Coming soon: Renault Rafale


Big Renaults have a mixed history here in the UK, where the brand has had greater success with smaller hatchbacks like the Clio, freshly electrified Megane
and, more recently, crossovers like the Captur. But the brand has ambitions to go upmarket, the Austral we’ve just driven with its style and efficiency while this new Rafale goes further still and launches Renault into the luxury coupe-crossover market. The first Renault designed entirely using the brand’s new styling language, you can consider this a hint of what its future models are going to look like. And with its combination of the tall crossover stance with the sloping, coupe-style roof and bold slashes cut into the bodywork it’s bang on trend for launching into a competitive sector packed with stylish rivals. Renault hopes the E-Tech branded hybrid technology that impressed us so much in the Austral will do the same in the Rafale, which launches with what looks like the same 200 horsepower combination of petrol and electric power. If it is the same system it won’t be a plug-in, though the fuel consumption we scored in the Austral suggests it’s very efficient. Indeed, in cities Renault reckons you’ll be doing over three-quarters of your driving in electric mode, even without a plug-in battery. Down the line this version will be joined by a 300 horsepower, all-wheel drive version with a more performance-oriented vibe, though Renault promises a less ‘self centred’ twist on driving pleasure that all on board can enjoy.

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Brian Jones

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