We've Already Driven The Austral, Renault's New 'techno' SUV

We've Already Driven The Austral, Renault's New 'techno' SUV

Renault's new big bet is the Austral, the SUV with which the French brand is aiming to reclaim the C-segment, stepping up the attack on the brand launched with the new Arkana and Mégane E-Tech Electrique.


It's easy to see from a first look at the new Austral that Renault is betting big on the successor to the Kadjar, a very important topic for the French brand, which is not the company's first product. On the other hand, the New Wave is the first to receive a new general warranty of seven years or 150,000 kilometers for individuals and professionals only, which explains the commitment of Renault, which believes the new Austral will attract more customers in both areas. “This is a testament to our confidence in this new model,” recalls Ricardo López, CEO of Renault Portugal, during the presentation of the new SUV.

Against this backdrop, the new Austral features a sporty, sensual and technological exterior design that shares all the characteristics of an SUV. It also offers an exclusive version of the Esprit Alpine with a sporty look and dynamic, exciting design, available for the first time for a model in the Renault range.

At 1.62m high, 1.83m wide, 4.51m long and 2.67m wheelbase, the proportions of the new Austral immediately emphasize width and robustness, emphasizing its sporty character.

Although attractive from the outside, the interior quickly caught our attention with Austral's new cutting-edge technology and sophisticated ambiance.

The jewel in the crown is the large inverted “L” shaped OpenR display, which combines dashboard data display with navigation and media functions, and integrates the best Google services and apps. Two large screens measuring 12 inches diagonally and 9.3 inches high together offer nearly 1,000 cm2 of surface area for an intuitive, engaging and connected driving experience.

Upon entering the salon, a welcome message lights up on the large OpenR screen. Ambient lighting highlights the instrument panel in front of the driver, while interior speakers reproduce Renault comfort sound. A technological and sensory experience from the first second on board.

One of the largest screens on the market, the OpenR display showcases the car and is covered in tempered Gorilla Glass that is highly resistant to scratches, daily bumps and repeated cleaning. It also features additional anti-fingerprint and anti-reflective coatings, so touch performance and a flawless look will never be compromised.

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The instrument cluster area of ​​the OpenR screen offers the driver four display options depending on their preferences and priorities at the moment: Classic (speed, revs, etc.), Navigation (map), Zen (minimalism) and Road (view) . road and surrounding traffic).

The highly customizable dashboard also has five widgets (fuel consumption, tire pressure, distance, eco monitor and music) and eight backlight colors.

In addition, the OpenR display and steering wheel are merged into one with improved detail on a subconscious level. The slightly angled handlebar makes getting in and out easier and provides an optimal view of the instrument panel. The compact size aesthetically matches the cockpit display and OpenR screen, which we really like.

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Note the tall and wide center console, known as the "great comfort console", designed in the tradition of road vehicles to be elegant and modern, creating a subtle separation between driver and passenger, offering each an ultra-modern and protected cocoon that remains large enough and open to enjoy each other's company.

The console has a well-made finish. The lining has a double lined Techno lining. The streamlined design has been stripped of all buttons and switches, now located around the steering wheel and OpenR display, as well as the "E-Shifter" automatic transmission control knob.

Also noteworthy is the very original palm rest with an ergonomic design inspired by aviation and haute horlogerie, as the aerodynamic design also makes it easy to keep the multimedia display and piano-style keys slightly lower.

Along with excellent engineering and a refined interior, the Austral is also a family SUV with excellent roominess and cargo capacity ranging from 555 to 575 liters depending on the engine variant and up to 1525 liters with the rear seats folded down. In addition, New Austral also offers rear seat length adjustment along the track by 16cm, and passengers get 274mm of legroom.

A proven pioneer of modernity, the Austral is equipped with 32 Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS), multi-directional tuning and third generation 4Control Advanced, which uses an auxiliary steering cylinder on a multi-link rear axle to oppose the front wheels. turning the rear wheel now 5 degrees, the diameter of the Austral is 10.1 meters.

The system we tested proved to be responsive on street circuits, allowing us to tune the response to one of 13 levels. Indeed, this Advanced 4 Control system is offered as an option at a price of about 2,000 euros, but it allows you to include an independent suspension on the rear axle, which contributes to a more dynamic ride. Power.

In fact, when cornering (starting at 50 km/h and depending on the selected Miulti-Sense configuration), the rear wheels can also rotate in the same direction as the front wheels to provide the driver with extra stability and a very smooth ride. .

