News, Culture & Society

RAY MASSEY: Renault’s new Arkana hybrid offers Style, space and pace

The new Renault Arkana somewhat wrongfooted me. True, on first encounter, I was in a rush and didn’t take it all in. 

For some reason I first saw the car as a sporty coupe, judging by flowing lines and fastback rear.

Only when standing back and viewing the full profile did I realise the extent to which it’s jacked up and riding on large, 18 in Pasadena diamond-cut alloy wheels. Very SUV like. 

Shape-shifter: Renault’s first hybrid, the Arkana, is the French brand’s first purpose-built hybrid and its first SUV with coupe styling

Then it made sense. That’s because the car is Renault’s first purpose-built hybrid and the French giant’s first SUV with coupe styling.

So the Arkana really is a crossover whose shape shifts depending on the angle from which you view it.

I was driving the electrified S-Edition E-Tech Hybrid 145 Auto, which marries a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor to a six-speed automatic gearbox. 

The 145 hp of pulling power can still return up to 58.9 mpg but just 108g/km CO2 emissions. 

The electrified S-Edition E-Tech Hybrid 145 Auto marries a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor to a six-speed automatic gearbox

The electrified S-Edition E-Tech Hybrid 145 Auto marries a 1.6-litre petrol engine and electric motor to a six-speed automatic gearbox

Performance: The Arkana can go from rest to 62 mph in 10.8 seconds and has a top speed of 107 mph

Performance: The Arkana can go from rest to 62 mph in 10.8 seconds and has a top speed of 107 mph

Cleaner: The hybrid Arkana starts every time in zero-emissions electric mode and the hybrid system prioritises electric power over petrol

Cleaner: The hybrid Arkana starts every time in zero-emissions electric mode and the hybrid system prioritises electric power over petrol

 My fully-stocked car starts at £28,600 and had extras that bumped it up to £29,800, including fetching Zanzibar Blue metallic paint (£650), a black roof (£300) and a space-saver spare wheel (£250).

The full hybrid is priced from £26,300 for the base-level Iconic to £30,900 for the sporty top-range RS Line.

But there’s lots of safety and driver assistance kit, including anti-lock and active emergency braking, hill-start assist and electronic stability control. 

Pricing: The full hybrid is priced from £26,300 for the base-level Iconic to £30,900 for the sporty top-range RS Line

Pricing: The full hybrid is priced from £26,300 for the base-level Iconic to £30,900 for the sporty top-range RS Line

Comforts: The interior trim includes black fabric, synthetic leather upholstery, manually adjustable seats, tinted rear windows and a 7in driver information display

Comforts: The interior trim includes black fabric, synthetic leather upholstery, manually adjustable seats, tinted rear windows and a 7in driver information display

Space: The infotainment system includes a 9.3 in touchscreen while load-lugging owners will enjoy up to 513 litres of boot space

Space: The infotainment system includes a 9.3 in touchscreen while load-lugging owners will enjoy up to 513 litres of boot space

The interior trim includes black fabric, synthetic leather upholstery, manually adjustable driver and passenger seats, tinted rear windows and a 7in driver information display. 

On a couple of long cruises, it was engaging and relaxing, with rest to 62 mph taking 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 107 mph.

The car starts every time in zero-emissions electric mode and the hybrid system prioritises electric power over petrol.

There are three driving modes and the infotainment system includes a 9.3 in touchscreen. Load-lugging owners will enjoy up to 513 litres of boot space.

New book celebrates 007’s Aston Martin DB5

Iconic: The first official history of James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

Iconic: The first official history of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 

The first official history of James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 reeks quality – from the gorgeous layout to the 302 sumptuous behind-the-scenes photographs.

It is co-authored by Will Lawrence and Simon Hugo, with a foreword by the current Bond actor Daniel Craig – and it’s the first time EON Productions, the maker of the James Bond films, has authorised an official history of this iconic car, which made its debut in Goldfinger and appeared in another seven 007 films (including No Time To Die).

James Bond’s DB5 (£40, Hero Collector Books) has been launched to coincide with the release of the 25th Bond film No Time To Die.

Gangs target motorhomes and caravans

A staycation boom has prompted security firm Tracker to warn new owners of caravans and motorhomes about the risk of theft by criminal gangs.

It urges owners to be on their guard as a surge in sales of used vehicles is reported at online retailers and auction houses.

New owners of caravans and motorhomes have been warned about the risk of theft by criminal gangs

New owners of caravans and motorhomes have been warned about the risk of theft by criminal gangs

Clive Wain, head of police liaison at Tracker, said: ‘Gangs are taking advantage of high demand and the resulting higher prices, stealing to serve the burgeoning market.’

In 2020, Tracker recovered more than £1 million of stolen caravans and motorhomes, and this figure is set to be even higher this year, Mr Wain said, noting a 29 per cent year-on-year increase. 

He added that physical deterrents include secure storage, alarm systems, hitch locks, wheel clamps and deadlocks on doors.

But he also warned: ‘Experienced and determined criminals will get past these.’

SAVE MONEY ON MOTORING

Logo L&C

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk