Renault has once again teased its replacement for the Kadjar SUV, the Austral.

    The new SUV – which sits between the Captur and Koleos size-wise – hasn’t been confirmed for Australia, despite its name.

    Under the skin, the Austral is built on a platform dubbed CMF-CD3. It will only be offered with electrified powertrains, including a new 1.2-litre petrol engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system.

    A 1.3-litre engine with a 12V mild-hybrid system will also be offered.

    On the outside, the Austral has styling inspired by the new Megane E-Tech Electric SUV. It has slim headlights and an upright nose, along with a rising windowline.

    Slim LED tail lights sit high on the boot lid, and the Renault badge takes pride of place in the middle of the rear end. The funky camouflage is becoming a Renault staple, having also featured on the Megane E-Tech before its launch.

    The Austral will be about the same size as the Arkana recently introduced in Australia, although it should have a more practical interior and spacious boot thanks to its more upright styling.

    Locally, the similarly-sized Kadjar was discontinued in February this year after just one full year on sale.

    Although the Kadjar remains available and popular in Europe, it was replaced Down Under by the Arkana coupe crossover that’s also sold in Europe.

    If the Austral is only produced in Spain and China, sourcing it at competitive prices for the Australian market might be an issue. The Arkana is made in Korea as part of a joint venture between Renault and Samsung, making it simpler to source reliably for Australia.

    History lovers, as well the older among us, will remember austral as one of the names mooted for Australia’s primary decimal currency unit to replace the pound.

    After a public consultation process the Menzies government announced the currency would be known as the royal.

    The name was so detested by the populace, after three months the government did an about-face and changed the name to dollar before the Australian Mint had the change to press a single royal into being.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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