Renault has revealed its Kadjar replacement which the brand says “marks the next milestone in the C-segment offensive”
The new Austral will ride on an updated version of the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi alliance developed CMF-CD platform currently used by the Mitsubishi Outlander and forthcoming new-gen Nissan X-Trail midsize SUVs.
Renault has confirmed the Austral will go on sale in Europe in the third quarter of this year, though Australian plans are as-yet unclear.
A spokesperson from the Ateco Group, who imports Renault vehicles into Australia, said that there were “no details to share at this very early stage but we welcome all right-hand-drive products, and look forward to evaluating their suitability for our market.”
The new Renault Austral debuts a new top-level trim dubbed Esprit Alpine that will feature an exclusive ‘Satin Shale Grey’ paint colour and will lift and “sporting DNA” from the recently reinvigorated Alpine brand.
The Austral measures in at 45100mm long, 1830mm wide and 1620mm tall making it 61mm longer and 7mm taller than the Kadjar. The new vehicle also debuts Renault’s ‘Sensual Tech’ design language.
This new design language features a similar front light shape to the current Megane small car, but with new ‘micro optic’ LED technology that gives the Austral a more contemporary look.
Inside the Austral, the “cockpit” features a large ‘OpenR’ display that combines a 12.3-inch digital driver cluster with a 12.0-inch vertical touchscreen. Also available is a 9.3-inch heads-up display.
A Harman Kardon sound system, along with Google multimedia and over-the-air updates, are also included with the Austral.
Interior trim will vary across the range, however Renault says the Austral will have real timber, leather, alcantara and other padded textiles to add a premium feel to the interior.
The top spec Esprit Alpine model will feature more aggressive styling with a unique grille, with a ‘sport blade’ (similar to that found on the Arkana RS-Line coupe SUV), 20-inch diamond-cut aluminium rims, black roof rails and black pack around the exterior.
On the technical side of things, the Austral will offer two rear suspension setups: a torsion beam setup for two wheel steering models and a multi-link rear axle to work with the four-wheel steering for up-spec grades.
A range of powertrains are available for the new Austral, including an ‘E-tech hybrid’ consists of a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor and a 1.7kWh battery pack producing 147kW of power.
The Austral hybrid will always start in electric mode – like a Toyota C-HR hybrid – and returned a fuel efficiency rating of 4.6L/100km in WLTP testing.
There are two other engines for the Austral including a mild hybrid 1.2-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine with a 48-volt lithium-ion battery and starter motor. The 95kW motor, along with manual transmission, scored 5.3L/100km in the combined WLTP cycle.
Finally, Renault will also offer a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder for the Austral that will have a very small 12-volt mild hybrid lithium-ion battery and starter motor. It’ll be available in either 102kW or 117kW guise, with the latter having maximum torque of 270Nm.
The Austral is yet to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP though features such as a centre airbag, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, front and rear AEB and rear cross-traffic alert are all standard.
Additionally, the Austral is outfitted with a suite of driver assistance tech such as adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a 360-degree camera, automatic parking and matrix LED headlights.
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