In terms of engine, the first Renault to be developed on the third-generation CMF-CD platform jointly developed by the Alliance offers a new version of the E-Tech "full hybrid" system, a more powerful and powerful two-stroke mild hybrid with a fuel-efficient engine. . Petrol engines 48V and 12V.

The new Austral will be available with a range of 140 and 160 hp mild hybrid engines. Both are based on a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine backed by a 12-volt electrical system that acts as a starter/alternator, and include a six-speed manual transmission or X. Tronic CVT automatic transmission alternative, fuel-fueled. . consumption of about 6.1 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 138 g/km.

The top of the engine range is the 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid monobloc. new generation. The powertrain is packed with technologies including a new 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine mated to two electric motors (an "E-Motor" traction motor and an HSG high-voltage generator/starter for thermal starting, shifting and battery pack). charging), 400V central battery architecture and 7-speed transmission (two for electric mode and five for hybrid mode). The gearbox has been optimized in terms of torque (from 350 Nm to 410 Nm), power, performance and response.

The result is more powerful and linear starting and smoother acceleration during gear shifts and hard transitions without loss of torque, while the combustion engine always operates in its optimum operating range.

Thus, the new Austral E-Tech Hybrid offers maximum driving efficiency, and the best response on the market is confirmed by acceleration from 80 to 120 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. Regenerative braking, which is automatically activated during deceleration and braking, combined with the high charging capacity of the lithium-ion battery and the efficiency of the E-Tech system, ensures optimum fuel consumption. This means that 80% of the time can be spent on urban roads purely on electricity, which corresponds to 40% fuel savings in urban traffic compared to a conventional gasoline engine without changing the driving style. Average fuel consumption is 4.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions are 105 g/km.

Driving, new engine power 200 hp even on twisty roads, where the Austral is still quite capable of responding to more precise dynamics, even in corners, it shows great agility and never sacrifices interior comfort, making it ideal for those looking for strong emotions. .

The new Austral range includes three trim levels: Equilibre, Techno and Iconic, with the latter two also available in Esprit Alpine design.

New to the range are these versions with unmistakable sporty styling from Alpine's DNA, matt gray Sportblade front bumper, Daytona 20 alloy wheels, black front and rear logos, carbon/alcantara blend seats with blue stitching and Esprito leather upholstery. . steering wheel with blue, white and red stitching.

However, the entry-level model in the lineup is the Equilibre version, which comes with a large checkered grille and gloss black fenders and side skirts. Inside, a 9-inch center display and a large 12.3-inch dashboard display for the driver stand out. This version also features a rear park assist and Pure Vision LED headlights.

The Techno version, on the other hand, has 19-inch Komah alloy wheels, mixed synthetic leather/grey gradient fabric trim, and custom ambient lighting. In addition, this version is equipped with a number of advanced tools, including the OpenR Link system on a 12.3-inch screen and built-in connectivity and Google services. The Techno version also has a sliding rear seat with center armrest.

The Iconic version, for its part, is equipped with 20-inch "effie" alloy wheels, two-tone bodywork (black star roof), chrome roof rails and 3D effect LED taillights.

Inside, we have a power driver's seat with massage function, heated front seats and a power liftgate with hands-free function as standard. This iconic version also features a 360º 3D camera and adaptive cruise control.

Renault previously announced that the Renault Austral will be available in seven body colors: Glacier White, Flame Red, Glossy Pearl White, Star Black, Iron Blue, Slate Gray and Satin Slate Gray exclusively on the Esprit Alpine trim.

In terms of pricing, Renault said the new Austral will start at €34,200 for the 140hp Mild Hybrid version.

All prices are for the new Renault Austral.

Engine - version - price

140 light hybrids - test report - 34,200 euros

140 Light Hybrid - Techno - 36,700 euros

Mild hybrid 140 Auto - Techno - €37,700

E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 – Techno – €41,700

Auto Mild Hybrid 160 - Techno Esprit Alpine - 39.700

E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 - Techno Esprit Alpine - 43,200 euros

Light hybrid Auto 160 - iconic - 41,700 euros

E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 - Iconic - €45,200

E-Tech Full Hybrid 200 - iconic alpine spirit - 46,200 euros

RENAULT AUSTRAL 2023 at night - CRAZY LED headlights and ambient lighting (Alpengeist)

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