The all new Renault Rafale 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid will reach markets in spring 2024. It will be built at the company's Palencia plant in Spain.
“The all new Renault Rafale is central in the Renaulution, symbolises our move upmarket," said Renault CEO Fabrice Cambolive.
"With its captivating coupe SUV design crafted for intense experiences, it provides unprecedented driving pleasure with its hybrid powertrains and a standard-setting chassis brimming with passion and know-how from Renault engineers.”
The Rafale is built on the Alliance’s modular CMF-CD platform, which offers unparalleled possibilities for technological content, across the running gear, powertrains and technological equipment.
Its 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid petrol powertrain, combined with its multimode automatic transmission, put its range among the longest and its CO2 emissions among the lowest in its segment. It will soon feature a new high-performance variant E-Tech 4x4 300hp.
The Rafale also features advanced connectivity and a 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid powertrain and uses recycled materials.
Its full hybrid powertrain has a “series-parallel” architecture. It comprises a 3-cylinder 1.2 litre turbocharged 130hp petrol engine delivering 205Nm of torque, and two electric motors.
The main electric motor delivers 70hp/50kW and 205Nm. It is powered by a 2kWh/400V lithium-ion battery for full-electric driving. The secondary electric motor is a 33hp/25kW and 50Nm High-voltage Starter Generator (HSG) that starts the engine and powers gear changes in the clutchless dog box.
With its all-electric ignition and energy regeneration system that kicks in automatically when the car slows down or is braked, it can be driven in electric mode 80% of the time in cities and use 40% less fuel than with an equivalent internal-combustion engine as a result of this E-Tech full hybrid powertrain. The driver is said to get the whole electric driving experience and none of the charging constraints.
Charging is managed automatically by the smart gearbox, which taps into the engine and motors to top up the battery. The driver, however, can override the smart gearbox with a choice of four regenerative braking levels, using the paddles on the steering wheel.
The multimode automatic dog box derived from Formula 1 technology combines the main electric motor’s two ratios and the engine’s four ratios, allowing for 15 possible ways of combining the motors.
The smart multimode box automatically selects the powertrain’s mode, which can be all-electric, all-combustion, dynamic hybrid (the engine and motors move the wheels together), e-drive (the motor moves the wheels and the engine charges the battery) or regeneration (the motor taps into the kinetic energy).
Inside, the Rafale features the brand-new Solarbay darkening glass roof plus new interface graphics on the two OpenR screens.
The OpenR digital cockpit – which was introduced in the Megane E-Tech - is made up of two adjacent tiles arranged into an L shape: a horizontal TFT 321 sq. cm. 12.3 inch diagonal display on the dashboard (1920 x 720 pixels, landscape format) and a vertical 453 sq. cm. 12 inch diagonal touchscreen in the middle of the console (1250 x 1562 pixels, portrait format).
OpenR is positioned to be easy to see and reach, so the driver can enjoy the multimedia system without taking his eyes off the road. The navigation experience enhanced by the Google ecosystem has been extensively tried and tested and has emerged as a benchmark in its field.
The Rafale gets a 9.3-inch head-up display that shows the car’s speed, active driver assistance systems, speeding warning and driving directions.
Additionally, the sporty seats have reinforced sides and are wrapped in Alcantara (it is the first 61% recycled Alcantara interior).
To pamper back-seat passengers, the rear centre armrest is designed for multimedia devices. It has two USB power outlets, storage space for tablets and smartphones, and two foldout screen stands for comfortable viewing.
The 1,470 mm by 1,117 mm Solarbay panoramic glass roof was developed by Saint-Gobain and the Rafale is the first car in the world to use this iteration of it. Its AmpliSky technology replaces standard screens with a full active system that darkens each of its segments on demand, using electric fields to displace molecules.
It provides maximum protection from the sun in seconds, offering sequential darkening of the nine segments across the glass surface. This smart glass roof can be voice-controlled via Google Assistant and has a switch by the ceiling light to control it manually.
The driver and passengers can choose between four roof settings: all light, all dark, light in the front and dark behind, and the reverse. It is more practical than a standard sunshade because the passengers in the back can let the sunlight in even if the people in the front prefer not to.
Boot volume is 647 litres.
Coming later will be a more powerful 300hp Rafale that will be enhanced with a substantially upgraded hybrid powertrain.
Optimising a variety of features will help to reach 300hp, but most of the boost will come from two technical adjustments. The first is an additional electric motor on the rear axle, that will move the wheels directly, making the all new Rafale a 4-wheel-drive coupe-SUV. Then it will be a plug-in hybrid, so the driver can use the all new Rafale in full-electric mode for everyday outings.
This high-performance E-Tech 4x4 300 hp version of the Rafale will come with a chassis fine-tuned for intelligent new-generation undercarriage management.
Rafale is a French word that derives from natural energy: wind, and is also an aeronautical reference. Aviation has played an important part in Renault’s history: the Caudron-Renault Rafale, which flew at a record-breaking 445kph in 1934, is one example.