Tuesday 26 August 2008

New Car: 2009 Renault Safrane

Renault is making a big saloon again, but this time it won't be sold to Europeans.

This is the reborn Safrane, a large Korean-built saloon that the French manufacturer is aiming to sell in the Middle East. It's powered by a 2.3-litre V6 engine producing around 170bhp or a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine; both units are mated to an automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

Renault is keen to pitch the Safrane as a premium item (climate control, leather seats, Bose stereo etc), but it sports one of the most complex, muddy bloodlines of any car on the market; it's essentially a rebadged Samsung SM5 (a model only available in Korea), which is essentially a rebadged Nissan Teana (a model available in Japan and China), which sits on the same platform as Nissan's Maxima and Altima.

The new Safrane will be built in Busan, South Korea, alongside Renault's first joint venture with Samsung Motors, the Koleos SUV. Sales start in early September.

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