The Renault Austral, which is set to replace the Kadjar small SUV, has entered the final stages of development and has been previewed in a series of official images released by the French firm.
The car, which will get a new look, an overhauled interior and revamped powertrains, was pictured in an eye-catching livery with line-distorting shapes, colours and the newly updated Renault logo.
The model will now undergo several confirmation runs as part of its testing, involving a 100-strong fleet of cars that, Renault says, will travel two million kilometres (around 1,242,000 miles).
Tests will take place in France, Spain, Germany and Romania, where 900 drivers will cover 600,000km (372,822 miles) on open roads and 1,400,000km (869,919 miles) on track to scout for adjustments to the model’s new CMF-CD3 platform. Sound-proofing and suspension comfort will also be tested, as will the model’s improved powertrain.
Due to be fully unwrapped in spring, the Toyota RAV4 rival will be called the Renault Austral – a name that, Renault says, “conjures up the vibrancy and heat of the south, the tranquil pleasure of nature, as well as wide open spaces, evoking limitless opportunities”.
Previous sightings of camouflaged prototypes have confirmed that the flagship SUV has undergone a substantial styling overhaul, following the lead of the new Renault Mégane E-Tech Electric, which sets the tone for Renault’s new-era design ethos.
Even on the heavily camouflaged cars, we can see slim LED headlights (which could meet in the middle, as on the electric Mégane), a concave grille design and completely reshaped and relocated air intakes.
As well as the new look, headline changes for the new model will include the roll-out of quality and technology boosts found on Renault’s latest cars as well as a greater than ever choice of powertrains.