PARIS -- The coming Renault Austral compact SUV will have a new range of drivetrains, including the group’s first 48-volt mild hybrid gasoline engine, when it is released later this year, Renault said.
Renault also released the first camouflaged photos of the Austral, which will replace the slow-selling Kadjar in the growing and profitable segment. CEO Luca de Meo has made the compact segment a priority, starting with the new Megane E-Tech Electric compact hatchback in the coming months.
The Austral is built on the latest version of the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF platform, which it calls CMF CD3, for compact and midsize vehicles. It is a sibling model to the Nissan Qashqai, which was revamped in 2021. The CMF CD3 platform is lighter and stiffer, the alliance says, and it has allowed the Qashqai to become slightly larger.
The Kadjar was launched in 2016, and in recent years has failed to keep pace with the segment leaders, the Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen Tiguan, as well as a new top contender, the Hyundai Tucson. It was not available with hybrid or full-electric powertrains.
Renault says it is fixing that issue with the Austral.
Engine choices will include a full-hybrid E-Tech option (probably similar to the system used in the Clio, Captur and Arkana, which is based on a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine); a 1.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine developed with Daimler coupled to a 12-volt mild hybrid; and a 1.2-liter gasoline engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid system.
Renault has previously offered a 48-volt mild hybrid diesel engine in the Scenic minivan.
Emissions will start at 105 grams per km of CO2, for the full-hybrid powertrain, Renault said, with a maximum power output of 200 hp.