Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp: Expertise elevated by Alpine

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Renault is unveiling the high-performance version of Rafale: Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp. Channelling all the passion and expertise of the brand, the new plug-in hybrid powertrain delivers the best of both worlds, ICE and electric, with a preference for everyday electric driving. Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp is more than just a high-performance powertrain. A vehicle in tune with its times, it is ultra-efficient, with a range of up to 1,000 km (WLTP*). With the electric motor added to the rear axle, this brand flagship gains a permanently active 4-wheel drive set-up. Packed with the best in high-tech features and safety systems, Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp also optimises traction and roadholding in all circumstances.
The Atelier Alpine version pushes the boundaries of excellence still further in terms of sheer driving pleasure, with the support of the experts from the Alpine brand. With a chassis tuned by the engineers of Alpine Cars and a smart active suspension system, Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp Atelier Alpine is built to deliver exceptional handling and driving pleasure.

Uncompromising choices in technology

The powertrain of Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp is based on the E-Tech hybrid 200 hp powertrain, with the addition of an electric motor on the rear axle and a chargeable battery with a substantial capacity of 22 kWh. This gives Rafale a range of up to 100 kilometres in all-electric mode (WLTP*).

Managed by E-Tech technology, the combustion engine works with the three electric motors and the battery to deliver a total output of 300 hp. Energy management is continuously optimised for a performance/efficiency ratio on a par with the best. Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp offers WLTP combined fuel consumption of 0.7 l/100 km, remaining moderate at 5.8 l/100 km even when the battery is empty, thanks to the efficiency of the combustion engine and the high capacity of the battery (WLTP homologation in progress).

A new plug-in hybrid powertrain

Under the bonnet, the 1.2-litre 3-cylinder engine has a new turbocharger, boosting power to 110 kW or 150 hp (compared with 96 kW or 130 hp for the E-Tech 200 hp version) and torque to 230 Nm (compared with 205 Nm). The multi-mode clutchless dogbox takes account of these changes.

The combustion engine is combined with three electric motors (two main and one secondary) with a total output of 300 hp:

  • the main electric motor on the front axle, developing 50 kW (70 hp) and 205 Nm of torque
  • the second main electric motor, permanently connected to the rear axle, developing 100 kW (136 hp) and 195 Nm of torque
  • the secondary HSG (High-voltage Starter Generator) electric motor developing 25 kW (34 hp) and 50 Nm of torque.

For a dynamic driving experience, the engine and motors work together to unleash the full potential of the vehicle, with performance levels as follows:

  • 0 to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds (compared with 8.9 seconds for the 200 hp E-Tech hybrid)
  • 80 to 120 km/h in 4.0 seconds (compared with 5.6 seconds for the 200 hp E-Tech hybrid)
  • 1,000 metres from a standing start in 26.9 seconds

The two main motors are powered by a 22 kWh/400V lithium-ion battery for electric driving. The secondary HSG (High-voltage Starter Generator) electric motor starts the internal combustion engine, controls gear changes on the automatic gearbox and helps charge the battery.

For maximum charging power of. 7.4 kW (32A), a full recharge of the battery takes:

  • 2 hrs 10 min. for 0 to 80%
  • 2 hrs 55 min. for 0 to 100%

2 – Atelier Alpine: the best of Alpine and Renault technology

All the expertise of Alpine in a special chassis

Alongside the Esprit Alpine finish shared with the E-Tech hybrid 200 hp version, Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp is available in a specific Atelier Alpine version. An evocative name that brings to mind the advanced expertise brought to Renault by Alpine Cars.

This pooling of talents makes it possible for drivers of Renault Rafale to enjoy “the Alpine experience”. Specifically, the Atelier Alpine chassis was tuned by a group of around a dozen dedicated engineers from Alpine Cars through the development of:

  • special parts: dampers, springs, jounce bumpers, front and rear anti-roll bars and 21-inch wheels;
  • a exclusive controlled damping system named active suspension with predictive camera;
  • specific Agility Control modes (see the paragraph on p. 5);
  • calibration of the ECUs controlling braking, regenerative braking, stability and trajectory control and power steering;
  • expert support in coupling the powertrain to the chassis and the Continental sports tyres.

