The new Renault Austral will drive for 1.2m miles in testing

13th January 2022
Bob Murray

Renault’s plans to replace its popular Kadjar mid-size SUV are moving swiftly towards the new model’s unveiling, due later this year. To be renamed Renault Austral, we are promised an elegant yet robust new look – not that you’d know it from the shape-shifting camo adorning the fleet of development cars.


One hundred of the distinctively decorated Australs have now been unleashed on European roads and racetracks as an army of 900 test drivers take it in turns to get behind the wheel and pile on two million kilometres – 1.2 million miles, or enough to take an Austral to Australia and back 65 times. It’s all part of the new model’s final phase of development and endurance testing, says Renault.

There are some clues to what the Austral will look like when the camo comes off – notably the very slim and high-mounted LED lights back and front. Note too the concave shape of the front end and what looks to be a relatively high waistline. Knowing Renault, there will be a lot more to this design, as there will have to be for the Austral to stand out amid the legion of similar five-door family SUVs.


Under the body is the modular CMF-C platform also used by the Nissan Qashqai, and under the bonnet, Renault has now confirmed, will be a range of electrified hybrid power units. No full electric version as yet, but neither no more diesel power.

The petrol-only E-Tech line up will kick off with a 1.3 TCe 12-volt mild hybrid unit and include for the first time a 1.2 TCe engine boosted by 48V mild-hybrid technology. Lowest CO2 will be 105g/km and the pokiest version will have 200PS (150kW).

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