Finally An Affordable Coupe Crossover

In a surprising turn of events, French manufacturer Renault revealed an all-new coupe SUV called the Arkana. Shown at the Moscow Auto Show, the Renault Arkana is the first coupe-inspired SUV to sit at a lower price point compared to any of its premium competition. For now, the Renault Arkana is only a show car, but one really close to production. Renault will introduce it for the Russian market in 2019, with the launch on CIS markets some time later. The car could be introduced on the western markets as well (maybe not in the same guise and with the same name) and while we cannot expect it in the U.S. (Renault isn’t available here at all), I would not be surprised if the Arkana architecture ends up supporting some kind of similar Nissan coupe SUV. The Renault press release is clear - the Arkana “heralds a new vehicle with global ambitions.” Last time I checked, global means all around the world.

Renault’s Design Chief Laurens van den Acker did hint that Renault is considering bringing the Arkana to Europe. China, Latin America, and South Korea are already confirmed destinations for the new car.

Exterior

2019 Renault Arkana Exterior
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Everyone familiar with the latest design strategy and ideology of Renault will recognize the Arkana as a continuation of the evolution that started with the Talisman and the latest Megane. I am quite sure that many pieces of the front end and the rear are taken from the part bins of those cars. In that regard, the car looks like a jacked up Renault Megane Grand Coupe. A bit more muscular, though. New pieces do include slightly redesigned front C shaped lights. Maybe something we will soon see on the new Clio as well.

The elephant in the room is its coupe shaped roof.

While some companies did try to hide the coupe nature of some of their coupe inspired SUVs, the Arkana went all BMW X4/X6 with the roof.

It is an obvious coupe-crossover with a high waistline, massive clearance and, in this case, large 19-inch wheels. I can’t say it isn’t imposing, because it is, but I am still not sure about the overall dimensions and size of the car. Renault apparently markets it as a C-segment crossover which means it falls in line with the size of the Nissan Rogue, or the Honda CR-V. So, it is a cheaper BMW X4 knock off then. Top Gear did report that it rides on an extended Renault Captur architecture. See, the Captur is basically a supermini of crossovers, but the one in Russia is actually bigger compared to those in the rest of the world. And the Arkana show car, apparently, borrowed the tech from it. I hope, however, that it will be based at the very least on the Rogue architecture.

2019 Renault Arkana Exterior
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“The ARKANA show car is a distinctive coupé-crossover, striking balance between the elegance of a Sedan and the powerful stance of an SUV.

We have dialed in specific Renault cues, with a strong design, strength, and sensuality with a French touch” said Laurens Van Den Acker, Corporate Design of Groupe Renault.

Interior

2017 Renault Megane Sedan High Resolution Interior
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While Renault refused to provide any photographs of the interior, I think we can be fairly certain as to how it will look. Just take a glance into the cabins of the latest high-specced Megane or even the Talisman.

A massive central portrait screen will dominate the dash; the instrument cluster will be partially digital with the rest of the cabin taking the tech and the main layout from the Renault compact car as well.

Now, one could imagine this thing receiving the new Clio interior. While I still don’t know how it looks, I am sure it will follow the same ideas as the Megane. Nevertheless, I would feel more comfortable knowing that it has a Megane-sourced interior. It at least brings a dash of sophistication and modernism.

Drivetrain

2019 Renault Arkana Exterior
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Again, not a word.

The only technical specification we got is the fact that the Arkana sits on 19-inch wheels.

Yet, considering that this is a cheap coupe crossover, it will probably take the drivetrain available in the Renault Kadjar. I would expect the Arkana to get a 1.2-liter, turbocharged, petrol engine and it could be offered with a 1.6-liter diesel as an option. Add to this dual-clutch gearbox and possible 4WD from the Kadjar and the Arkana should be ready to go.

Obviously, this is dramatically different to anything we ever got from other coupe SUVs which are, more often than not, super powerful beasts capable of hot-hatch levels of performance.

Why In Russia?

2019 Renault Arkana Exterior
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The Russian market is one of the most important for Renault. It is actually its second biggest market where Renault holds more than a quarter of market share. The company’s influence is that huge.

This is not the first time that Renault crafted a car as per Russian buyers’ requirements, but this time it is doing so with a special plan.

The strategic plan called “Drive the Future 2017-2022” includes plans for massive growth outside of Europe. The French company focuses its efforts on making Russia their biggest market. The Arkana is an integral part of the plan. After all, the car will be built in Moscow in an AutoVAZ factory. From there the Arkana will reach many parts of the world. Maybe even in Australia.

Conclusion

2019 Renault Arkana Exterior
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Revealing the Arkana Renault started a sort of a revolution in the world of SUVs. This is the first affordable coupe crossover. An alternative to the likes of the BMW X4 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.

Sure, we will never be able to compare it with those kinds of coupe crossovers, but the sheer fact the Arkana has been introduced opens a window for the introduction of a number of similar attempts by other manufacturers.

Imagine a Tucson Coupe or a Sportage Coupe. Maybe a Nissan Rogue Coupe. It all could happen, but the Arkana will be the first one to make a stride.

The Arkana may only be an eastern-market tryout, but the fact of the matter is that with it the coupe crossovers exclusivity starts its decline. Sure, one could argue that the SsangYong Actyon was actually the one who pioneered the class, but it did not sell well enough to achieve the status BMW or Mercedes coupe SUVs did. After the Renault Arkana, be ready to see an invasion of cheap coupe SUVs. If done right, I am sure they would sell like hotcakes.

Further reading

2015 Renault Kadjar High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Renault Kadjar.

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Read more Renault news.

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