PARIS –SA will launch a replacement for its Vel Satis luxury sedan this fall everywhere but in Europe.
Launched in Korea last year as theSamsung SM5, the car will be named the Latitude when it debuts at the Moscow auto show in late August.
The vehicle will be launched this fall in Asia, Africa, Russia, Turkey, the Gulf States, Australia and Mexico. Renault for several years has sold the previous-generation SM5 in the Gulf region and Mexico as the Safrane.
Renault says a European version of the car will be shown at the Paris auto show, which opens to the public in October. The vehicle is expected to go on sale on the continent in 2011.
The Latitude sports a different front grille than the SM5 and a unique badge. Renault has not disclosed what engines will power the vehicle. The SM5 is available with 2.0L and 3.5L gasoline engines shared with alliance-partnerMotor Co. Ltd., as well as diesels mills from Renault.
While the Vel Satis was a very French attempt to redesign luxury and a subsequent commercial failure, the Latitude is a basic conservative sedan with an exterior that won’t necessarily distinguish itself.
Despite its no-frills looks, the SM5 is a success in Korea, where it sold 40,000 units in the year’s first three months.
The SM5/Latitude offers a range of high-end interior features, such as 3-zone air conditioning, double perfumers and a massaging front seat.
While it uses elements of the Renault Laguna platform, it is 23.6 ins. (60 cm) longer than the Laugana’s 192.5 ins. (489 cm) , closer in size to the5-Series and Audi A6.