Here’s a question for you? Have we seen the last truly beautiful Renault? Take a look at Renault’s website and you’re not exactly greeted with a line-up of supermodels. It’s more nightmare than Knightley. More blimey O’Reilly than Rachel Riley.
Actually, that’s a bit unfair. The new Captur has a certain ‘Frenchness’ to it and the revised Megane Renaultsport looks a bit good. And the Renault Twin’Run? Well that’s a contender for PetrolBlog Car of the Decade (see photos at foot of page).
But beautiful? No. It’s an awful long time since we saw a genuinely beautiful Renault. Do a Google image search for ‘beautiful Renault‘ and see what comes up. Standout contenders include the Renault DeZir (just a concept), the Renault Alpine A 110-50 (another concept) and stuff from the 1960s and 70s (too long ago). So here’s something to consider. Was the Laguna Monaco Coupé GP special edition the last truly beautiful Renault?
Not just good looking or dramatic. Genuinely beautiful.
Admittedly, there’ll be some who’d choke on their Biére de Garde at the mere thought of such a claim, but consider the facts.
The evidence is staring you right in the face. Just look at it – the Laguna Monaco Coupé GP is delightful. An unlikely cocktail that blends repmobile with French flair and a dash of Aston Martin to create something quite magnificent. The rear end is a particular win – the kind of bottom you could stare at all day and not get into trouble with the missus.
The standard Laguna Coupé tends to blend into the background, not least because many seemed to be ordered in ditchwater grey. But the Monaco GP special edition changed all that with its fancy Pearlescent White paintwork, Pearl Black roof, gloss-black alloys and matching door mirrors.
Renault tried to shift the Monaco GP using typically OTT brochure speak. “Imagine yourself in Monaco’s Casino Square”, it said, as Renault attempted to hypnotise buyers into parting with the £23,805 they’d need to put a little French glamour on their driveway in Nuneaton. “This stylish grand tourer becomes the fashion accessory you want to be seen in. Only a few will earn the privilege and pleasure. Make it your own”, proclaimed the brochure, sounding desperately hard not to sound like an ad for an aftershave.
Renault threw l’évier de cuisine at the Monaco GP, with a Bose sound system, TomTom sat nav, acres of Anthracite leather and sports seats going someway to justifying the high price tag.
Sadly buyers were restricted to a 2.0-litre dCi diesel engine, but it did offer 400Nm of torque at 2,000rpm and 180hp at 3,750rpm. A Monaco circuit-friendly top speed of 138mph was possible and 62mph was achievable in a respectable 8.5 seconds. What’s more, Renault’s 4Control four-wheel steering system meant that the weight of that diesel lump wasn’t quite as much of an issue when you ventured into the hills above Monaco.
We could mention the claimed 45.6mpg on a combined cycle or the fact that dynamically it didn’t quite live up to its glamorous looks or illustrious moniker. But none of that really matters. You only need to look at the thing. The Renault Laguna Coupé Monaco GP is the last beautiful car Renault produced. And there’s every chance we won’t see the likes of it again.
But here’s something to consider. If How Many Left? is to be believed, the Monaco GP is already facing an uncertain future, with numbers already in decline. And we’re not exactly talking about telephone number levels of production. Blink, and the Laguna Coupé Monaco GP will be facing extinction. A two or three year old car will cost you between £10,000 and £12,000, meaning that 50% of the Monaco GP’s value has already been wiped away.
And £10,000 is a small price to pay for such a beautiful car.
Rare, good looking and the last beautiful Renault we’re likely to see. A future classic in the making.