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New Renault Symbioz mid-sized SUV primed for spring unveiling

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Renault has revealed its upcoming value-focused SUV will be named the Renault Symbioz ahead of its unveiling, which is set to take place in the spring. 

Primed to launch as a compact SUV and a potential rival to the Toyota C-HR, the Symbioz will expand the French brand’s offering in the larger and more expensive C-segment. 

The Symbioz is understood to be only slightly larger than the Clio-based Captur, at around 4410mm long and weighing in at under 1500kg, and will be positioned to fill the ‘gap’ between that car and the coupé-backed Arkana.

It will likely be based on the same CMF-B architecture as the Captur and will be offered with an E-Tech full-hybrid powertrain with 143bhp – the same as the engine that drives the current Renault Clio E-Tech hybrid.

The use of this advanced drivetrain should ensure increased driving enjoyment and lower fuel consumption.

Its platform should also enable it to offer the same choice of full- and plug-in hybrid powertrains while potentially paving the way for a pure-electric derivative further down the line, based on CMF-BEV platform (now known as Ampr Small).

Renault added the Symbioz name comes from the ancient Greek word ‘symbiosis’, which means ‘living together’.

It previously appeared seven years ago at the Geneva motor show on an electric concept car equipped with autonomous driving capabilities. 

The new Symbioz is expected to complement its practicality with the best technology that Renault has to offer. This includes the new-generation Solarbay panoramic glass roof, which turns opaque at the flick of a switch, and the E-Tech full hybrid 145hp engine. 

Product performance boss Bruno Vanel explained why Renault is expanding its line-up in this area: “We were a lot focused on the B-segment, maybe a little bit too much, whereas the European market is at least as much focused on the C-segment.

“What we did is balance our focus a little bit more between the C-segment and B-segment – and from less than 25% of our sales being C-segment, we have almost reached 40% in recent months.”

Vanel said introducing a car in this space would be emblematic of the brand’s push for higher margins with a new target demographic: “We are going for [it with] the Rafale and the Espace. These are sort of new areas for us, these kinds of SUVs.”

He added that “higher turnover is important for us, maybe also with some more affluent customers sometimes” but Renault does “not want to lose” its traditional customer base.

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