RENAULT Australia has announced that it will bring the funky coupe-style Arkana small SUV to Australia, which will replace the existing Kadjar crossover when it arrives in the second half of 2021.
The Arkana will usurp the Kadjar and sit between the smaller Captur light crossover and family-oriented Koleos mid-sizer in Renault’s SUV line-up, which will be forced to do much of the heavy lifting for sales with the removal of the Clio and non-performance Megane from the range.
Originally revealed at the Moscow motor show in 2018, the Arkana was initially launched exclusively for the Russian market, underpinned by Renault’s in-house B0+ platform.
However Australian examples will be based on the recently introduced Korean-market version (known there as the XM3), which instead rides on the more modern alliance CMF-B platform.
The modernity of the new Arkana was one of the reasons that Renault Australia decided to replace the Kadjar, which despite only going on sale locally late last year was launched globally in 2016 with an update in 2018.
Renault Australia senior product manager Charly Clercin said the Arkana will also feature the latest the brand has to offer in terms of technology and features, while being built in Busan, South Korea will mean shorter lead times and better pricing compared to the Spanish-built Kadjar thanks to Australia’s free-trade agreement with South Korea.
Concrete details on the Arkana’s spec and equipment remain up in the air, however it will likely borrow various features from other models in Renault’s portfolio.
The all-new second-generation Captur revealed last year features Renault’s Smart Cockpit dashboard, which includes an infotainment screen up to 9.3 inches in size with a 10-inch digital instrument cluster which could find its way into the Arkana.
No details have been shared on which powertrains will be used in the local Arkana, however the most likely starter is the 1.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine used in the Kadjar and new Captur, which produces up to 117kW/260Nm.
The Arkana could also be the first model in Renault’s portfolio to feature a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, namely a 1.6-litre petrol four-cylinder engine teamed with two electric motors and a 9.8kWh battery pack.
Power is rated at 118kW, and in the Captur, can produce a zero-emissions driving range of 45km with an electric-only top speed of 135km/h.
Visually, the Arkana bears strong similarities to the Megane small car, with a closely related front fascia and tail-light layout.
Obviously, the main defining feature is its coupe-like profile, while its SUV intentions are made clear by its increased ride height, black cladding around the skirts and wheelarches, and front and rear scuff plates.
Few other concrete details are known about the Arkana, however local specification and pricing will be announced closer to the model’s arrival in Australia in the second half of next year.
For reference, the current three-variant Kadjar range starts at $29,990 for the Life, up to $37,990 for the Intens.