Renault Talisman is a very good-looking car, no two ways about it. It manages to look imposing and elegant (well, aside maybe from the running-mascara daylights) while at the same time retaining a clear family resemblance to the more swoopy Renault designs such as the Twingo or Clio thanks to the imposing diamond on its grille. However, there is one element of the car’s design that to me always looked too similar to one of its direct competitors, namely the front lights.
It is not an obvious similarity, since the designs of the the two cars are otherwise not that close, but the Renault’s headlights bear a clear resemblance to the items on the european VW Passat. They both share the same aggressive slant on the inner corner, the same pointy finish where the lights extend into the fender, but most importantly the same flat top that gives the cars an aggressive, furrowed brow look, accentuated on the Passat with a chrome strip, and on the Renault by the LED daylights. It brings to mind Mazda CX-5 and Infiniti QX60: two cars that don’t look very alike, aside from the almost-identical headlight design.
Was the Talisman, revealed mid-2015, actually influenced by the Passat, itself released in the fall of 2014? Long lead times on converting designs into production would suggest there was not enough time for that. However, looking at the unusual shape of the edge of the hood above the front fenders one has to wonder whether the Talisman was not originally intended to have different lights, more akin to the large swoopy items on its smaller Clio sister, which were then replaced at the last minute by the final design we see now. This would not be the first time, as Carlos Ghosn famously directly interfered with the design of the second-generation Renault Twingo, deeming the original not good enough.