The Arkana was launched at the 2018 Moscow motor show, with Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker saying it was intended to offer “a balance between the elegance of a saloon and the powerful stance of an SUV". While Renault initially said it had no plans to offer the machine in Western Europe, the continued rise in popularity of SUVs has promoted the firm to add it to its line-up alongside the Kadjar and Captur.
The European versions are built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-B compact car platform, which is also used for the new Clio and Captur, and will be tuned and specified specifically for the market.
UK buyers are able to choose from a 142bhp 1.6-litre petrol-electric hybrid E-Tech or a turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol engine with 12V mild-hybrid technology and 138bhp.
While coupé-SUV designs are growing in popularity among premium brands, Renault claims the model is the first from a ‘mainstream’ manufacturer to reach Europe. The machine features an SUV-style 190mm ground clearance, along with rugged front and rear skidplates and wheel arches. The five-door also had a swooping, coupé-style profile. It measures 4568mm long and 1571mm high and has a wheelbase of 2720mm.
Inside, the Arkana features a digital dashboard using either a 4.2in, 7.0in or 10.2in screen, along with a 7.0in or 9.3in touchscreen. It features a 513-litre boot, although this shrinks to 438 litres on the hybrid.
The Arkana also gains an RS Line version (from £29,900) that, similar to those offered on the Clio, Mégane and Captur, features special RS Line badging, design flourishes and dual chrome exhausts. RS Line models with the hybrid engine will also gain an e-shifter gear lever.
European Arkana models will be made at Renault's factory in Busan, South Korea. Deliveries are due to begin in the UK in September 2021.