13 Posted: 13th May 2024

The Renault Rafale, which sees the brand move its bold Renaulution strategic plan into the D-segment with a new flagship vehicle born and bred for driving pleasure, will be available to order from 8th May with prices starting from £38,195 OTR.


  • Rafale is a French word that derives from natural energy – wind – and is also an aeronautical reference. Aviation has played an important part in Renault’s history: the Caudron-Renault Rafale, which flew at a record-breaking 277 mph in 1934, is only one example.

    The Renault Rafale is the first production vehicle entirely designed according to the new visual language brought in by Gilles Vidal. It ushers in a new era in Renault’s design: it is visionary, daring, in tune with its time and tailor-made for a period when everything is moving ever faster.

    The Renault Rafale features up-to-the-minute connectivity and a 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid powertrain that is as efficient as it is frugal. It was born to take driving pleasure to new heights and is enhanced with technological breakthroughs that will reach their zenith with a new E-Tech 4x4 300 hp powertrain, coming later this year.

    Renault has crafted its DNA around optimal driving pleasure, but never at the expense of passengers, who have plenty of space and amenities to enjoy. The Renault Rafale is an advanced coupe SUV: it looks as vibrant as it feels to drive, and is an opportunity to share an intense driving experience with friends and family.

    The three-model range, comprising techno, techno esprit Alpine and iconic esprit Alpine trim, will be available to order from 8th May, with prices starting from £38,195.

  • Exterior design
    The Renault Rafale is built on the Alliance’s latest-generation CMF-CD platform. Its raised fastback-style body ranks the Renault Rafale in the coupe SUV category, and at 4.71 metres long and 1.86 metres wide, is squarely in the D-segment. The car has a long wheelbase at 2.74 metres, while the roofline is curved to provide plenty of headroom in the back seats. The rear window tilts 17 degrees for aerodynamic efficiency, and renders a rear wiper unnecessary.

    The Renault Rafale’s design unfolds the brand’s new visual language by Gilles Vidal, first seen on the Scenic Vision concept car. It encapsulates Renault’s DNA in its chiselled shapes and generous curves and features a variety of technical details. The Renault Rafale’s novel front grille is built around the brand’s hallmark diamond. It is made up of a constellation of small diamonds arranged around the emblem in the middle. It stands out against the iron blue or shadow grey hues (depending on the version) that appear and disappear in the background depending on where it is viewed from – like works of optical art in the 1970s. This is Renault tipping its hat to Victor Vasarely, the Op Art movement’s high priest: Victor’s son Yvaral Vasarely designed the 1972 logo.

    The grille’s complex design structure was created using AI in a parametric modelling software application. This makes it possible to try out patterns and interactions in space by modifying dimensions and other parameters. This type of software is often used in architecture, and helped to design the “Bird’s Nest” Olympic stadium in Beijing.

    The brand’s new signature lights unambiguously point to Renault, while the two rear lights are as far apart as they can be. Their shape was inspired by Chinese tangram puzzles (a large square divided into five triangles, a parallelogram, and a smaller square). Their micro-optic technology makes them spring to life when on, with a “floating ice-cube” effect when off.

    The Renault Rafale will be available in five body colours including two previously unreleased ones: a new Matte Satin White Pearl and a new Summit Blue tone. The first uses the same innovative technology as Austral’s Matte Shadow Grey which derives its satin-matte look exclusively from the varnish and makes it resistant to UV rays and carwashes. The three other colours available for the Rafale are Flame Red, Diamond Black and Shadow Grey.

  • Interior design
    The Renault Rafale features the spectacular 1,470 mm by 1,117 mm Solarbay panoramic glass roof, developed by Saint-Gobain, with the Renault Rafale the first car in the world to use this iteration of it. Its AmpliSky technology replaces standard blinds with a fully active system that darkens each segment on demand using Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal (PDLC) technology. It provides maximum protection from the sun in seconds, and the sequential darkening of the nine segments across its surface is exhilarating to watch. It can be voice-controlled via Google Assistant and has a switch by the ceiling light to control it manually.

