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Renault to expand model range with flagship Rafale coupe SUV

Renault is expanding its model line-up with a new premium focussed hybrid SUV coupe called the Rafale.

The new model will compete with the likes of the Audi Q5 Sportback, when it goes on sale next year, as well as the surge of upmarket entrants from other French brands, including the Citroen C5 X and Peugeot 408.

Two hybrid powertrains will be available. The first is a 200PS hybrid unit, carried over from the Austral. There will also be a 300PS plug-in hybrid version with all-wheel-drive.

Prices are expected to start at around £40,000, further reinforcing Renault’s intention to move into premium segments.

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The Rafale differs from Renault’s current design language, with a more angular and aggressive look. It’s interior features the twin-screen OpenR digital cockpit, that debuted on the Megane E-Tech.

A range of upmarket features are available, including a Harman Kardon sound system and a full length glass roof which features special glass that can be darkened and the touch of a button.

Renault states that the Rafale will offer a high level of driving pleasure, with steering and suspension settings to promote sporty driving. Like the Austral, the Rafale is also equipped with a four-wheel steering system for enhanced dynamics and easier manoeuvrability.

The 200PS E-Tech hybrid powertrain mates a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine with two electric motors and a small battery. It achieves CO2 emissions of 105g/km and promises 60mpg.

The plug-in hybrid will feature an additional electric motor on the rear axle, providing all-wheel-drive and boosting power to 300PS. The battery will also be much larger, although final specifications are yet to be revealed.

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