As our colleagues from Autoblog have published, the new Renault Laguna is not going to be officially shown off until the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show in October. Renault did, however, release some photos (before someone posted videos of the model, without the permission of Renault) and some engine information. Let's discuss here the base diesel model which has a lot of good ecological implications.
First, the 1.5L 110 HP diesel that get over 46 MPG and has 136g/km of CO2. This engine currently powers the sportier versions of the Clio and the middle Megane. With such an engine, the Laguna becomes a direct competitor of the VW Passat Blue Motion. This diesel Laguna also is labeled with Renault's ECO2 label, and it contains more than 35kg of recycled plastic and also more than 15kg of renewable materials.
It might sound surprising that such a small engine is used for a relatively large car. There is a similar trend at VW with their TSI engines. It's all related to motor taxing in Europe. In places such as France or the Germany
United Kingdom, cars are taxed depending on displacement. That translates roughly to this simple rule: the bigger the engine, the higher the tax you pay for owning the car (usually on a yearly basis). However, it's also benefits everybody, since the smaller an engine is, the less it pollutes.
Correction: Thanks to our readers for the tips on the different taxing systems. In the UK cars are taxed not by displacement but rather by CO2 emissions. For example, this car will attract 115 GBP (roughly 230 USD) road tax per year. Compare it to 140GBP/year for current Laguna 1.9 dCi or 205GBP for Laguna 2.2 dCi.
Gallery: 2008 Renault Laguna