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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Renault Arkana heading to Europe in 2021 as South Africa looks on

A turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol is joined by a normally aspirated 1.6 hybrid paired to a clutchless four-speed automatic gearbox.

With sales in Australia confirmed from next year, Renault has announced that its first coupe-SUV, the Arkana, will be making its way to other markets in Europe from 2021 after initially being available only in Russia.

In spite of appearing visually identical to the model first launched in 2018, the European-spec Arkana, and most likely the Aussie version, will eschew the B0 platform from the Dacia/Renault Duster for the CMF-B used by the Clio, Captur and the Nissan Micra.

Dimensionally, the Old Continent-spec Arkana is slightly longer at 4 568 mm versus 4 545 mm, while the wheelbase stays the same at 2 720 mm. At 1 820 mm, the width is also unchanged although the overall height drops from 1 576 mm to 1 571 mm. The uptake in length means an increase in boot space from 508-litres to 513-litres with the rear seats up.

As well as the inclusion of a sporty RS Line not offered in Russia, the Arkana’s interior receives upgraded materials, carbon look inserts, red detailing and leather/suede trim on the RS Line, a choice of three digital instrument clusters measuring 4.2, seven and ten-inches, plus two Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated touchscreen infotainment displays of seven or 9.3-inches, the latter equipped as standard with satellite navigation.

Riding on 18-inch alloy wheels with 19-inches optional, the Arkana also comes standard with Renault’s Multi Sense drive mode selector that offers four settings; Eco, Comfort, Sport and My Sense, as well as an array of safety and driver assistance systems, namely Blind Spot Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, Traffic Sign Recognition, a surround view camera system, Easy Park Assist, Lane Centring Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Traffic Jam Assist and Lane Keep Assist.

Underneath the bonnet, a choice of two engines will be offered; a mild-hybrid 1.3-litre turbo-petrol developed in partnership with Daimler that delivers 103kW/260Nm and the normally aspirated 1.6 E-Tech hybrid adapted from the Clio that punches out 103 kW as well. A seven-speed EDC is paired to the former with the latter getting the innovative four-speed automatic from the Clio that boasts a dog ring setup instead of a clutch Renault claims was chosen for improved efficiency and performance.

Sales in Europe will kick-off in September next year, two months after the opening of order books, with seven colours available; Pearl White, Metal Black, Opaque White, Metallic Grey, Fire Red, Zanzibar Blue and the RS Line exclusive Valencia Orange. Additionally, three two-tone hues will be offered. For now, no word on the Arkana reaching South Africa has been made.

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