We've been spying on the next-generation Renault Kadjar for a while as our photographers shared the first batch back in February. However, it's only now the company with the diamond logo is providing an official preview of its revamped compact crossover ahead of next year's release. The sister model of the Nissan Qashqai will bear a different moniker as the French are renaming it Austral.
It's derived from the Latin word "australis," and Renault has decided to choose this name since it "resonates in many European languages, including French, which is important for a brand proud of its roots." Interestingly, we get to find out the company has a person responsible for the strategy regarding the nomenclature used by the models.
Sylvia Dos Santos works within the marketing department and says "Austral conjures up the vibrancy and heat of the southern hemisphere. It's a name that invites travel and is perfect for an SUV. Its harmonious balance of sounds that are easy to pronounce and international."
Gallery: 2022 Renault Kadjar new spy photos
Marketing fluff aside, the 2022 Austral wears the new corporate badge also seen on the Megane E-Tech and proudly carries the model's designation in the centre of the tailgate. That is all Renault is willing to show for the time being, but it does say the compact crossover will be 4.51 metres and with enough space inside for five people. The overall length makes it a tad longer than the Qashqai as the Japanese C-segment crossover stretches at 4.42 metres.
The fresh name makes sense when you think about it. Despite prototypes being heavily covered in thick camouflage, the test cars have given us the impression the new Austral will look significantly different than the Kadjar before it. A sharper, far less bulbous design is expected from the overhauled model, which is also set to have a fully redesigned interior.
It remains to be seen whether Renault will be going down Nissan's route by retiring diesel engines for its new high-riding offering. Another piece of the puzzle we are currently missing concerns the Qashqai E-Power, an upcoming hybrid that uses the combustion engine to charge the battery as the wheels are driven by the electric motor. It's unclear if the Austral will adopt the same setup, although we're tempted to believe it'll use the in-house E-Tech hardware.
Renault plans to launch the new compact crossover in Europe next spring, which means we are likely only several weeks or a couple of months away from the full debut.