Specific styling attributes

Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp Atelier Alpine features a particularly distinctive look with Satin Summit Blue bodywork, a Starry Black floating spoiler, and special 21-inch ‘Chicane’ wheels with Continental tyres (20-inch wheels for the Esprit Alpine trim). In a sporting nod to the Alpine brand, the interior of Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp Esprit Alpine and Atelier Alpine gain mats in the iconic blue of the arrowed A logo.

New active suspension from Renault

Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp Atelier Alpine differs from the Esprit Alpine version through its innovative self-adjusting smart suspension system, with a camera at the top of the windscreen. This system named “active suspension with predictive camera“ takes account the speed and the driver’s response to adjust damping continuously as in the case of a speed bump or of any obstacles on the road ahead for example.

A innovative Agility Control

Specific to Rafale Atelier Alpine version, a ‘Chassis Control’ menu on the multimedia screen lets drivers adjust the 4Control Advanced settings, the damping profile and the rear steering angles in three ways:

  • Comfort, for everyday journeys, particularly in the city.
  • Dynamic for a compromise between agility and filtering.
  • Sport, for handling and driving pleasure.

These agility control settings are available in all driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport and MySense) with the exception of Snow mode.

Reflecting the wide range of adjustable technologies available on the Atelier Alpine version (four engines, 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steering, regenerative braking and active suspension), these three modes allow drivers to customize very easily Rafale to their own requirements.

Developed by Alpine engineers, the settings for each mode ensure an optimal configuration of Rafale Atelier Alpine every time.

3 – The qualities of hybrid and electric power

All-electric performance for everyday use

Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp ships with a generously sized 22 kWh rechargeable battery operating on 400V. When fully charged, the battery offers a range of up to 100 km (WLTP cycle*) in all-electric mode. This capacity encourages regular plug-in charging.

If the battery charge is sufficient, all-electric driving is activated by default in Comfort and Eco modes and may be maintained depending on driver input. Drivers can also ‘force’ this choice by selecting ‘Electric’ mode with the EV MODE button on the central armrest. This energy choice is maintained for power requirements of up to 160 hp and a maximum speed of 135 km/h.

EV MODE includes a drop-down menu allowing drivers to select one of three modes:

  • Hybrid (active by default)
  • Electric to ‘force’ all-electric driving
  • E-save to use the internal combustion engine from start-up in order to charge the battery up to 25%, before arriving in an urban area, for example

In everyday use, Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp functions in the same way as an all-electric vehicle, with similar driving sensations, particularly in terms of quiet running and acceleration response. At the wheel, driving pleasure is further enhanced by the regenerative braking function, adjustable via the paddles on the steering wheel.

Range of up to 1,000 km

With the energy management system effectively optimising use of the engine and motors, standardised consumption over an WLTP* cycle is 0.7 litres/100 km (15g of CO2/km) with a full battery, and 5.8 litres/100 km (132g of CO2/km) with an empty battery. As a result, Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp is on a par with the best among the high-performance SUVs in the D segment.

Drawing on the ingenuity and efficiency of E-Tech technology, vehicle range is:

  • Up to 100 km in all-electric mode (WLTP*)
  • Up to 1,000 km of total range with a full tank of petrol (55-litre tank) and a fully charged battery (WLTP*)

*pending homologation

Smart traction for safety and dynamic performance

With the new electric motor on the rear axle, Renault Rafale E-Tech 4×4 300 hp gains permanentely active 4-wheel drive. The traction of each axle is managed automatically by the E-Tech system based on driving conditions and the driving mode selected via the MULTI-SENSE settings. Torque distribution can vary instantaneously from 100% for the front wheels (front-wheel drive) to 100% for the rear wheels (rear-wheel drive). As a general rule, front-wheel drive is preferred up to 70 km/h, and rear-wheel drive for higher speeds.

Predictive hybrid driving

This function maximises the use of electrical energy while driving. Connected Google’s mapping data, such as the topography of the road over the next seven kilometres (or the most likely route if no destination is entered), provides advance information to the battery management system to maximise the use of electric power.

A driving report is available in the form of a bar chart detailing consumption and the distance travelled in all-electric mode.