Gulf Partner: Renault's Persian-market, Maxima-based Safrane

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.

View 5 Photos

[Source: Renault via CarScoop]

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