Renault Rafale // Source : Renault

a wind of change is blowing at Renault, but without 100% electric

Renault unveiled its new coupé SUV, the Rafale, at the 52ᵉ edition of the Paris International Air and Space Show. It was created to compete with the Peugeot 408.

This is an announcement that created a surprise at the International Air and Space Show in Le Bourget, for its 52ᵉ edition. Renault, the illustrious French car manufacturer, today unveiled the Rafale, a newcomer to its high-end catalog. For the place of this announcement, one could have expected a fighter plane, but it is indeed a car that it is, and not just any car.

A coupe SUV to compete with the Peugeot 408

The Rafale comes to settle as the big brother of the Arkana. His goal ? Compete with the Peugeot 408. And for good reason, one of the designers of the car is Gilles Vidal, a former Peugeot.

The features of the 408 are thus found in the design of the Rafale, but also those of another flagship model from Peugeot, the 3008.

Renault’s new SUV coupé, with its duck-tail spoiler, its rectangular Full LED headlights, its flat bonnet and its vertical grille punctuated with faceted diamonds, displays an air of deja-vu… while retaining its own identity.

The imposing size of the Rafale places it above a new space. 4.71 meters long, 1.86 m wide and 1.61 m high, it has a wheelbase of 2.74 m.

Android Automotive with a new interface

On board, the Rafale is equipped with the system that we know well from Renault: double 12-inch slab, Google multimedia system Android-Automotive9.3” head-up display and two digital panels facing the driver.

One of them is dedicated to the digital instrumentation (12.3″), and the other to the multimedia system (12″). Renault makes the difference with an original welcome sequence, a refined sound environment and a redesigned software interfacetaking advantage of a more advanced version of Android Automotive 12.

From a safety point of view, the Rafale does not do things by halves with 32 ADAS (driving aids) and a Multi-Sense driving mode selector. And for comfort, Renault offers an ecological experience by offering 100% recycled textiles, including Alcantara.

The Rafale is distinguished by another major innovation: its panoramic roof incorporates Saint-Gobain’s SolarBay electrochromic technology. Thanks to a liquid crystal polymer, it is possible to opacify all or part of the surface using the 9 segments that make up the roof. An undeniable asset for a better roof guard.

Not 100% electric

Under the hood, the Rafale offers a new plug-in hybrid version (PHEV) with a 200 hp 1.2 TCe three-cylinder engine coupled to an electric motor located on the rear axle. This technical choice allows the Rafale to display a total power of 300 hp and enjoy all-wheel drive.

In addition, a two-wheel drive hybrid version of 200 hp, with a 2 kWh battery, is also offered. For now, these are only electrified versions, but the CMF-CD modular platform would make it possible to consider a 100% electric version in the future.

The launch of the 300 horsepower plug-in hybrid version is expected for the second half of 2024. With the Rafale, Renault is betting on combining technology and comfort, all in an assertive style. A bet that could well succeed.

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