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New plug-in hybrid Renault Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300hp pops in to top the range

The PHEV version of the Renault Rafale can deliver 62 miles of electric-only range

The Rafale is Renault’s new hybrid-only coupe-SUV and last year it was revealed in full-hybrid guise, but now it’s the turn of the plug-in hybrid. The Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300hp, to give it its full name, will be made available from Autumn 2024 - sitting alongside the full hybrid model which recently went on sale. 

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Pricing for the plug-in hybrid will be announced in June and it’ll certainly cost more than the full-hybrid which starts from £38,195. Rivals for the plug-in hybrid include the Audi Q3 Sportback TFSI e and the Cupra Formentor eHybrid - both of which start over £40,000.

The Rafale E-Tech 4x4 300hp is based on the 200hp powertrain from the full-hybrid Rafale. It uses the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, but there’s a new turbocharger to boost the petrol unit’s power to 148bhp compared to 128bhp in the full-hybrid. Torque increases from 205Nm to 230Nm as well.

The combustion engine is paired with three electric motors in total. There’s a main motor on the front axle with 69bhp and another motor on the rear axle with 134bhp (making the car four-wheel drive). A smaller starter generator motor is also mated to the transmission for an extra 34bhp. In total there’s 296bhp on tap, enough for a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds, making the PHEV Rafale 2.5 seconds quicker than the full-hybrid. 

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Renault claims the Rafale PHEV can solely run on its 22kWh battery for up to 62 miles and at speeds up to 84mph. Overall, there’s an official WLTP combined fuel efficiency figure of 403.5mpg with 48.7mpg expected when the battery is empty. A maximum recharge rate of 7.4kWh means a 0-100 per cent refill will take two hours and 55 minutes. 

On the outside there’s not much to differentiate the plug-in hybrid Renault Rafale from the full-hybrid. The E-Tech 4x4 300hp gets a new ‘Atelier Alpine’ trim level to go with the lower-spec Esprit Alpine. Atelier Alpine brings Satin Summit Blue paint, a black spoiler, bespoke 21-inch alloy wheels and blue floor mats inside. 

The Atelier Alpine also receives chassis tweaks with new dampers, springs and anti-roll bars at the front and rear. Along with four-wheel steering, there’s bespoke ‘Agility Control’ modes that make changes to braking, regenerative braking, stability control and steering, plus Continental sports tyres are fitted as standard. There’s also a camera up front that scans the road and will make adjustments to the suspension to suit. 

The interior features the same 12.3-inch driver’s display and 12-inch central touchscreen as you’d find on the full-hybrid model. As standard, every Renault Rafale gets a wireless smartphone charger, automatic dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

Click here to discover the best plug-in hybrid cars...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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