French automaker Renault has unveiled its completely new flagship model, the Rafale, a SUV coupe hybrid, set for market launch in Spring 2024.
“The All-new Renault Rafale is central in the Renaulution, symbolises our move upmarket and shows that we belong in every customer segment,” said Fabrice Cambolive, Renault brand CEO. “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.”
A French word that evokes wind, Rafale also connects to Renault’s history in aeronautics: the Caudron-Renault Rafale racing plane flew at a record-breaking 445 km/h in 1934, according to the company.
The Rafale features the 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid powertrain linked to a clutchless multimode automatic dog box. With “series-parallel” architecture, the powertrain encompasses a 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre turbocharged 130 hp (96 kW) gas internal combustion engine delivering 205 Nm of torque and two electric motors. In urban settings, the electric mode functions 80% of the time uses 40% less fuel than with an equivalent internal-combustion engine.
The smart gearbox automatically controls charging, 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 All-new Renault Rafale comes with 32 advanced driver assistance systems including Intelligent Speed Assist, a system that automatically alerts the driver if the car’s speed exceeds the limit it reads on road signs.
The Renault Rafale is the first production vehicle entirely designed with “the new visual language” Gilles Vidal, head of design, brought to the brand when he joined the company in 2020. The vehicle’s slightly raised fastback body and sporty silhouette ranks the Rafale in the coupe-SUV category. The model measures 4.71 meters long, 1.86 meters wide, and 161 meters high.
Connectivity features includes Renault’s OpenR Link multimedia system, equipped with Google Maps, Google Assistant and as many as 50 or more apps. The interface is also fully customisable and is compatible with Android Auto or Apple Carplay, using a wired or wireless connection.
Renault plans to enhance the Rafale with a "substantially upgraded" hybrid powertrain with its settings "optimised to unleash 300 hp."