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Tony O'Kane | Jul, 07 2015 | 5 Comments

The Talisman midsize sedan, the replacement for the Latitude and Laguna that's just been officially unveiled in France, will not be built in right-hand drive. An appearance on Australian roads is thus off the cards.

And with production of the Latitude already winding up in preparation for the Talisman's arrival and no replacement announced, Renault's Australian arm will soon be left without a mid-size sedan.

Globally, the Latitude - along with its European-market sibling, the Laguna - will be superseded by the Talisman, which will become Renault's new global midsize or D-segment sedan.

However with the UK, Australia, Japan, India and South Africa being the only notable RHD markets (and relatively small ones, at that), Renault has reportedly deemed it uneconomical to tool up to make a right-hook version of the Talisman for export.

And for Renault Australia, that may not be such a bad thing.

The non-luxury midsize segment in Australia is in slow decline, with overall year-to-date segment sales being 3.8 percent down against the same period in 2014.

And there's not much lover for the Latitude from those buying in that segment, with just 39 sold year-to-date.

Whether the company decides to replace the Latitude locally with another product remains to be seen, however at least for the interim there's no apparent plan to do so.

"At this time [Talisman] is only produced in left hand drive, so we are unable to introduce it to Australia," Renault Australia spokesperson Emily Fadeyev said to TMR

"At this time we have stock of Latitude in the dealer network. We have already received our final allocation of cars for this market but we can’t comment on when production in Korea will cease."

The Talisman is built on the same CFD platform that underpins the Espace people mover (another Europe-only Renault product), and comes with five engine choices - three diesel, two petrol.

Power outputs range from 81kW for the dCi 110 diesel to 147kW for the Energy TCe 200 petrol. Fuel economy figures have yet to be revealed, but the dCi 110, the thriftiest model in the range, emits just 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre.

The engines drive the front wheels exclusively via a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic in the petrols or a six-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch auto in the diesels.

It's not short on high-tech features either. Rear-wheel steering is offered on high grade models, as is a head-up display and active dampers. It's also the first model to get Renault's new iDrive-like rotary infotainment interface.

Inside, Renault has improved the quality of materials and design, with the dashboard now dominated by a 8.7-inch touchscreen in higher grade models. Others will get a conventional seven-inch infotainment display.

MORE: Renault News and Reviews

 
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