Renault launches new Laguna GT at Geneva

Renault launches new Laguna GT at Geneva  
Filed under:
Motor Shows, Sports/GTs, Renault
on 03/04/2008

Source: Renault

Laguna GT - New high performance engines and Active Drive chassis: intense driving pleasure and maximum efficacy. Stylish, expressive Renault Laguna GT introduces the new Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering (4WS), developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies to yield the ultimate in driving pleasure for handling, response and precision. With a choice of two exclusive high-performance engines: 2.0 dCi 180 and 2.0 Turbo 205, Laguna GT makes a sparkling entry into the select field of performance saloons.

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering brings many benefits, starting with manoeuvrability, extremely rigorous dynamic response, and unequalled steering precision which gives the driver truly intuitive control over the cornering line, to attain new heights in driveability and active safety. The steering is immediately reassuring even at low speeds, while extreme precision is achieved through very small steering wheel angles. In town and on winding roads, the car is easy to drive: manoeuvrable and precise. Advanced roll control means the car corners flat, without leaning into the bend.

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also excels in active safety, both under difficult braking conditions (with good control over asymmetrical grip, and ESP matched to sporty driving styles), and during avoidance manoeuvres at speed ('elk' test).

With its distinctive design, Laguna GT offers a unique combination of driving pleasure, peace of mind and affordability, backed by a three-year/100,000 mile warranty.

Impressive manoeuvrability

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel-steering makes Laguna GT exceptionally easy to handle in town and superbly agile on winding roads. At speeds of less than 38 mph, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels, up to an angle of 3.5°. This brings two advantages: a smaller turning circle, for easy manoeuvring; and smaller steering wheel angles thanks to the more direct, specially calibrated steering.
With four-wheel steering on the Active Drive chassis, Renault Laguna GT has a 10 per cent smaller turning circle than with two-wheel steering: 10.80 metres (with 18-inch tyres) instead of 12.05m. The greater the rear-wheel steering angle, the smaller the turning circle. Enhanced manoeuvrability is especially remarkable in tight parking situations and along narrow city streets.

With front wheels and rear wheels turning in opposite directions, the car effectively pivots, which means smaller steering angles are needed for the same turning effect. Whereas it takes a 16° steering wheel angle to produce a 1° turn in the front wheels on New Laguna, it takes just 13.5° with the Active Drive chassis. And this drops to 12° when the rear wheels are turned at the maximum 3.5° angle in the opposite direction to the front wheels. Because steering is more direct, with less need for wide steering wheel angles, the impression of manoeuvrability and agility is greatly enhanced. For any given bend profile, the driver will need less action on the steering wheel. This makes for more effective avoidance, with the car seeming to avoid obstacles effortlessly.

Ultra-precise steering

From 38 mph, the emphasis is on steering precision. The rear wheels turn simultaneously in the same direction as the front wheels, to enhance stability, almost as if the car were running on rails. The Active Drive system with four-wheel steering counters the centrifugal force that tends to push the rear end outwards round bends, and thus raises the safe cornering speed. The rear axle is set on the ideal trajectory, with a rear-wheel angle usually below 2°, for stability and efficacy. The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering enhances dynamic handling, with sound, reassuring response for outstanding driving pleasure.

Unparalleled active safety

The Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering also improves safety for heightened reassurance during avoidance manoeuvres. In an emergency situation, the rear-wheel angle can rise to 3.5°. The 4WS control unit monitors steering wheel angles to detect avoidance situations (recognised by a sudden increase in steering wheel angle) and adapt the rear-wheel turn angle accordingly. Cut-in of the ESP system, specially configured for more progressive driving styles, is delayed, so that the manoeuvre can be performed both safely and more swiftly. ESP is only activated when necessary, being applied gradually in synchronisation with the rear-wheel turn action. Via the ESP/ABS unit, the 4WS control unit also detects asymmetrical braking situations, adapting the rear-wheel turn angle automatically to keep the car stable with no driver action required. This helps the driver keep control during critical situations, and ensures uninterrupted peace of mind during everyday driving conditions.

Dynamic control logic

Developed jointly by Renault and Renault Sport Technologies, the Active Drive chassis with four-wheel steering implements electronic control of vehicle dynamics. A sensor on the steering column sends steering wheel angle information via the CAN network to the 4WS control unit, located behind the rear axle. The 4WS control unit also inputs vehicle speed from the ESP/ABS unit. And it tracks steering wheel angle information to detect sharp steering wheel movements symptomatic of a sports driving style or avoidance situation. All these parameters are analysed to determine the required rear-wheel turn angle, which is implemented by means of an electric actuator on the rear axle. Dynamic vehicle behaviour is precisely modelled to set the ideal vehicle trajectory at each instant, on the basis of the driver’s input and the actual situation of the vehicle. The controller and electric actuator are supplied by Aisin, a Japanese equipment supplier reputed for its experience in four-wheel steering systems.

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