    The driver and passengers can choose between four roof settings: all light, all dark, light in the front and dark behind, and the reverse. The Solarbay roof also provides an extra 29 mm of headroom in the front and 10 mm in the rear. Saint-Gobain’s laminated glass keeps the temperature comfortable in summer and winter, and the glass darkens automatically upon stepping out of the car.

    The Renault Rafale’s new seats have reinforced sides to match the car’s dynamic behaviour with thorough lateral and longitudinal support. The Alcantara upholstery adds to the sporty feel and is eco-friendly (it is the first 61% recycled Alcantara interior). In esprit Alpine trim, the Alcantara is perforated to permit a glimpse of the blue fabric lining and its iridescent effect. The A-and-Arrow logo at the top of the seat back lights up and flashes in sync with a beating human heart. The lighting adjusts to match the colour selected in the MULTI-SENSE settings. The lights are embedded in a completely flexible fabric, so they don’t stiffen the seat back in the slightest. This technology is being used for the first time worldwide here.

    The Renault Rafale’s steering wheel on the  esprit Alpine trim has an Alcantara inlay. Renault has used a TEP-like material (including 34% of recycled material on the reverse side), that feels better than leather. Renault will no longer use leather by 2024.

    The car’s 2.74-metre wheelbase opens up a comfortable 302 mm knee radius in the back. The long wheelbase also makes for more headroom under the sloping roof – 890 mm in the back seat. The ingenious rear armrest has two USB outlets, storage for tablets and smartphones, and foldout screen stands for comfortable viewing. The Rafale has a roomy 535-647-litre boot.

    The Renault Rafale’s OpenR digital cockpit is made up of a 12.3-inch display on the dashboard and a 12-inch touchscreen in the middle of the console. On the dashboard display facing the driver, the usual circle has been replaced by a 28° diagonal line – the speed line – that changes colour as the engine increases in revs or the car speeds up.

    The centre display comes with Google Maps, Google Assistant and many other apps (up to 50 for UK markets) from the Google Play catalogue. The interface is fully customisable, connects by wire or wirelessly, and is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Based on Android Automotive 12, it includes a new predictive maintenance feature that can warn the driver when the wheels will need aligning or when the air conditioning will need servicing. OpenR Link connects to the cloud to download updates using FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) technology.

    There are several AI-powered capabilities inside the Renault Rafale. The system proactively makes suggestions – for instance to switch off the air conditioning if a window is open or to switch it on if it is too warm inside. These proactive recommendations are based on “routine” patterns that the AI system picks up and analyses as time goes by.

    The Renault Rafale pays tribute to its name and the aviation world with a new, extra-large (9.3 inch) head-up display. The car’s speed, active driver assistance systems, speeding warning and driving directions are projected directly onto the windscreen.

  • Full-hybrid powertrain
    The Renault Rafale will launch with the 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid petrol powertrain linked to a clutchless multimode automatic dog box. This powertrain is powerful, economical, automatic and self-charging. It provides the best mpg figures in its segment (60.1 mpg and 105 g/km CO2, pending certification) and a range of up to 683 miles.

    The 200 hp E-Tech full hybrid powertrain combines a three-cylinder 1.2-litre turbocharged 130 hp petrol engine with two electric motors. The internal combustion engine uses a Miller combustion cycle, low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation, a variable-geometry turbocharger and a diesel-engine-like long-stroke architecture. The result is an extraordinary 41% energy efficiency ratio. The main electric motor delivers 50 kW/205 Nm and is powered by a 1.7 kWh/400 V lithium-ion battery. The second motor is a 25 kW/50 Nm High-voltage Starter Generator (HSG) that starts the engine and powers gear changes in the clutchless dog box.
    Charging is managed automatically by the smart gearbox, which uses the engine and motors to top up the battery. The driver can override the gearbox with a choice of four regenerative braking levels using the paddles on the steering wheel. The multimode automatic dog box derived from Formula 1 technology combines the main electric motor’s two ratios and the internal combustion engine’s four ratios. The 15 possible combinations optimise driving pleasure, consumption or CO2 emissions depending on driving mode.

