Renault CEO, Carlos Ghosn has just taken the covers off its new flagship D-segment saloon, replacing the old Laguna model with this new chic and contemporary example. Renault’s new design direction (evident here) has also been previewed on the fifth-gen Espace MPV. One of the design priorities was to embody a luxurious feel in this D-segmenter.
The Talisman is built at its new state-of-the-art production plant located in northern France, employing new technology and building techniques which ensures a higher standard of build and finish quality. The Talisman was a project booted at a cost of over RM1.77 billion.
Almost immediately, we were drawn to the front fascia featuring Renault’s new aggressive styling direction. Angular is one way to begin describing it. The signature C-shaped LED Day-time Running Lights (DRL) gets the ball rolling. The distinctive DRLs are actually composed of two parts – top and bottom. Illuminating the path forward is a pair of headlights, christened by Renault’s ‘Pure Vision’ LED headlamps. The chrome grille and diamond-shaped insignia remain true to the fresh styling.
Keeping to the design key are sleek lines that run the length of this 4.85 metre long saloon. An interesting design feature is the third side window that’s reminiscent of large German luxury cars, which undoubtedly gives the Talisman a more grown up feel. Depending on the trim, the wheels are specifiable from 16 to 19 inch alloys.
Stepping around the back reveals a broad, sleek rear end that’s been forked to be as angular and aggressive like the front. To this affect, you will find a couple of slim chromed exhaust tips on the lower bumper. The tail lamps are thin clusters, adorned with an almost 3D-like LED lights that are always switched on, something like the Dodge Challenger and Charger.
The Talisman is available in a choice of five different trim levels, namely Life, Zen, Business, Intens and the range topping Initiale Paris trim depending on which receiving market gets it. The Initiale Paris trim represents the best that Renault has to offer in the realm of interior design, featuring Nappa leather upholstery and trimming, amongst others.
Greeting the driver is a redesigned steering wheel that imparts a sporty hint with the flattened bottom end. Looking past that is the instrument gauge cluster that seems to be lifted straight of a Lexus LFA. As it happens, the digital display is configurable. The infotainment department is helmed by an 8.7-inch display on the range topper. The entry level Talisman makes do with a 4.2-inch display.
This French D-Segment sedan comes with a 13-speaker Bose Surround Sound system that manages to incorporate two sub-woofers for a more ‘enveloping’ acoustic effect. Renault and Bose have pushed the boat out in this aspect. All the glass panels have been acoustically treated for an optimised result.
Powering this handsome barnstormer is a combination of two petrol mills and three oil burners. The powerplants are dubbed with the Energy moniker. Renault has yet to release the full power figures though. The Energy TCe 150 and Energy TCe 200 units will be exclusively mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch EDC automatic transmission with a 150 hp and 200hp respectively.
The Energy dCi 110 and 130 diesel lumps is paired either to a six-speed manual transmission or the six-speed dual-clutch EDC automatic gearbox. The range topping oil burning variant, the twin-turbo Energy dCi 160 unit comes exclusively mated to a six-speed dual-clutch EDC gearbox.
The Talisman also features a system called 4Control, which basically translates into four-wheel steering for better handling and feel. Aside from that, it comes also with active damping suspension technology which allows it soak up bumps and dips on the road.
WHAT ELSE ?
A colour HUD or head up display means that you’ll never need to take your eyes off the road. Speaking of colours, the Talisman is made available in 10 shades of paint. Nine of them are metallic, in case you’re wondering. Also, should you find yourself in a parking lot, hit a button and take your hands of the wheels, because the Talisman can park itself – yes, you read that right. Complementing this front is a comprehensive range of ADAS driving aids.
So, what do you think of the Talisman? Will it be Renault’s good luck charm in the competitive D-Segment category? Share with us your thoughts!