PARIS: Renault has unveiled the name of its future top-of-the-range coupe SUV: Rafale.
Rafale completes the brand’s line-up powered by E-Tech hybrid engines and built on the CMF-CD platform.
Following on from the Austral SUV, the Rafale is Renault’s next highlight and will boost its offensive in the D segment.
The Rafale will probably share commonality with the sixth-gen Espace which is now an SUV instead of MPV. The new Espace is a hybrid vehicle that uses a turbocharged 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine mated with two electric motors for a total output of around 200hp. One of the motor is a starter/generator.
The name Rafale is inspired by Renault’s celebrated past in the air. You have to travel back in time to the early 20th century to see the connection between Renault and aviation.
At the time, Renault was a pioneering manufacturer of combustion engines for cars, as well as for trains and planes.
In 1933, Renault took over Caudron, another manufacturer, and established Caudron-Renault. All the planes were named after a notable wind. Accordingly, the C460, a single-seater racing plane engineered to break records, was renamed Rafale in 1934.
Renault is reconnecting with its history and harnessing the legendary Caudron Rafale’s features in a new high-end car. The semantics point to wind and capture something about its camouflaged silhouette, which instantly conjures up visions of performance, daring, excitement and character.
The Rafale will make its world premiere at the 54th Paris Air Show in Le Bourget on June 18.