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Renault names new family SUV Austral

Kadjar replacement revealed, Austral SUV on sale from Q2 2022

7 Dec 2021

RENAULT has revealed the name of its new family-sized SUV – the Austral. The French firm’s new five-seater will replace the Kadjar from Q2 next year.


The Austral will follow the recent release of the similarly-sized Arkana coupé-SUV and new Megane E-TECH Electric hatch as Renault seeks to modernise its portfolio. The “high-tech and spacious” newcomer measures 4510mm in length, which means that it is similar in size to medium SUV competitors such as the Mazda CX-5 (4550mm) and Toyota RAV4 (4600mm).


Derived from the Latin word “Australis”, the SUV’s nameplate is one that Renault says resonates with many European languages and, for Australian buyers, it will feel particularly familiar... 


“Austral conjures up the vibrancy and heat of the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a name that invites travel and is perfect for an SUV. Its harmonious balance of sounds that are easy to pronounce and international,” said Renault global marketing model-naming strategy manager, Sylvia Dos Santos.


Ms Dos Santos said the vehicle’s name had to strike the right balance between its identity and target market, while also combining a brand’s values and personality. 


She said the naming of the new SUV combined the efforts of Renault’s marketing, design, product and legal teams, as well as the expertise of external naming agencies.


“Renault drew on its considerable expertise throughout the whole process. 


“Any names we work on need to match the vehicles and the promises and benefits that accompany them. Much of our work centres around the emotional responses the names evoke and how they are perceived by the target audience,” Ms Dos Santos explained.


She said Renault trademarked the Austral name back in 2005 and decided the new five-seat SUV was the best fit for the nameplate as it evoked the “limitless possibilities” of a vehicle “that is ready to take on any challenge”.


“With two As and ‘STR’ consonants in the middle, the name is built around a harmonious balance of sounds that are easy to pronounce, evoking the SUV’s power and control,” she concluded.


Lastly, the name ties in particularly well with the brand’s strategy and identity, as Renault seeks to maintain an image as a modern brand that radiates warmth and prioritises people’s needs.


Inspired by the design of the smaller Megane E-TECH Electric, the Austral presents a similar frontal theme and interior; the latter incorporates Renault’s latest OpenR Link infotainment system and 12.3-inch digital instrument panel.


The model is based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF-C architecture, which also underpins the Nissan Qashqai and is expected to be powered by turbo-petrol and -diesel engines. The newly upgraded 1.3 TCe turbo-petrol is likely to be the entry-level motor in the Austral’s home market.


In Australia, the Austral will likely feature the drivetrain found in the related Arkana coupé-SUV: the same 1.3-litre four-pot. In Australian Arkana variants, that engine develops 115kW and 262Nm and drives the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.


Hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants are also likely, although Renault has yet to confirm the new SUV’s specifications.


Locally, the Renault Arkana is priced from $33,990 plus on-road costs, while the outgoing Kadjar is available from $27,990 (plus ORCs).


Renault will detail pricing and specification for the Austral closer to its local launch next year.

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