Renault had already announced this model, so this new Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300 comes as no surprise. This is the new, and now most powerful, version of the mid-range SUV coupé with some 300 PS. 

Let's take a look at the drivetrain. Here, a 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine developing 150 PS works with three electric motors. The first is located on the rear axle, the second on the front axle and the last acts as a starter generator in the so-called 'multi-mode' automatic transmission. There is also a 22 kWh battery which, according to Renault, should provide an electric range of up to 60 miles.

Gallery: Renault Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300 PS

The 300 PS version accelerates the Rafale from 0 to 62 mph in 6.4 seconds. The 200 PS version takes 2.5 seconds longer. The battery can be charged from 0 to 80% in 2 hours and 10 minutes using the on-board 7.4 kW charger.

Really different?

As well as engine innovations, the SUV from Renault also features changes to the suspension set-up with a new adaptive suspension which, combined with a forward-facing camera, automatically adapts to the terrain and driving style. There are also different driving modes that can be controlled via the infotainment monitor to adjust the various driver settings of the 4Control Advanced system (which controls the steering of both axles): 'Comfort', 'Dynamic' and 'Sport'.

Renault Rafale PHEV 2024 debut
Renault Rafale PHEV 2024 debut

Visually, the Renault Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300 differs from the rest of the range only in a few details. These include the 21-inch alloy wheels and the rear spoiler, the colour of which contrasts with the bodywork. The interior is naturally sportier without sacrificing comfort. It is fitted with special floor mats in the typical Alpine blue. Another new feature is the infotainment system, with maps made available to the powertrain. The aim is to better manage the batteries to ensure maximum efficiency at all times.

The new top-of-the-range model will be available from dealers from autumn 2024, in two versions: 'Esprit Alpine' and 'Atelier Alpine'. The French manufacturer has not yet announced a price.