new that I like.
      The dash is really nice, I would love to see it in nissans in the usa.
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