Upcoming Renault Austral has been revealed in a series of official camouflage shots, giving us our best look yet at the new crossover
These new official camouflage shots of Renault’s forthcoming Austral SUV give us our best look yet at the new family-sized model that will replace the firm’s Kadjar later this year.
Renault has outlined that the Austral is undergoing final development, with a focus on fine-tuning its engine line-up and the car’s reliability.
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The French brand confirmed that “the development of the new Renault Austral is being completed, with final checks of the new CMF-CD3 platform and the all-electric engine options.” The brand has confirmed that this means an all-electrified line-up featuring E-Tech hybrid and mild-hybrid units, and not a full EV version.
A fleet of around 100 test cars and a team of 900 drivers will cover ‘confirmation runs’ that will total a combined 600,000km (around 373,000 miles) covered on the open road and the remaining 1.4 million kilometers (870,000 miles) completed on the test track.
According to Renault, “These tests will enable the teams to approve the adjustments made to the new CMF-CD3 platform and driver assistance systems, as well as sound-proofing and the comfort of the suspension system so that future customers can enjoy the best conditions possible.”
The model, which will rival the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan, is expected to be unveiled in the latter part of 2022. Although this prototype is wearing a mix of view-distorting pattern disguise and wrapping with fluorescent flashes, we can see that the Austral will take plenty of design inspiration from Renault’s Megane E-Tech electric hatchback. Indeed, details such as the slim, high-mounted LED headlights, clamshell bonnet and curved front fascia are similar.
In the prototype’s side profile, we can also see a similar shape to the doors and rising shoulder line as the Megane E-Tech. The glasshouse is smaller than the Kadjar’s but larger than the Megane E-Tech’s, which fits in with the Austral’s positioning as a taller, crossover-bodied version of the Megane.
We can also see that details such as the Megane E-Tech Electric’s flush-fitting door handles, aren’t due to make production if this prototype is anything to go by. The rear of the development car features a large version of Renault’s recently redesigned retro-inspired 2D badge in the centre of the tailgate; a sloping windowline, slim tail-lights and a chunky lower bumper also feature.
The brand says that the new name for the SUV “claims the French origins of the manufacturer and evokes the colours and warmth of the southern hemisphere”.
The 4.5m-long five-seat SUV will appear in the spring, and if you click through our picture gallery, Auto Express has previewed how it could look once the camouflage is peeled back in a series of exclusive images – again, carrying through many styling cues as first seen on the brand’s Megane E-Tech Electric.
However, unlike the Megane, the Austral will retain combustion engines. Underpinned by the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s latest CMF-C platform – the same architecture used by the current Nissan Qashqai – the Austral should bring improvements in practicality and space over the Kadjar.
The brand has confirmed the engine line-up will consist of petrol-hybrid-only powertrains, including the latest-generation E-Tech hybrid, a 1.3 TCe 12-volt mil-hybrid unit, and a 1.2 TCe motor with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology.
Renault has confirmed that the engine range will offer CO2 emissions as low as 105g/km and a maximum power output of 197bhp.
Expect a thorough overhaul inside, with the brand’s latest OpenR Link infotainment system set to feature. Powered by Android Automotive, the set-up combines a 12.3-inch dash with a 12-inch touchscreen.
Click here for our review of the new Renault Megane E-Tech Electric SUV…
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