We’ve been spying on the new generation Renault Kadjar for some time as our photographers shared the first batch in February. However, it’s only now that the company with the diamond logo is providing an official preview of its revamped compact crossover ahead of next year’s release. The brother model of the Nissan Qashqai will have a different nickname because the French renamed it Austral.
It is derived from the Latin word “australis”, and Renault chose this name because it “resonates in many European languages, including French, which is important for a brand proud of its roots”. Interestingly, we find out that the company has a person responsible for the strategy regarding the nomenclature used by the models.
Sylvia Dos Santos works in the marketing department and says: “Austral evokes the dynamism and warmth of the southern hemisphere. It’s a name that invites you to travel and is perfect for an SUV. Its harmonious balance of easy to pronounce and international sounds.
Marketing fluff aside, the Austral 2022 wears the new company badge also seen on the Mégane E-Tech and proudly bears the model designation in the center of the tailgate. That’s all Renault is set to show for now, but he says the compact crossover will measure 4.51 meters and with enough room inside for five people. The overall length makes it a bit longer than the Qashqai, as the Japanese C-segment crossover stretches for 4.42 meters.
The new name makes sense when you think about it. Although the prototypes are heavily covered in thick camouflage, the test cars gave us the impression that the new Austral will be very different from the Kadjar before it. A cleaner, much less bulbous design is expected from the revised model, which is also expected to have a completely redesigned interior.
It remains to be seen whether Renault will follow in Nissan’s footsteps by removing diesel engines from its new top-of-the-range offering. Another piece of the puzzle we’re missing right now is the Qashqai E-Power, a future hybrid that uses the combustion engine to charge the battery as the wheels are driven by the electric motor. It is not known if the Austral will adopt the same configuration, although we are tempted to believe that it will use internal E-Tech hardware.
Renault plans to launch the new compact crossover in Europe next spring, which means we’re probably only weeks or months away from the full launch.