Renault’s Talisman Launched in Iran

Renault is taking direct aim at its East Asian competitors with its new Talisman model
The new Talisman model is likely to carve out a competent share of the market.The new Talisman model is likely to carve out a competent share of the market.
The 1.6-liter engine is a highly linear unit that delivers 200 horsepower smoothly

Renault Pars, along with its Iranian subsidiary Negin Khodro officially launched its latest vehicle, the Talisman, in the Iranian market on September 25, at a press conference marking the latest move by the French company in the domestic market.

The new vehicle which is a large business sedan with all the usual extra trappings is being targeted at the “rich man [sic]” Negin Khodro’s CEO Jamshid Hosseini told reporters.

The new vehicle now fills the void in the market which according to the company chief, was filled only by East Asian car companies, like Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai and Lexus priced at 1.65 billion rials ($47,000) to 1.79 billion rials ($51,000) for the deluxe models with all the high-end expected extras.

The four-door sedan is built by Samsung in South Korea and marketed as the Renault Samsung SM6; it is also built in Douai, France for the European market. The vehicles available in Iran are likely to come from the Korean factory for cost savings.

During a press conference, held at Tehran’s Vahdat (formally Roudaki) Hall prior to the unveiling of the car, journalists posed queries to Negin Khodro executives, with several questioning the high price of cars in the local market.

Negin board members responded by saying that through market research they noted there is demand for high-end vehicles in the market.

To another question on whether the company intends to start production of the vehicle inside Iran, the board members said that there were no plans currently to launch domestic production of the Talisman, but other vehicles are likely to be produced.

They said that the new car is in no-way like their former large sedan model, the Laguna, which was a regular fare in Europe’s car market in the 1990s and 2000s.

The CEO said that there were no plans to launch the station wagon variant in the market, but other high-end models may add to the line up.  

Hosseini said that he intends to sell 2,500 of the Talisman vehicles in the local market by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017) while also noting that totally Negin intends to push 8,000 vehicles through their entire range in the local market to that date.

In a sign of the digitization of the vehicle market, the CEO noted that the Talisman will be launched on the company’s new dedicated “Online Showroom” via with options for test drives and options available online.

  About the Car

The brand new 2016 Talisman that was first presented to the public last September at the Frankfurt Motor Show aims to build the company’s reputation in Iran.

The Talisman wears a bold design that’s inspired by the Kadjar (also coming to Iran), and the smaller Scala (called Megane in Europe). Its front end boasts sharp headlights, long LED daytime running lights that stretch down into the bumper, and a wide grille, while its rear end features a rakish D-pillar and elongated horizontal tail lamps.

The sedan configuration is a little surprising because Renault’s top nameplates over the last few decades have all been two-box models fitted with a large hatch.

  Specifications Sheet

The Talisman rides on a modular platform called Common Module Family (CMF) that underpins a long list of Renault-Nissan models including the Espace.

The vehicle stretches 190.9 inches in length, is 73.6 inches wide and 57.4 inches tall.

These dimensions make it much longer and wider than the Laguna it’s designed to replace, and about the same size as both the US-spec and the Euro-spec versions of the Volkswagen Passat.

All models regardless of power output or fuel type are front-wheel drive.

  The Cabin Layout

The efforts of the company’s designers have clearly paid off, and Renault went as far as asking industrial partner Mercedes-Benz to monitor quality at its Douai, France, factory to ensure every Talisman feels as well-built as it looks.

The 13-speaker sound system was developed by Bose specifically for the Talisman and the sound is rather impressive for a car of this price range.

Select models have an 8.7-inch touch screen that runs Renault’s R-Link 2 infotainment system, which looks like a giant television in the middle of the dashboard (much like the Telsa design).

  The Engine

The 1.6-liter engine is a highly linear unit that delivers 200 horsepower smoothly, and which can “overcome any issue on Iranian highways” according to the literature given.

The company also doesn’t intend to make a hybrid version of the vehicle as it doesn’t see the cost benefit, according to reports from Europe.

Renault has programmed five driving modes called Sport, Eco, Comfort, Normal, and Custom, respectively, into the Talisman.

The car also received a 5-star grade from Europe’s NCAP safety rating agency, putting the car as one of the safest on the road, something that people will notice over here, with local cars getting much worse scores.  

How well will this car be on the local roads? Who knows, but in its price bracket it may just squash its Asian rivals with a price tag that is not more than the much smaller Kia Sportage.