After posting a record net loss of €8 billion ($9.7B) in 2020, Renault is hoping to turn fortunes around with its five-year Renaulution plan. The main focus is electrification, highlighted by the revival of the R5 as a zero-emissions supermini and a possible return of the Renault 4. But these will take a while to hit the market, and in the meantime, the existing combustion-engined cars need to succeed to fund the EV agenda.
What better way to improve cash flow if not by rolling out a new crossover? Enter the 2022 Kadjar. Renault has been spied in a snowy scenery testing prototypes of the second-generation model carrying what appears to be the full production body. Despite the heavy disguise, the new C-segment family hauler already seems to have a sharper design. The completely new LED lights at the front and rear appear to be similar to those of the 2020 Megane eVision concept.
Mechanically related to the recently unveiled 2021 Nissan Qashqai, the new Kadjar will ride on the same CMF-C platform that will open the possibility for electrification. It will be interesting to see whether Renault will abandon the diesel engine like its Japanese counterpart or the company with the diamond logo will still put a dCi badge.
Mild-hybrid and hybrid powertrains are planned to cut fuel consumption and meet Europe's increasingly stringent emissions regulations. A plug-in hybrid could arrive later in the life cycle to offer some electric range, but nothing is official at this point. Another piece of the puzzle is whether Renault will offer the range-extending hybrid powertrain of the Qashqai where the gasoline engine doesn't drive the wheels. Instead, the ICE is used to generate electricity and it's the e-motor that gets the vehicle in motion.
Both prototypes caught by our spies lacked the fuel cap and had the side mirrors at the base of the A-pillars compared to the Qashqai where the mirrors now sit lower on the door to reduce wind noise. The greenhouse seems virtually identical to that of its Nissan sibling, and there's a pretty good chance the new Kadjar has grown in size as well.
The extra weight due to the increased footprint could be offset by using more aluminum body panels as seen in the Qashqai where the front fenders, hood, and all doors are made from Al while the tailgate uses a composite material. We're hoping an all-wheel-drive variant will still be offered as seen in the Qashqai.
Look for a debut to take place in the second half of 2021, with sales to commence either by the end of the year or early 2022.