Renault is retiring its Czar after a generation and replacing it with the new Astral. The Frenchman is said to be targeting the VW T-Rock and Tiguan specifically in the C segment of the crossover, putting pressure on the Asian competitors.
Technically, the new Renault Australia is a twin of the Nissan Qashqai. Even if there won’t be a purely electric version like the Megan until recently, the engines are electrified and efficient diesel engines a thing of the past. Australia is Renault’s first vehicle to be on the road with a 48-volt electrical system, which will significantly reduce actual consumption. Compared to the competition, the new Renault Australia has a much smaller engine portfolio. The top version is powered by a hybrid whose 1.2-liter three-cylinder turbo is supported by an electric motor, which pushes the total output down to 147 kW/200 hp. The electric motor is powered by a 1.7 kWh battery pack. A version with a weaker 160 hp would come later.
Beneath that is the same petrol engine, which coupled with a 48-volt electrical system and starter generator delivers 96 kW/130 hp and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The drive portfolio is completed by a 1.3 liter turbocharged four-cylinder with starter generator and 12-volt electrical system that, in conjunction with a mandatory automatic transmission, delivers 103 kW / 140 hp or 118 kW / 160 hp. The standard consumption of different engine variants is between 4.6 and 6.2 liters per 100 kms. The new Australia is optionally available with four-wheel steering (turning circle 10.1 m); However, the customary all-wheel drive has been abandoned in this class.
In addition to the electrified drive range, over 30 driver assistance systems are available on the newly developed CMF-CD03 platform and Australia is said to achieve significantly better values for noise insulation and suspension comfort than its predecessor . “The Renault Australia combines strong stylistic elements that give it a dynamic and elegant look. With its small differential dimensions and filigree flanks, the quality is visible at first glance,” says Renault designer Gilles Vidal. Like the Electric Megane, the attractive LED lighting elements at the front and rear are eye-catching. The two large, C-shaped rear lights are emblazoned with the vehicle’s logo. The front end sports a similar design, with attractive lamps and a distinctive radiator grille.
The 4.51-metre-long Renault Australia has a cargo volume of between 430 and 575 litres, depending on the engine variant. The rear seats can be moved 16 cm in length or folded in a 40:60 ratio, increasing the volume to 1,525 litres. The curb weight of the basic version is 1,373 kg. The driver has access to 12.3-inch instruments and a 9.3-inch heads-up display, while multimedia and vehicle functions are operated via a 12-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard.
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