Monday, January 18, 2010

Renault Revives Safrane Nameplate with a New Luxury Sedan

French carmaker Renault has revealed a new mid-size luxury sedan that revives the Safrane nameplate after an eight year hiatus. The original Safrane was a rather bluntly styled 5door executive saloon built from 1992 to 2000 that was replaced in the European market by the ill-received Vel Satis. However, the new Safrane, which as you may have already noticed is virtually a rebadged version of the Renault Samsung Motors SM5 sedan, won’t be sold in Europe as the French firm plans to sell it exclusively in the Gulf States where it will be offered with a V6 engine matted to an automatic gearbox.

Like the Samsung SM5, the new Safrane is manufactured in Renault Samsung Motors’ Busan plant in South Korea, an 80.1% owned subsidiary of the Renault group. The Samsung SM5 is developed on the same platform as the Nissan Teana and the North American Nissan Maxima.

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