Introducing the Renault Rafale 2024, a pragmatic coupe-SUV with a distinctive design. Renault, known for its diverse range of large flagships over the years, has taken a pragmatic approach with its latest offering, the Renault Rafale. Breaking new ground, the Rafale debuts as a stylish coupe SUV, aligning with the current trend in the automotive market. Positioned to rival competitors such as the Audi Q5 Sportback and the Citroen C5 X, this impressive vehicle is set to hit the market in the middle of 2024, with an estimated price tag of around £40,000.
New 2024 Renault Rafale Release date
In spring 2024, the highly anticipated Rafale model is set to make its debut in European showrooms, offering a blend of style, performance, and cutting-edge technology. Sales in the UK will commence at a later date, providing automotive enthusiasts with the opportunity to experience this remarkable vehicle firsthand. The Rafale range will be introduced in two distinct trims: the standard edition and the up-scale Alpine Esprit variant, both equipped with the advanced T-Tech hybrid powertrain. While the initial launch will feature the hybrid version, a plug-in variant is expected to follow shortly thereafter, further enhancing the model’s eco-friendly credentials.
Design and Platform
Built on Renault’s CMF-CD platform, the new Renault Rafale shares a close kinship with the Austral model. However, it stands out with its increased length of approximately 200mm, the lower profile of 10mm, and broader tracks measuring 40mm wider. These dimensions contribute to the flagship’s commanding presence on the road, boasting crisper surfacing and sophisticated detailing. Under the watchful eye of Renault’s design director, Gilles Vidal, the Rafale represents a fresh start for Renault, as it is Vidal’s first clean-sheet project with the company. Drawing from his experience in revitalizing Peugeot’s design language, Vidal’s touch is evident in the final design of the Renault Rafale.
Hybrid Powertrains and Performance
The Renault Rafale will be launched with two hybrid powertrain options, showcasing the brand’s commitment to sustainable mobility. These hybrid systems not only offer improved fuel efficiency but also deliver enhanced performance on the road. While specific details regarding the powertrain configurations are yet to be disclosed, Renault has a reputation for engineering powertrains that strike a balance between power and efficiency. Drivers can expect the Renault Rafale to offer a dynamic and engaging driving experience, coupled with reduced environmental impact.
Expected Market Positioning
Positioned as a flagship model, the Renault Rafale will likely target discerning customers seeking a blend of style, versatility, and advanced technologies. With its distinctive design and premium features, the Rafale aims to compete with established players in the coupe-SUV segment. Renault’s reputation for offering value for money suggests that the Rafale will be priced competitively, with an estimated cost of around £40,000. By offering a compelling package at a reasonable price point, Renault aims to attract customers seeking a high-end coupe SUV without breaking the bank.
Clever Design Details
The Renault Rafale is a vehicle that boasts an array of clever design details, aimed at enhancing both its visual appeal and user experience. From the exterior to the interior, these thoughtful elements set the Rafale apart from its competitors.
Dynamic Grille with a Twist
One standout feature of the Renault Rafale is its three-dimensional grille. As you rotate around the car, this grille reveals a colored inner section, adding a dynamic and captivating element to the vehicle’s front end. This clever design detail not only catches the eye but also adds a touch of sophistication to Rafale’s overall aesthetic.
Innovative Headlight Elements
Renault has gone the extra mile with Rafale’s headlight elements. The designers have incorporated “oil-slick” coatings into the headlights, giving them a unique and mesmerizing appearance. These coatings create a play of colors and reflections, contributing to the Rafale’s overall allure and ensuring that it stands out on the road.
Evolution of Renault’s Front-end Lighting Signature
Building upon its existing design language, Renault has continued to evolve its front-end lighting signature in the Rafale. This evolution adds a sense of continuity and brand recognition, further strengthening Rafale’s visual identity. The lighting signature not only enhances the car’s appearance but also contributes to improved visibility and safety on the road.
Upscale Interior with Enhanced Material Quality
Stepping inside the Renault Rafale, one will find a cabin reminiscent of the Austral model. However, the material quality has taken yet another leap forward, resulting in a more luxurious and refined atmosphere. The extensive use of soft-touch materials throughout the cabin adds a sense of comfort and sophistication.
Distinctive Trim Highlights
Renault has paid attention to the smallest details in Rafale’s interior design. To elevate the ambiance further, the designers have introduced trim highlights in unique materials such as blackened cork or even real slate. These unconventional choices bring a touch of individuality and a premium feel to the cabin, demonstrating Renault’s commitment to craftsmanship.
L-Shaped Digital Interfaces with Google-designed Software
To meet the demands of the digital age, Renault equips all Rafale models with its signature L-shaped digital interfaces. These interfaces provide a seamless and intuitive way to interact with the car’s various features and functions. Additionally, the central touchscreen incorporates software designed by Google, ensuring a smooth and familiar user experience with access to a wide range of applications and connectivity options.
Design and Luxury Features
Renault has made sure to equip the Rafale with a range of high-end features to establish its premium status. These include a Harmon Kardon stereo, illuminated elements in the seats, and a full-length electronically controlled frosted glass roof. These luxurious additions contribute to the overall premium experience and position the Rafale as a strong contender against other luxury rivals in the market.
Design Inspiration and Direction
According to design director Gilles Vidal, the Rafale project initially aimed to create a new flagship model for the brand, rather than specifically targeting a coupe-SUV design. Various design concepts were explored, ranging from a shooting brake to a saloon, before settling on the final design that Renault believes will resonate with their customers.
Potential Breakthrough in the UK Market
With its diverse history in the D-segment, Renault has experienced various forms and levels of success. The Rafale, however, has the potential to be a pragmatic iteration that could finally propel Renault into the upper segment of the UK market. The key to achieving this breakthrough will lie in setting the right pricing strategy for the Rafale.
Powertrain Options and Efficiency
At its launch, the Rafale will be available with Renault’s 197bhp E-Tech powertrain, which combines a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine with two electric motors serving as a generator and main propulsion. This powertrain has already showcased impressive fuel economy figures in the current Austral model, with the Rafale targeting around 60mpg and 105g/km CO2 emissions.
Furthermore, Renault plans to introduce a flagship plug-in hybrid option with a power output of 296bhp. This variant will utilize the same hybrid system as the base model but will incorporate an additional electric motor on the rear axle, enabling all-wheel-drive capabilities. Moreover, the larger battery pack in this version will significantly enhance its electric range.
New 2024 Renault Rafale video
Unique Suspension and Driving Dynamics
Renault has engineered the Rafale with a distinct suspension setup, making modifications to the front MacPherson strut and multi-link rear suspension. The dampers are passive, ensuring a sporty driving experience while maintaining a certain level of ride comfort. Additionally, the Rafale features a third-generation 4Control Advance four-wheel-steering system, enhancing maneuverability by reducing the turning circle and improving stability at higher speeds.