Renault's new Arkana SUV-coupe has just gone on sale in Ireland, and it'll cost from €28,990. According to Renault, it's the first of its cars to be purpose-built as a hybrid.
It's tempting to call the Arkana a Kadjar coupe, but actually, it's a little more complex than that. It's based on the Renault-Nissan CMF-B platform, whereas the Kadjar uses the older CMF-CD chassis. The Arkana - which you can kind of think of as a more affordable BMW X4 - will come with two powertrain options, both of them hybridised.
Hybrid or mild-hybrid versions
The first is the familiar 1.3-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, which now comes with mild-hybrid assistance. This TCe engine has 140hp, and 260Nm of torque, driving through a seven-speed DCT automatic gearbox. Thanks to the fuel-saving effects of the mild-hybrid setup, Renault claims CO2 emissions starting at 131g/km, with fuel economy of 5.8-litre per 100km.
Want to go more frugal than that? Well then, there's the Arkana E-Tech hybrid. This is a full-on hybrid, and uses broadly the same setup as the current Captur and Clio hybrids. There's a naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine, backed up by a 1.2kWh battery, and a two electric motors, one large and one small. Renault claims that this two-motor setup draws on its experience running hybrid engines in Formula One (via the Alpine F1 team) and it allows for greater control of the hybrid system, and more electric-only running. Combined, the petrol and electric systems produce 145hp, with 148Nm of torque from the petrol engine, and 250Nm from the electric motors.
That allows the Arkana E-Tech to boast CO2 emissions of 111g/km and fuel economy of 4.9-litres per 100km.
What is the Arkana, though? Well, it's kind of a replacement for the late, lamented Laguna - chop about six inches out of the Arkana's overall height, and you'd pretty much have a reasonably-sized saloon car. It sits above the Kadjar, just a little, in price terms, but is around the same size, and with the larger Koleos ending its production run shortly, you can pretty much think of this as Renault's new flagship. It's pretty roomy, too - in spite of that sloping rear roofline, there's a 513-litre boot (480 litres for the E-Tech full hybrid).
With the base-model mild-hybrid starting at €28,990, you can get yourself into an Arkana E-Tech hybrid, in Iconic specification, for €30,490. Both of those cars come with 17-inch 'Bahamas' alloy wheels, LED headlights, a rear-view camera and parking sensors, automatic air conditioning, cruise control with speed limiter, a seven-inch central infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, active emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping steering, auto lights and wipers, and tinted rear windows.
For €31,090 (for the mild-hybrid) or €32,590 (for the E-Tech) you can upgrade your Arkana to S-Edition spec, which comes with 18-inch alloys, automatic high-beam lights, a 9.3-inch infotainment screen, a seven-inch digital instrument panel, adjustable driving modes, adaptive cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind spot warning, and part-leather trim.
The top-spec RS-Line costs €33,690 for a mild-hybrid or €35,190 for the E-Tech, and comes with a sporty bodykit that includes styling touches allegedly taken from the Alpine F1 car, gloss black exterior trim, leather-and-suede-effect heated and electric-adjust sports seats, carbon-effect trim, a heated steering wheel, and an automated parking system.