Renault unveils electrified Austral SUV with 'Alpine' finish, replaces Kadjar

By REUTERS | 13 March 2022

PARIS: Renault has rolled out its new Austral SUV, marking its latest effort to compete in the compact car segment while moving upmarket with a top-of-the-range "Alpine" marque finish.

The Alpine badge, with which Renault hopes to boost margins, is about specific accessories, including blue seat topstitching and a new satin shale grey body colour.

Luca de Meo, head of the French car manufacturer, said he wanted to exploit the Alpine brand's sporty image, as he seeks to fuel Renault's profit margin recovery, but not restrict it to a few exclusive models, as has been the case in the past.

Renault hopes to continue increasing the average selling price of its vehicles with the launch of the Austral, which is set to succeed the Kadjar SUV.

The electrified Austral also reflects the carmaker's offensive on the compact and mid-size vehicles segment - the largest in Europe - where it plans to launch seven new models by 2025.

The new car, to be made in Renault's major hub for hybrid vehicles production in Spain, will be marketed from the fourth quarter of this year.



The Austral is the first Renault model based on the Renaut-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance's CMF-CD platform. The third generation platform is a complete overhaul of the compact and high-end segment line-ups for the Alliance’s brands.

The Austral chassis comes in two versions: flexible torsion beam for two-wheel steering models and a multi-link rear axle with 4CONTROL Advanced for four-wheel steering. The four-wheel steering model has turning circle measuring 10.1 metres.

The body has been made more rigid, the anti-roll enhanced and the chassis made lighter yet sturdier than in the Kadjar.

The Austral comes with a range of powertrains: an E-TECH Hybrid for up to 200hp, and two petrol engines namely a 130hp, 48V Mild Hybrid Advanced and a 140hp or 160hp 12V Mild Hybrid.

The Austral boasts a large OpenR screen that hosts the OpenR Link multimedia system, which integrates the best of Google services and applications.

The OpenR screen refers to the combined 12.3-inch dashboard instrument display with the 12-inch vertical multimedia screen. The new 9.3-inch Head Up Display, projected through the windscreen, adds to the total number of screens on board.