    The Renault Rafale will later be enhanced with an upgraded 300 hp plug-in hybrid powertrain with an additional electric motor on the rear axle, making the Rafale a 4-wheel-drive coupe-SUV. In addition to four driving wheels and four turning wheels (with 4CONTROL Advanced), this high-performance E-Tech 4x4 300 hp version of the Renault Rafale will come with a chassis fine-tuned for intelligent new-generation undercarriage management.

    Multi-link suspension enables the most efficient settings for road holding. The 4CONTROL Advanced 4-wheel-steering system improves handling and boosts agility. When negotiating a turn at less than 30 mph, the rear wheels turn up to 1 degree in the same direction as the front wheels, reducing the rear wheels’ inertia and improving stability. At low speeds, the rear wheels turn up to 5 degrees in the opposite direction, shortening the turning radius to 10.4 metres (the same as a city car). The Rafale features Vehicle Motion Control 2 (VMC 2), an upgraded electronic system governing the rear wheels that anticipates loss of hold more effectively.

    Safety and driver assistance
    The Renault Rafale comes with up to  32 ADAS including Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA), a system that automatically alerts the driver if the car’s speed exceeds the posted limit. The new Active Driver Assist system combines Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Keeping Assist and factors in geolocation data and specific maps enabling the car to adapt predictively to the road. The driver can also let the Over Speed Prevention system take over the car’s cruise control.

    All models come with LED Adaptive Vision technology, which adjusts dipped headlights according to driving conditions. With LED Matrix Vision technology, available higher up the range, the driver can keep the full-beam lights on all the time, without dazzling others.

    Additional ADAS

    • Driving: Cruise control / Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go / speed limiter/ Distance Warning (DW) /auto high/low beam/ auto lights & wipers/ Hill Start Assist (HSA)
    • Safety: Active Emergency Braking System (AEBS) and Rear AEB, including cross-traffic warning / Blind Spot Warning (BSW) / Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) / Lane Departure Warning (LDW) / Lane Change Warning (LCW) / Driver Attention Alert (DAA) / Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
    • Parking: Front, rear and side parking assistance, Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) / hands-free parking / 360 around view 3D camera (bird’s eye view) / auto-tilt wing mirrors when reversing / Occupant Safe Exit Alert (OSE)

    UK Specifications
    Three versions make up the Renault Rafale range, starting with the technotrim. Its standard specification includes Sonic 20” black diamond-cut alloy wheels, shark fin antenna, automatic headlights with automatic high/low beam, LED front signature lighting, moire-effect rear LED lights, and automatic windscreen wipers.

    The interior is marked out by its 12.3” driver information display and 12” OpenR link screen with Arkamys 6-speaker audio system and Google services built-in, plus a wireless phone charger. Its equipment list continues with a frameless auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, front and rear one-touch electric windows, sliding centre console armrest, electronic parking brake with auto-hold function, heated electric folding wing mirrors, paddle shift levers for regenerative braking, front & rear park assist, and a rear-view camera.

    Advanced driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control with speed limiter and stop & go, emergency brake assist, blind spot warning, distance warning alert, lane departure warning with emergency lane keep assist including solid line, oncoming traffic & road edge detection, Renault Automatic Emergency assist (E-Call), occupant safe exit alert, active emergency braking system with pedestrian/cyclist detection and junction function, rear cross traffic/pedestrian alert, traffic sign recognition with speed alert, driver attention alert, safe stopping distance warning and hill start assist (with trailer stability assist).

