Renault Rafale, the new aeronautical-inspired French SUV

Little has transpired about the new model that Renault will unveil next month.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 15:23
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Renault Rafale, the new aeronautical-inspired French SUV

Little has transpired about the new model that Renault will unveil next month. We know that it is a coupe-cut SUV with which the diamond firm wants to compete in the high-end D segment. Built on the CMF-CD platform, the brand's new flagship will have a name that evokes the company's aeronautical past. As reported by the company itself, it will be called Rafale and will debut on June 18 at the Le Bourget International Aeronautics and Space Show.

Both the name of the car and the setting chosen for its world premiere are a tribute to Renault's great aeronautical past, which at the beginning of the 20th century manufactured internal combustion engines not only for cars but also for trains and planes. In 1933, he created the Caudron-Renault company, after buying the homonymous aircraft manufacturer. This is how he renamed all the planes with the name of winds: the C500 was called Simoun; the C640, Typhoon; the C714, Cyclone; and the C460 became the Rafale (French term that in Castilian means burst).

The first Rafale in history, the Caudron Renault C460, was a single-seater racing plane. Designed to break records, only a few examples were made. Its daring design, cutting-edge aerodynamics and extraordinary performance made it a benchmark in the sector. In addition, at the controls of one of these aircraft, the famous pilot Hélène Boucher broke several speed records; for example, she reached 445 km / h on August 11, 1934.

"In the 1930s, the technology used in the Caudron Renault aircraft was a true laboratory for the development of the cars of the future, in the same way that today Formula 1 is a source of technology for our current vehicles", says Sylvia Dos Santos. , Responsible for the Name Strategy of the Global Marketing Department of the Renault brand.

The distinctive design of the Caudron Renault Rafale was the work of Marcel Riffart, an engineer who also worked on the development of Renault cars such as the Nervasport and Viva Grand Sport. Viva Grand Sport was a unique model, powered by a straight-6 engine. In the advertisements of the time, Hélène Boucher, hired by Renault at the time, was seen driving this model.

The diamond mark ensures that, in keeping with its illustrious heritage, the new Rafale aspires to excellence in design and aerodynamics. We will have to wait just a few weeks to see if they meet the expectations generated. At the moment, it has only shown a teaser with the silhouette of the car.

The new model will represent Renault's top of the range in the D segment, where the recently presented new Espace is also located, whose sixth generation abandons the qualities of a minivan to become a 5 or 7-seater SUV. Renault's SUV family also includes the Austral, the Arkana and the Captur.