New crossover will be firm’s flagship model in Russian market, and is designed to mix saloon and SUV attributes
The new machine will be built at Renault’s Moscow factory and has been conceived as the French firm’s new flagship model in Russia, where it will go on sale next year. It will then expand to other ‘global’ markets, beginning with Asia, although there are currently no plans to bring it to the UK or Europe.
A C-segment mid-size SUV, the five-seat Arkana features a coupe-style design, with the high-riding style and wide wheel arches typical of a crossover. Renault’s design boss Laurens Van den Acker said it strikes “a balance between the elegance of a sedan and the powerful stance of an SUV.”
The machine features the latest version of Renault’s front design, including full LED headlights. At the rear are twin aluminium, while the rear lights feature a full width LED strip underneath a pronounced lip on the swooping hatchback. The show car sits on 19-inch wheels with high ground clearance.
No details on specific powertrains were given, although they will include one that is new to the Russian market. The Arkana will be offered with four-wheel-drive, and Renault says it will offer “excellent all-terrain capabilities”.
Renault says the idea for the Arkana’s saloon-come-SUV design was led by the Russian market, where saloon cars still lead the market but SUVs are rising in popularity. It was styled and developed at Renault’s design centre in France. The name is derived from ‘arcanum’, the Latin word for secret, with Renault claiming that the concept of Arkana is «associated with mystery, attractiveness and pioneer spirit»
The Arkana is the first step in a major investment in the Russian market for Group Renault as part of its Drive the Future strategic plan to increase sales volume to five million units by 2022.Russia is Group Renault’s second biggest market behind France, particularly due to its majority stake in Lada parent company Avtovaz.
The group’s brands have a 28% share of the country’s market, selling 448,270 vehicles there in 2017. While led by Lada, which has a 19.5% market share, the Renault brand is growing in popularity in the country, with an 8.5% market share. The Russian market grew by 12.2% last year, the first rise since 2017, and that helped Group Renault’s sales rise by 16.9%.