This is the new Renault Rafale, a coupe SUV with some bold styling and a 300hp hybrid system. Read on for all you need to know.
- New Renault Rafale revealed
- Flagship coupe-SUV from Renault
- Bold exterior styling
- Similar interior to the Megane E-Tech
- 300hp plug-in hybrid version available
- On sale early next year
It features flamboyant French styling, a high-tech interior and the option of an all-wheel-drive model with 300hp. You can expect to see this car appear on UK roads in early 2024.
New Renault Rafale design
The new Renault Rafale shares a lot of its parts with the new Renault Austral, however the design is unique to this model.
Up front, you have a similar funky-looking grille design to the recently-updated Renault Clio, and you have some slim LED headlights with the daytime running lights incorporated into some black trim lower down the bumper.
The sporty sloping roofline separates this from the slightly more boxy Austral, and there’s some glossy black cladding around the wheel arches.
At the rear you have a spoiler which looks similar to the one found on the Peugeot 408. The LED tail lights have been pushed to the outer corners of the car to give it a wider stance, and the lower bumper is finished in contrasting gloss black.
New Renault Rafale interior and infotainment
Those who have spent any time around the new Renault Megane E-Tech will find the cabin of the Rafale quite familiar.
You get a similar infotainment system to that car, with a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 12.0-inch portrait infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These screens are wrapped around the driver, just like you have in the Megane.
When you go for the Esprit Alpine trim then you get alcantara sports seats with an Alpine logo which lights up, and there’s a sunroof which can darken at the touch of a button.
New Renault Rafale engine and driving
From launch, the Renault Rafale will be available with two different engines, one self-charging hybrid called the E-Tech and a plug-in hybrid. Both use a 1.2-litre turb0charged three-cylinder petrol engine with 130hp.
The self-charging hybrid uses an electric motor on the front axle and a smaller one in the gearbox to boost efficiency, and it has a combined 200hp. The E-Tech can drive on pure electric power at low speeds in traffic.
See what Mat makes of the Renault Megane E-Tech…
The other option is a plug-in hybrid. It adds another motor powering the rear wheels, giving it all-wheel-drive, and it has a combined 300hp. Being a plug-in hybrid, it can drive using just the motors at higher speeds and for longer periods, although Renault hasn’t confirmed exact details for this model yet in terms of electric range.
The Rafale is available with rear-wheel-steering as well. This can turn the rear wheels in the same direction as the front for added agility on a back road, or it can turn them in the opposite direction for better manoeuvrability in town.
When will the Renault Rafale go on sale?
The new Renault Rafale is expected to go on sale early next year, with deliveries starting in the spring of 2024.
Exact pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, however you can expect it to fetch a premium over the Renault Austral. A starting price of around £40,000 seems likely.
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