The hybrid Renault Arkana E-Tech and Captur E-Tech are currently under study for the South African market, however, their local launch timings remain to be confirmed, the French automaker’s domestic subsidiary confirmed to TopAuto.
For its local new-energy vehicle (NEV) roadmap, Renault South Africa said it would make “the most sense to adopt a step-by-step strategy” by first looking at the viability of hybrid vehicles as they are not as reliant on charging infrastructure as pure-electric vehicles (EVs).
The current market conditions “pose a lot more challenges” for EVs, thus it will take “a little more time” for these to be introduced and they are “not expected” to arrive in the “short or mid-term,” said the company.
The Arkana is especially notable as it’s the first time this specific coupe-shaped crossover will be sold in the local market, while the Captur has been available since March 2023 but not as a hybrid.
Both E-Tech variants are equipped with the same powertrain, incorporating a 1.6-litre petrol motor generating 69kW paired with a 36kW e-engine and 15kW high-voltage starter generator, with this configuration producing a total of 107kW.
Available with an automatic gearbox only, the powerline combines with a 1.2kWh battery and boasts abilities such as regenerative braking and “100% electric” driving in suburban areas while also cutting down on fuel consumption by as much as 40% to an average of 5.0l/100km.
In addition, the Multi-Sense programme is included which offers several drive modes such as Eco which provides “more measured accelerator pedal mapping”, My Sense which is the “everyday mode with an electric effect”, and Sport which “takes advantage of the engine’s full potential in terms of response time and performance,” said Renault.
The Arkana is the sportier of the two new Renault crossovers, which is underscored by its sloping roofline, motorsport-inspired front splitter, gold exterior detailing, twin exhausts, wheel arch protectors, front and rear skid plates, and “Silverstone” wheels with gold inserts.
It also wears the brand’s signature C-shaped LED headlights for improved nighttime visibility.
The mini-SUV’s cabin is similarly modern, featuring a 10.2-inch digital driver’s display, a 9.3-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a wireless charger, and four USB plugs.
Moreover, both the Arkana and the Captur are equipped with the Highway and Traffic Jam Companion, which combines adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go and lane-centering assistance for an experience that is “almost like autonomous driving,” said the manufacturer.
In the back, the coupe-shaped Arkana swallows up to 480 litres of cargo and comes with a height-adjustable floor to maximise loading capacity.
The Captur E-Tech is set apart from its namesakes with a gold front bumper with an “F1 blade”, shiny black front and rear skid plates, and unique 18-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, this Renault brings a “smart cockpit” with a customisable 7-inch instrument cluster, a 9.3-inch multimedia touchscreen oriented ever-so-slightly towards the driver, and a “floating” console with a “futuristic” model-exclusive gear lever.
The Captur’s rear bench is also capable of sliding forward and backward up to 16mm for more load space versatility, with a maximum cargo capacity of 379 litres on the cards – 25 litres less than the non-hybrid models – while retaining its space for a spare wheel.
Pricing for the semi-electric Renaults has yet to be revealed, however, the Captur E-Tech will likely slot in at the top of the line-up so it’s expected to be more expensive than the current flagship model which sells for R499,999, while the Arkana shouldn’t be far off.
The complete South African specifications and features for the new Arkana and Captur E-Tech will be announced closer to their respective launch dates.
Renault Arkana E-Tech
Renault Captur E-Tech
Keyword: 2 new Renault hybrids under study for South Africa – What you need to know