• NATALIA SOUSA

Renault Austral being put through Final Test Phase.

Renault has released images of its new SUV, AUSTRAL, in its final stage of development. The company says they ensure reliability whilst fine-tuning the vehicle's engine options. Renault says they test vehicles through months of intensive trials to ensure quality and reliability. These endurance tests enable them to confirm the reliability and longevity of their various components. According to the manufacturer, the development of the New Renault AUSTRAL is being completed under these strict conditions, with final checks of the new CMF-CD3 platform and the all-electric engine options.



The new Renault AUSTRAL is about to undertake a round of tests known as "Confirmation Runs", in which a fleet of around 100 vehicles set off to travel 2 million kilometres. Renault's new SUV will therefore cross France, Spain, Germany, and Romania to confirm the results of the previous checks. Nine hundred drivers will cover 600,000km of open roads in real-life conditions, while the remaining 1,400,000km will take place on the track. These tests will, for example, enable the teams to approve the adjustments made to the new CMF-CD3 platform and driver assistance systems, as well as sound-proofing and the comfort of the suspension system so that future customers can enjoy the best conditions possible. Checks are also being carried out on the powertrains.

The Renault AUSTRAL will have a petrol hybrid-only line-up, for the most part made up of brand new engine options: a latest-generation E-TECH hybrid, a 1.3 TCe unit with a 12V mild-hybrid solution and, for the first time in the Renault range, a 1.2 TCe unit with 48V mild-hybrid technology. This range of engines will offer record-breaking performance, with reduced CO2 emissions – from 105g CO2/km (for the E-TECH engine according to the WLTP cycle, subject to approval) – and up to 200hp maximum power.


EURO-NCAP recently published results for their appraisal of Renault's ZOE 2020 model, which received 0 Stars in its Safety rating. According to EURO NCAP, the seat-mounted side airbag, which previously protected the head and thorax, has been replaced by a less effective thorax-only airbag, representing a degradation in occupant protection. Furthermore, according to the safety standards organisation, the new ZOE offers poor protection in crashes overall; it has insufficient vulnerable road user protection and lacks meaningful crash avoidance technology. Despite the concern raised by its recent EURO-NCAP performance, Renault made no mention of crash and safety testing when announcing the AUSTRAL's final test phase.

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