    The techno esprit Alpine brings Castellet 20” black diamond-cut alloy wheels with smoked varnish, alloy boot kick plate, esprit Alpine exterior styling, matrix LED vision headlights, and 4Control Advanced four-wheel steering. Its interior gains esprit Alpine interior styling with Alcantara TEP upholstery, quilted and perforated with blue background and illuminated Alpine logo, Alpine synthetic leather steering wheel, electric power tailgate opening, heated driver and front passenger seats, 6-way electric front seats with 2-way lumbar and massage function on driver’s seat, heated windscreen, heated steering wheel, active driver assist with adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist, 9.3” head-up display, and the ingenious rear armrest with charging ports and swivelling fold-out stands for devices.

    Crowning the range, the iconic esprit Alpine adds the Solarbay panoramic sunroof, puddle lamps with logo illumination from door mirrors, heated electric folding wing mirrors with memory and auto-tilt when reversing, 12” OpenR link screen with 12 speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system and Google built-in, hands-free parking, and 360° around view 3D camera.

    Grade walk

    techno from £38,195 standard equipment

    • Sonic 20” black diamond-cut alloy wheels
    • shark fin antenna
    • frameless auto-dimming rear view mirror with brightness adapt & rain sensor
    • automatic lights with auto high / low beam and automatic wipers
    • LED front signature lighting, moire effect rear LED lights
    • glazed fabric upholstery - quilted with diamond-derived embroidery
    • driver and front passenger seat height adjustment
    • interior ambient lighting
    • automatic dual-zone air conditioning
    • front and rear one-touch electric windows
    • 6-way manual front seats with dark shell backing and storage net
    • sliding centre console armrest
    • manual height & reach adjustable steering wheel
    • electronic parking brake with auto-hold function
    • hands-free keycard with keyless access & start
    • heated electric folding wing mirrors
    • wireless phone charger
    • MULTI-SENSE driving modes (eco, comfort, sport & normal)
    • 12.3” driver information display
    • two front & two rear USB-C ports
    • 12” OpenR link screen with Arkamys 6-speaker audio, DAB and Google built-in
    • emergency brake assist
    • driver and passenger front airbag, plus side airbags
    • blind spot warning
    • distance warning alert
    • lane departure warning with emergency lane keep assist including solid line, oncoming traffic & road edge detection
    • Renault Automatic Emergency assist (E-Call)
    • sound for pedestrians (1 to 19 mph)
    • isofix child seat fixing points on rear outermost seats
    • super locking
    • tyre inflation kit and tyre pressure warning light
    • occupant safe exit alert
    • adaptive cruise control with speed limiter and stop & go
    • active emergency braking system - urban and pedestrian/cyclist detection
    • active emergency braking system junction function
    • rear cross traffic/pedestrian alert - with rear automatic braking (AEB)
    • intelligent speed assist: traffic sign recognition with speed alert
    • driver attention alert
    • safe stopping distance warning
    • hill start assist (and trailer stability assist)
    • paddle shift levers for regenerative braking
    • front & rear park assist
    • rear-view camera

    techno esprit Alpine from £42,195 (in addition to techno)

    • Castellet 20” black diamond-cut alloy wheels with smoked varnish
    • alloy boot kick plate
    • esprit Alpine exterior styling
    • matrix LED vision headlights
    • Alcantara TEP upholstery - quilted and perforated with blue background and illuminated Alpine logo
    • esprit Alpine synthetic leather steering wheel
    • electric power tailgate opening
    • heated driver + front passenger seats
    • 6-way electric front seats with 2-way lumbar and massage function on driver’s seat
    • heated windscreen
    • heated steering wheel
    • active driver assist: adaptive cruise control + lane centring
    • 9.3” head-up display
    • ingenious rear armrest with swivelling fold-out stands for devices and charging ports
    • 4Control Advanced 4-wheel steering

    iconic esprit Alpine from £44,695 (in addition to techno esprit Alpine)

    • puddle lamps with logo illumination from door mirrors
    • heated electric folding wing mirrors with memory and auto-tilt when reversing
    • Solarbay panoramic sunroof with AmpliSky technology
    • 12 speaker premium Harman Kardon audio system
    • hands-free parking
    • 360° around view 3D camera