By on February 16, 2012

While the rumormill is rife with talk of Infiniti/Mercedes alliances for small, front-drive cars, one of the products to come out of the tie-up might be a luxury car for Renault.

Bloomberg is reporting that the new Renault luxury car would  arrive sometime after 2014. The Mercedes-based car would follow a new Espace minivan and another luxury sedan (ostensibly to replace the Laguna). Renault COO Carlos Tavares described the car as

“… using their platform and designing a Renault upper body to extend to it what I might call the French touch,”

CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed that the vehicle would be built in France, welcome news in light of Renault’s new habit of outsourcing jobs to “emerging markets“. Renault’s last attempt at an executive car, the Vel Satis, (above) was considered a flop.


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29 Comments on “Daimler-Nissan Alliance Bearing Fruit: Renault To Get Mercedes-Derived Luxury Car...”

  • avatar

    I thought the photo was a joke until I went to wikipedia.

    Normally I’d say stay away from MB, but if that was the best Renault could do, then go for it. Just make sure when dealing with MB, make sure your wallet doesn’t get stolen.

    • 0 avatar

      If you think the Vel Satis is weird, check out the Avantime

    • 0 avatar

      Ah the Vel Satis. Unintentionally, and fraudulently, suddenly accelerating well before anyone heard of PedalGate.

      The difference is that Renault sued their accuser.

      For what it’s worth, I really like the Vel Satis. If you think of it as a hatchback version of the sixth-generation Nissan Maxima, it makes some sense.

  • avatar

    Looks like a Versa.

  • avatar

    You think this is bad, have a look at the Lancia Thesis, proof positive that not all Italian automotive design is created equal.

    (The back of the Lancia Thesis is ok, but the front is just… ugh)

    • 0 avatar

      The Thesis is not *that* bad, in my opinion. A better example of, what shall I say, “polarizing” Italian design, would be the Fiat Multipla, which tends to win most European “ugliest car” awards.

      • 0 avatar

        no that Lancia is pure horrible… the tail isn’t too bad… the theme is also on the Jag XJ

        the Vel Satis for ‘patient zero’ for the malaise affecting Renault Nissan for the last decade or so… you can see the disease on all their cars

      • 0 avatar

        Yes, the Multipla is an ugly little beast, being the euro equivalent to our Aztek, however the Multipla never pretended to be a luxury car. It’s one thing for a cheap car to be ugly (but practical), quite another for an expensive car to look like an ugly cheap car.

        Speaking of funky cars, I find myself lusting over a Renult Avantime… its just so FUNKY! Love it!

    • 0 avatar

      I think the style works ok on their small cars, but way out of proportion on the Thesis

  • avatar

    Daimler tried this once already…

  • avatar

    I guess if you can’t beat them join them. Renault has tried to field an alternative to the German luxury irons, it always ended in dismal failure. I guess they gave up now.

  • avatar

    I thought that the Latitude was their new “luxury” can and it is based on the Laguna (and not MB). And it not ugly:

    The Vel Satis was unusual but that picture does not do it justice. It has a shape somewhat reminescent of a Citroen DS. Still fairly unusual, almost cartoonish design and definitely not for anyone.

    this is a better one:

    • 0 avatar

      The Vel Satis is a good 20-30% taller than a DS though. I thought it was a valid concept – a spacious, comfortable luxury car rather than a sporty one in the mold of the Germans – however the market did not adopt it.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Always thought the Versa , particularly the sedan was ugly and clumsy looking.What year(s) was the Vel Satis manufactured? Quite possibly the ugliest “executive class” car ever built. Maybe junior executive class. Wonder what the interior was like…

    • 0 avatar
      A is A

      “Wonder what the interior was like…”

      Unvelievably well made, espacious and comfortable.

      I know because these behemots are not unusual as taxis here, in Spain. Taxi drivers I talked to about their VelSatis were extremely satisfied.

      I pondered the idea of buying a used VelSatis as my personal car, but the fact that it was based on the disastrously unreliable Laguna II platform made my change my mind.

      OTOH VelSatis are too big for European streets.

  • avatar

    My father-in-law, a European “versed” in history, likes to say lately that two world wars were fought to keep Germany from dominating Europe, and that Germany is taking over anyway, peacefully, through sheer economics. He’s right.

    As for the car being ugly, it has to be, in order to be welcomed as a “French” car.

    BTW, my father-in-law has driven Renaults for 30 years, and they have served him well.

  • avatar

    Despite the combined resources of Nissan and Renault, they just don’t have the sales volume in mid to large RWD luxury sedans to sink a ton of development costs into them – which is why they have partnered with Daimler.

    • 0 avatar

      I beg to differ :) They do have a mid and a large luxury sedan platform already. This is what Infiniti G and Infiniti M are based on (called the Nissan FM platform.) There are both G and M variants with Nissan badges for the Japanese market. This platform is also adaptable to AWD. I do not see why they do not put a Renault shell on the Nissan platform.

      • 0 avatar

        Whether the platform comes from Nissan or MB – I cannot imagine a big Renault to be rwd. This has not happened since shortly after the war. What was their last rwd?! It must be sth. from the 1950s. From the R16 onwards they produced fwd only.

      • 0 avatar


        the Torino was their last rwd and production lasted until ’82. (and it was the result of acquisition not development) Before that the Dauphine/8/10 family that lasted until the late 60s was it (and that was an Alfa Romeo platform IIRC)

        If they want a FWD platform, whey are they talking with Daimler? Not many there… Daimler is developing a FWD platform for their A & B cars, which will also host an Infiniti. But these are small cars.

      • 0 avatar

        Renault Torino = IKA Renault Argentina = AMC Rambler. IKA’s other car was the alfa 1900 with AMC 6 cyl motor.

      • 0 avatar

        There’s no Renault version of the G and M because there’s no “they”: you see, despite the supposed “control” Renault has on Nissan, the reverse is now true — Nissan is now firmly in the driver’s seat in the “alliance”.

        In fact, the only reason these two companies is still together in this loose partnership is because of Carlos Ghosn — he is respected by the Japanese. But after Ghosn, it’s highly doubtful R-N will survive.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    I’ve heard the Val Satis was very good in some ways – interior room and such – but failed badly enough in others (design, for one) that it ended up foundering. Honestly, the front end is a problem but I would have to drive it and ride in it to really judge.

  • avatar

    Oh my gawd France you are late to this party. Talk about a replay of the early 90’s Chevy Nova-Toyota Corolla pact. The only gain will be down the road for buyers of used Renault luxury.

  • avatar

    Oui Renault Le Pen/ Renault Vichy.

  • avatar

    Oui, oui, oui. Renault Darlan, Renault Laval, Renault Collabo

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