WHEN: Late 2013
HOW MUCH: Rs 20 - 25 lakh
ENGINES: 2.0-litre dCi diesel (150 PS / 340 Nm); 2.5-litre V6 petrol (180 PS / 235 Nm)
Renault India is presently evaluating a business case for the Latitude sedan. The Renault Latitude is presently the largest car in the French car-maker’s line-up, and is a premium sedan targeted at emerging markets in Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle-East and Africa.
The Renault Latitude was first displayed at the Moscow International Motor Show in 2010, with sales commencing in 2011. Given the Renault’s strong emphasis on style, the Latitude was the official car of the 2011 Cannes film festival, giving the car that special halo of glitz and glamour which works so well for this customer segment.
Nicole Kidman steps out of a Renault Latitude at the Cannes Film Festival
The Renault Latitude replaces the Laguna as the largest car in Renault’s sedan range. It is 4,897 mm long, and sits on a 2,762 mm wheelbase. Renault claims it offers class-leading interior legroom, a very important consideration for the nouveau riche clientele the car hopes to attract. It is interesting to note that the Latitude platform is a hybrid of the erstwhile Renault Laguna and the Nissan Teana. It shares the rear sub-frame and multi-link rear suspension arrangement with the Teana, while also utilising its excellent 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine in some markets, like Australia. These are important points of consideration for RNAIPL, since a degree of localisation for the Teana is understood to be underway, including assembly from CKD kits at the Oragadam facility near Chennai.
Renault has sought to position the Latitude as a premium sedan, but with features from a higher class of car. Leather seats, twin sunroof, massaging seats, 10-speaker Bose audio system, multi-zone climate control with cluster ioniser and deodoriser, built-in navigation system, multi-device connectivity including Bluetooth, USB and iPod, front and rear parking sensors, reverse camera, ESC (Electronic Stability Control), multiple airbags, adaptive cornering headlights, etc are all offered on the Latitude. Renault hopes the high level of equipment will act as a lure for car buyers, and they’re right. The car has been selling strongly in other markets, and Renault India feels the same recipe should work in India as well.
The Renault Latitude offers massaging seats (L); automatic transmission option with both petrol and diesel variants.
Like we mentioned earlier, the Latitude could be offered with the same 182 PS, 2,496 cc petrol V6 as seen in the Nissan Teana. This engine however would likely be mated to Renault’s own 6-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, unlike the CVT offered with the Teana. More importantly for Indian car buyers, the Latitude also has the option of the excellent 2.0-litre dCi diesel family. Designated M9R, this is the same engine that Renault presently offers in the Koleos SUV in India, which is a further clue to the viability of the Latitude for the Indian car market.
Spacious interior will be a key USP in the Renault Latitude
Renault India has seen a flurry of launches since it commenced Indian operations, not least of all the recent Duster compact SUV launch. It is set to follow this up with the Scala mid-size sedan by Diwali, along with an aggressive dealer expansion across the country. Renault officials admit that they’ve got their hands full, but are adamant that for India they still have some plans for additional models. If the Latitude gets the green light, it would compete with the Honda Accord, Skoda Superb, Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Hyundai Sonata and the Volkswagen Passat, not to mention the Peugeot 508, which is also expected in the Indian market sometime next year. This is an extremely competitive segment with a definite preference for diesel power, and a segment which is currently ruled by the Superb.
But don’t under-estimate Renault. The French car-maker carries the cache of a European brand, but has managed to launch all its products at extremely competitive price points. If it can manage to price the Latitude competitively, and given the car’s high equipment levels, it is entirely possible that the Renault Latitude could succeed in India.
Renault Upcoming Cars
The facelifted Renault Fluence will go on sale in Europe in 2013 and is expected to go on sale in India soon after. Read More...
French carmaker Renault will soon be launching its second sedan in India – Renault Scala. Riding high on the success of its compact SUV Duster which received an impressive opening, Renault is looking to extend their success story with the launch of the Scala this Diwali. Read More...
The new Renault Koleos is st to be launched in India this October, in time for the festive season comprising Dusshera and Diwali. This will be the French firm's first SUV and its second-ever model in India. Read More...
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