Five Euro NCAP stars for Renault Laguna
Renault Laguna II was the first ever vehicle to achieve a five-star rating in the passive safety assessment tests carried out by the independent body, Euro NCAP. It was a result that took the automobile into a new era and it is today the turn of New Laguna to be awarded the maximum score. With a total of 36 points from a possible 371, the newcomer even outperformed its predecessor to once again highlight Renault’s expertise in the realm of passive safety. In addition to its Euro NCAP credentials, New Laguna delivers reassuring handling thanks to its precise, responsive chassis, while at the same time ensuring a level of braking and technology that puts the model at the top end of its category in real-life motoring conditions.
Systematic work into optimizing the protection of all occupants
Renault Laguna II was the first ever vehicle to achieve a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety assessment tests. It was only natural therefore that New Laguna should strive to innovate in turn and Renault consequently developed a range of new solutions which take into account research into road accidents and real-life situations in a more holistic and effective manner to ensure the safety of all occupants. To guarantee enhanced protection, New Laguna evolved to ensure that its latest-generation protection equipment was triggered even more quickly. All configurations are now controlled by a triple algorithm in a bid to optimize protection performance in different impact situations (complex front, rear and side impacts). This effective system is combined with either six or eight airbags (optional rear thorax airbags from the second equipment level up) which are positioned all round the passengers.
For effective front impact protection, New Laguna is equipped with two new-generation dualvolume adaptive airbags and a sensor mounted on driver’s side seat-rail. When deployed, the form and volume of the front airbag adapts to the driver’s corpulence (size and seating position) and optimizes the way the load is spread out across the passenger’s head and thorax.
Meanwhile, each one of the three-point seatbelts is equipped with a load limiter (set at 400 and 600daN). The double pretensioners now act on each extremity of the front seatbelts (outer side of the lap-strap and reel). This solution combines with the anti-submarining hump built into the seat cushion to hold the groin against the seat and improve retention of the thorax in the case of frontal impact. The fixed central stalk has been optimized to facilitate the belt’s attachment. At the rear, pretensioners and Isofix anchorage are standard for the outer seats, as are optional convertible child headrests.
Side impacts are a major cause of fatality (very low protection zone), so specific work has gone into this domain with spectacular results. To reduce impact detection and reaction times by up to half, New Laguna features a system based on two sensors incorporated in the front door and B-post. A special algorithm automatically adjusts the system’s response time to match the impact’s force and controls a new-generation, twin-chamber, dual-pressure side airbag which protects both the thorax, which is more fragile, and the more resistant groin area. Legislation dictates that protection should be effective up to 50kph, but New Laguna provides effective protection up to 70kph.
New Laguna is also equipped with warning lights which warn if any of the five seatbelts are not fastened, plus an audible alarm in the case of the front seats. The seat-frames have been redesigned for enhanced efficiency and comfort. Although thinner, the seatbacks offer no impediment to the back, while protection of the neck in the case of rear impact has been
improved, too, thanks to new-generation headrests with built in slide-rails.
Safety in its genes… and equipment
In addition to contributing to driving pleasure, weight optimization also makes a major contribution to safety, with shorter stopping distances enhancing active safety and less inertia in an impact to improve passive safety. New Laguna represents an average saving of 15kg across the range (up to 65kg in the case of the Renault eco² 110hp diesel version) and this remarkable achievement makes it the first Renault model to be lighter than its predecessor, yet also safer in terms of protection thanks to its programmed collapse structure which has been engineered to absorb energy under impact, thereby sparing the cabin and ensuring that occupants are afforded the highest possible degree of protection.
In addition to the remarkable handling of its chassis, New Laguna features class-topping
braking performance. The new electro-hydraulic control unit incorporates the emergency brake assist function which is triggered more quickly and with greater precision since it is insensitive to mechanical variations. Thanks to a ’pre-fill’ function, the system prepares a build-up in hydraulic pressure if the driver’s right foot suddenly lifts off the accelerator pedal. The combination of the chassis and more precise, auto-adaptive digital modelling of the vehicle’s handling allows
emergency situations to be detected more accurately. ABS and ESP are both standard and have been made more efficient by cutting in at the ideal moment to prevent jarring.
Meanwhile, the work that has gone into cabin ergonomics leaves drivers free to concentrate on the job of driving. Motoring data is displayed in a clearer, more graphic form, while the matrix dashboard display features several colours and its format varies as a function of the quantity and type of data being shown. The bi-Xenon headlamps, which are optionally available from the second equipment level up, turn as a function of the vehicle’s speed and steering wheel angle, a much appreciated ’plus’ in day-to-day motoring since this technology provides up to 90 per cent extra light under cornering compared with halogen headlamps.
New Laguna also comes with modern driver aids such as cruise control/speed limiter, a tyre pressure monitoring system, navigation systems and voice- or fingertip-controlled Bluetooth telephone equipment, as well as the automation of certain tasks like headlamp and windscreenwiper activation, plus front and rear parking proximity sensors.
A pragmatic, committed approach
Renault’s approach to safety is founded on the study of real-life accidents and situations in a bid to provide products that are suited to the realities of motoring. The priority is consequently placed on providing the most efficient technologies possible to prevent the risk of having an accident, to take corrective action when faced with an unexpected driving situation and to protect passengers in the case of impact. Renault, which has long favoured a holistic approach that is not restricted to a single type of equipment or technology, has emerged over the years as the benchmark manufacturer when it comes to safety, a claim that is apparent in the results it achieves in media ratings.