Unveiled in October 2020 in its European version, Renault Arkana is a shining example of the Renaulution’s success. Renault has sold 163,000 of this distinguished-looking Coupe SUV so far (240,000 in all, including Renault Korea Motors’ XM3) and it is playing a pivotal role in the brand’s plan to reconquer the C-segment, alongside Megane E-Tech electric and Austral.
Arkana has rewritten the rules with its Coupe SUV style combining zip and roominess, and is now selling in markets on several continents – ranging from Australia, New Zealand and Japan to Israel and on to Chile. Its upmarket versions – R.S. Line then E-Tech Engineered – offer extra character and vigour, and have contributed a lot to its success (they account for 53% of the mix in Europe in 2023). The best-selling powertrain is the E-tech full hybrid 145 hp (63% of sales in Europe in the first six months of 2023).
This engine is unparalleled on the market, the driving pleasure it offers is unprecedented and its energy efficiency is outstanding. It is the second criterion buyers look at when choosing a car, behind design.
The New Renault Arkana combines an original fluid feel, imposing demeanour and heavy-duty build with Renault’s new identity, to ride even higher on the “Nouvelle Vague”. The Nouvel’R logo is built into the grille, at the centre of the Deep Glossy Black band linking the headlights. This surface is entirely flush and smooth, making it even more elegant.
The Nouvel’R logo’s design provides the basis for the new pattern on the grille – a deliberately unstructured assortment of diamonds reverberating around the one in the middle. A 3D effect on the diamonds’ edges seems to carve them out and add depth. Depending on the trim (Evolution, Techno or Esprit Alpine), these features will be Black, Satin Chrome or Dark Chrome, to underline the shift upmarket. The vertical pattern on the upper grille makes the overall look more consistent with that on the grille at the base of the bumper.
The aerodynamic blade that became an R.S. Line and E-Tech Engineered version hallmark is now on the bumper of the line-up’s Techno and Esprit Alpine trims. It is the same colour as the body in the Techno version and Satin Grey in the Esprit Alpine version.
The logo at the centre of the tailgate is Dark Chrome, matching the one at the front as well as the lettering and tailpipes. The lights have ever-so-slightly smoked crystal-like covers to add a modern touch.
The chrome on the decorative features (grille, window rims, etc.) has been replaced by Black, Satin Black or Deep Glossy Black depending on the version.
NEW ESPRIT ALPINE TRIM
Like the other most recent models in Renault’s line-up, the New Arkana now includes a sporty-chic Esprit Alpine trim at the top of the range – which beautifully befits the vehicle’s personality.
One of the exterior features is the Satin Gry blade on the front bumper. Another is the Shale Grey badge nestled in Deep Glossy Black on the wing trim. It also comes with new 19-inch openwork wheels that add to its stateliness as much as is sportiness. A new aileron cut to match the roof enhances the tailgate’s aerodynamics.
Inside, the seats are a mixture of Eco Tep (10% bio-sourced materials) and imitation suede (more than in the former R.S. Line and E-Tech Engineered high-end models). The seats now come with blue horizontal overstitching and the Alpine logo on the back, and the safety belts with two blue stripes.
The inside of the doors and the steering wheel have red, white and blue stitching and the cladding on the dashboard area facing the front passenger seat is slate-like for an elegant, low-key effect.
Whatever powertrain you choose, the cockpit in the New Arkana Esprit Alpine includes the e-shifter gear stick with no mechanical cabling.
A SIMPLER RANGE AND MORE AMENITIES
The New Arkana line-up has been slimmed down to three trims: Evolution, Techno and Esprit Alpine.
Evolution now includes navigation as standard in the Renault EASY LINK infotainment system, which also connects wirelessly with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The digital screen on the dashboard still measures 7 inches diagonally but now displays information across a larger area.
In addition to the aerodynamic blade matching the body, Techno has kept the same wheels as the R.S. Line and E-Tech Engineered versions. The logo and lettering at the rear are Satin Chrome.
This line-up is introducing a new body colour, Midnight Blue, and comes with the same choice of powertrains: E-Tech full hybrid 145 hp and petrol mild hybrid 140 hp and 160 hp.
THE E-TECH FULL HYBRID 145 HP POWERTRAIN WITH E-SAVE MODE
The driving pleasure from the E-Tech full hybrid 145 hp powertrain is like nothing else: it is as smooth in electric mode as it is vigorous and efficient. It interlinks two electric motors (a 36 kW main motor and an 18 kW High-Voltage Starter Generator) with a 4-cylinder 1.6 litre 69 kW (94 hp) petrol engine, a smart multi-mode clutch-less dog box and a 1.2 kWh battery.
The gearbox manages 4 ratios on the petrol engine and 2 ratios on the main electric motor. With the E-Tech full hybrid powertrain, in other words, you have up to 14 possible combinations between the engine and motor to optimise energy efficiency.
The car invariably starts in electric mode and can run on the electric motor alone for up to 80% of the time in cities, which cuts consumption by up to 40% compared to a standard petrol engine. This high-efficiency powertrain’s CO2 emissions can be as low as 105 g/km, which is outstanding in the category. Besides enjoying the silence in electric mode, you can enjoy the convenience of driving without stopping to charge the battery.
The New Renault Arkana’s E-Tech full hybrid 145 hp powertrain includes e-save feature. You can select it on the vehicle’s centre screen in the vehicle’ settings, or via the driving mode in versions that come with MULTI-SENSE settings, and it keeps the battery’s charge at 40% at least, so you have that extra backup to keep on driving in electric mode if you need to, or to assist the engine on steep uphill slopes.
AN ENJOYABLE DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The New Renault Arkana is built on the CMF-B modular platform developed by the Alliance. This platform has been praised for the efficiency and driving pleasure it affords, its outstanding versatility, its high-performance handling and its great comfort.
In addition to the car’s reassuring road hold, the New Arkana’s rear wheels adjust to keep it remarkably steady when you negotiate bends at high speeds. Lateral movement is limited, even on the jaggedest of roads. The precise and direct steering boost the chassis’ performance, and the short kerb-to-kerb turning diameter (11.2 metres) adds to its agility.