All-new Renault Austral: a revolutionary dashboard and interior…

The dashboard of the new Austral: a drawing by Damien DURAND

The Renault Design team completely redesigned the all-new Renault Austral’s passenger compartment down to  the last detail – and it makes the most of OpenR technology, of with more soon in a separate report…

Spacious and modular…

The cabin design of the Austral has all the traditional SUV hallmarks. But the high and wide central console stands out. The dashboard’s architecture gives it a slim and wide look, and the connections to the door panels give front-seat passengers that distinct cockpit feeling. The fact that the door panels are high up also create a sense of safety. The overall design follows the angled lines that give the car its dynamic stance.

The passenger compartment is also modular. It has multiple storage areas, starting with a wide sliding armrest that can provide extra storage and makes using the OpenR Link multimedia system simpler. The console has two large storage areas and a nest to hold your smartphone – and induction-charge it at the same time if you want. Combined, the choice of nooks around All-new Renault Austral’s passenger compartment can fit more than 30 litres.

To make the cocoon effect perfect, a flecked fabric decks the entire roof and windscreen posts. Seat comfort also got special attention. At the front, each person has an ample, ergonomic and comfy area. The rear is also roomier because the transmission tunnel is gone. Versatile and multipurpose All-new Renault Austral has a sliding and folding rear bench, operated with a button in the boot. The seats are designed for chatting: as the front ones taper at the top, it’s easier for passengers in the front and rear to interact.

Agneta Dahlgren, Renault Design Project Director, sums it up for us.

“When we created All-new Renault Austral’s passenger compartment, the three recurring themes were the perception of space, edgy design and a protective feel. And all that based on high quality standards.”

Technology focused on the user…

Passengers also enjoy the large “OpenR” screen. This centrepiece in the passenger compartment is one of the largest screens on the market. Its L-shaped configuration sweeps across the central dashboard and the total display area spans 24.3 inches (774 sq. cm.). It is easy to look at, easy to reach, intuitive and connected. And it has controls for practically all of the car’s features – so the rest of the passenger compartment is considerably leaner.

This state-of-the-art technology runs on the Google Automotive Services system and is so bright and anti-reflective that it makes the visor over the dashboard superfluous. Besides its visual streamlining, the panel has inconspicuous built-in vertical air vents, and the ultra-fine contouring around the screen is perfectly flush. The steering wheel is squarer, and slightly flatter in the centre to enhance driving pleasure while providing the driver with an unobstructed view of the dashboard screen.

Packed with the latest connected and smart solutions, the OpenR Link interface includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a Google search feature and Google Maps. A full 90% of the features you need every day are only one or two clicks away. The OpenR screen is as smooth and simple to use as a smartphone. And it’s one of Renault’s biggest breakthroughs in on-board technology in the past several years. We will tell you soon more about this “OpenR” screen architecture!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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