New design, new personality, new engine, new technologies. News for the Renault Austral and its E-Tech Hybrid variant. The goal? Recovery of the C segment, after the electric Megane E-Tech and the Arkana “coupe” SUV. First contact in images with the new Renault Austral and its different versions.
Renault Austral: “sensual technology”
A real renaissance for the manufacturer in this segment, the Renault Austral embodies a new language: the “sensual technological” design. This is how Renault has christened all the aesthetic and technological codes to which the new Megane E-Tech responds, and now also this new SUV.
Specifically, this translates into tense lines in a body with sculpted surfaces. Muscles protruding at the hind flanks, assertive frontal face and with character, broadly speaking, it is rather dynamic. Both front and rear, fully LED “C” lighting is responsible for the vehicle’s light signature. A few aesthetic details enhance the ensemble, including the chrome-plated checkered grille and the Renault “Nouvel’R” logo.
If the look and volume are reminiscent of a certain 3008, it is clear that this Renault Austral is rather clean in its dynamic approach with a touch of elegance. It is also worth noting the perceived good quality of the assemblies and finishes of this SUV.
Special mention to the black roof, which brings a bit of spirit and sportiness to the Austral. In terms of dimensions, the Renault Austral is 4.51 m long, 1.83 m wide and 1.62 m high. The trunk volume of our Renault Austral E-Tech Hybrid is 430 liters with a fixed seat. This can reach up to 555 liters with the sliding seat (against 500 and up to 575 liters respectively in Mild Hybrid).
Alpine spirit: high-end finish
It should be noted in passing that the Renault Austral inaugurates a new high-end version “Alpine Spirit”. This one is distinguished by its more sporty aspect, taken by a shade Gray Schist Satin with a matte aspect. It is equipped with 20-inch Daytona black aluminum wheels and black decorations (satin and glossy). The Esprit Alpine side badges remind us of the level of finish of the model.
The personality of this version continues inside, with a cabin and an upholstery in Alcantara sewn in blue. Aluminum pedals and “Alpine” door sills complete this new version, with an even more muscular look. Small killer detail: the lettering of the trunk changes from “Austral” to “Austral” for the E-Tech version. The letter “E” is gilded in Equilibre, Evolution, Techno and Iconic finishes. It is blue in Techno Esprit Alpine and Iconic Esprit Alpine finishes.
New platform, new ambitions
The Renault Austral is the first diamond-shaped vehicle to be based on the new generation of the CMF-CD platform. This makes it possible to offer three engines: E-Tech “Full Hybrid”, “Mild Hybrid” and “Mild Hybrid Advanced”.
The former develops between 160 and 200 horsepower thanks to its 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder petrol engine coupled to an electric motor and a 1.7 kWh lithium-ion battery that operates at 400 volts. It is associated with a “optimized with intelligent automatic multimode clutch” gearbox.
The second is based on a 1.3 turbo 4-cylinder petrol (which we already know), assisted by an alternator-starter and a 12 V battery. Available in 140 or 160 horsepower, with X-Tronic automatic transmission for both, and 6- manual speed with 140 horsepower.
Finally, the Mild Hybrid Advanced version is based on the 1.2 + 48 V 3-cylinder battery for 130 horsepower. Announced as a real alternative to diesel, it promises maximum energy efficiency and 20% lower consumption than an equivalent heat engine without hybridization. From 5.3 l / 100 km and 123 g CO2 / km. However, these values are subject to final approval before they can be 100% validated.
Therefore, the ambitions of the Renault Austral are very clear: power and efficiency in everyday life. And on a day-to-day basis, the advanced 4CONTROL four-wheel steering system allows Renault Austral to maximize maneuverability in the city thanks to a turning diameter of just 10.1 m. A unique advantage in its segment, comparable to an urban car! We have to wait for a plug-in hybrid version, which should see the light depending on demand …
Aboard the Renault Austral: techno atmosphere
We have come a long way in Renault, from the first multimedia panels in portrait format! True to the level of technology offered by the new Renault Mégane E-Tech electric, the Renault Austral is 100% modern. The SUV receives us in a spacious and tidy cabin, with a very techno atmosphere.
At the wheel, we are faced with a driving position structured around the big OpenR screen: a 12.3-inch phone, enlarged by a 12-inch vertical screen dedicated to multimedia. This inverted L-shaped layout is complemented by a 9.3-inch front display. Ergonomic innovation continues in the “Grand Confort” center console. This does adapt to a sliding handrail, wide and comfortable, very promising on long trips.
The rear passengers have not been forgotten, with a knee radius announced at 27.4 cm. Enough to make the Austral one of the best in the category in terms of habitability. Interior lighting and real wood inserts mark the techno chic atmosphere aboard the Austral. An interior quite successful for our taste, with its own personality without exaggerating either.
Prices to be specified
As for pricing, we do not yet have official information at the time of writing.
However, we can expect a base price from € 32,000. So will the Renault Austral be able to bounce back against the unbeatable 3008, and make us forget the tenuous success of the Kadjar?