First look inside the new Renault Austral SUV

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Renault Austral teasersOfficial interior shots of the all-new 2022 Renault Austral SUV have been released by the French brand, giving us an idea of what to expect when the replacement for the Kadjar is launched later this year.

The Austral SUV features a very sleek interior design, with ambient lighting making for an impressive feature. It will come with a large 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster attached to a 12-inch portrait infotainment screen that Renault calls ‘OpenR’, which is located in the centre of the dash.

OpenR Link interface includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a Google search feature and Google Maps. Renault claims this system is one of the “biggest breakthroughs in on-board technology in the past several years”.

The dashboard’s architecture gives it a slim and wide look; the steering wheel is squarer and slightly flatter in the centre, providing the driver with an unobstructed view of the dashboard screen.

Renault Austral interiorThere appear to be plenty of storage areas, starting with a wide sliding armrest in the centre, while the console itself has two large storage areas and an area for a smartphone, complete with wireless charging capabilities. There will also be up to 30 litres more passenger-side storage space.

The theme of extra space continues into the rear because there is no transmission tunnel, allowing for more foot space for passengers in the middle seat. That rear bench can be slid back and forward to vary boot space or rear legroom as needed, and folds down at the press of a button in the boot.

Renault Austral teasers 2Agneta Dahlgren, Renault Design Project Director, said: “When we created the Austral’s passenger compartment, the three recurring themes were the perception of space, edgy design and a protective feel – and all that is based on high standards of quality.”

Renault has also confirmed that the Austral is undergoing final development, with a focus on fine-tuning its engine line-up and on reliability.

A spokesman said: “The development is being completed with final checks of the new CMF-CD3 platform and the all-electric engine options.” The brand has confirmed that this means an all-electrified line-up featuring E-Tech hybrid and mild-hybrid units, and not a full EV version.

A fleet of around 100 test cars and a team of 900 drivers will cover ‘confirmation runs’ that will total a combined 600,000km on the open road and the remaining 1.4 million kilometres completed on the test track.

Renault Austral spy shot 13According to Renault: “These tests will enable the teams to approve the adjustments made to the new CMF-CD3 platform and driver assistance systems, as well as sound-proofing and the comfort of the suspension system so that customers can enjoy the best conditions possible.”

The model, which will rival the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Tiguan, is expected to be unveiled in the latter part of 2022. It will take plenty of design inspiration from Renault’s Megane E-Tech electric hatchback. Indeed, details such as the slim, high-mounted LED headlights, clamshell bonnet and curved front fascia are similar.

Renault Austral exclusive imagesThe glasshouse is smaller than the Kadjar’s but larger than the Megane E-Tech’s, which fits in with the Austral’s positioning as a taller, crossover-bodied version of the Megane.

Meanwhile, the rear of the development car features a large version of Renault’s recently redesigned retro-inspired 2D badge in the centre of the tailgate; a sloping window line, slim tail-lights and a chunky lower bumper also feature.

Renault Austral exclusive images 2As above, Automotive Daily has previewed how it could look once the camouflage is peeled back in a series of exclusive images – again, carrying through many styling cues as first seen on the brand’s Megane E-Tech Electric.

The Renault Austral SUV is expected to go on sale in Europe this spring, so this may very well be the last teaser we see before its launch date.

Sean Carson

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