Renault Austral Debuts With 200 HP, Four-Wheel Steering, But No Diesel

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After a comprehensive campaign, the new Austral is finally here. Renault’s first model to use the third-generation CMF-CD platform is here to replace the aging Kadjar and bring a series of new things. The most obvious is a completely different design as this compact crossover adopts a fresher exterior look and a high-tech cabin that represents a significant change from the model it replaces.

But first, let’s talk about the size. The Austral is 4.51 meters long, 1.83 meters wide and 1.62 meters high, with a wheelbase measuring 2.67 meters. That makes it slightly longer and taller than its predecessor while being slightly narrower and bringing about an extended wheelbase. Cargo capacity varies from 500 to 575 liters depending on whether the vehicle has a fixed or sliding rear seat. Opt for the full hybrid model and its extra hardware and the volume drops to 430 and 555 liters, respectively. Interior storage amounts to an extra 35 liters for smaller items.

Power is provided by a turbocharged 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine equipped with mild hybrid technology that is described as a “genuine alternative to diesel.” Yes, there are no oil burners available for Austral as the dCi Kadjar has been dropped. A 48V lithium-ion battery and starter motor are part of the setup that produces 130 horsepower which is sent to the wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

With this Mild Hybrid Advanced setting, Renault says fuel consumption is as low as 5.3 liters/100 km with a corresponding CO2 emission of 123 g/km. Without mild hybrid technology, the engine would be 20 percent more thirsty, according to internal company estimates.

2022 Renault Australia
2022 Renault Australia

Then there’s the same Mild Hybrid with a larger 1.3-liter four-cylinder petrol engine. Co-developed with Mercedes-Benz, it works in conjunction with a 12V lithium-ion battery, starter motor, and a six-speed manual or X-Tronic automatic transmission. With a three-pedal setup, the powertrain makes 140 hp while automatically increasing it to 160 hp and 270 Nm (200 lb-ft) of torque. The more powerful system consumes 6.2 liters/100 km and emits 136 g/km.

As for the E-Tech Hybrid model, it is a full hybrid model based around the 1.2 liter unit. It always starts in electric mode and can be obtained with a combined output of 160 hp or 200 hp. It sips just 4.6 liters/100 km and emits 105 g/km, prompting Renault to say it’s one of the cleanest hybrid crossovers in its segment.

2023 Renault Australia
2022 Renault Australia

The lower version is stuck with torsion beam rear suspension while the more expensive one gets not only multi-link but also rear-wheel steering aka 4Control Advanced as it is known in the new third generation. Austral is full of technology, including a 9.3-inch heads-up display, 12-inch vertical touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, matrix LED headlights, 360-degree camera, and all the driver assistance systems needed to meet level 2 autonomy. .

A first for Renault, the Austral 2023 unveiled the Esprit Alpine which functions as a trim with a sportier look. It rides on 20-inch wheels with a black and Alpine-branded aluminum look while the lower version gets smaller 17 to 19-inch alloy wheels. It offers a wide variety of style enhancements, including black accents and the exclusive Satin Shale Gray body color. Inside, the flagship model combines Alcantara with Nappa leather and twill fabric that resembles carbon fiber. There are also blue stitching and piping to enhance the cabin, along with aluminum pedals and door frames featuring the Alpine logo.

Despite being unveiled today, the Renault Austral will not go on sale until the fourth quarter of this year.

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