Renault has unveiled the name of its future high-end coupé SUV: Rafale. It completes the family of E-Tech hybrid models based on the CMF-CD platform. After Austral, a 5-seater SUV, and Espace, the large 5 and 7-seater SUV, Rafale is positioned as the new flagship of the Renault range. It thus reinforces Renault’s offensive in segment D.
To name this model, whose presence and design will not leave anyone indifferent, the choice fell on a strong and emotionally charged name. And with a touch of audacity. Because Rafale impresses both the mind and the ear. And it is that in Renault the names always have a meaning or a story.
Specifically, the Rafale name is steeped in history and boasts a prestigious record of success in French aviation. This heritage began with Louis Renault 89 years ago. Not everyone knows this, but the name has belonged to Renault since 1936. At the beginning of the 20th century, Renault pioneered the manufacture of internal combustion engines for cars, trains and airplanes. “With this commitment to aeronautics, Renault was already concerned with performance and exceeding expectations,” says Sylvia Dos Santos, head of the Name Strategy of the Global Marketing Department of the Renault brand.
Louis Renault was passionate about aviation and acquired the Caudron aviation companies in 1933. He then created the Caudron Renault company and renamed all Caudron aircraft with the name Winds: the C460 became the Rafale in 1934, the C500 in Simoun , the C640 in Typhoon and the C714 in Cyclone.
The first Rafale in history, the Caudron Renault C460, was a single-seater racing plane. Designed to break records, only a few examples were made. This confidentiality could have made him fall into oblivion. However, the daring design, cutting-edge aerodynamics and extraordinary performance of this aircraft have left their mark on the history of aviation and have made it a myth. “The pioneering spirit and the desire to surpass oneself were also present in famous aviators such as Maryse Bastié and Hélène Boucher”, explains Dos Santos.
It was aboard the Rafale that the famous Hélène Boucher broke several speed records, including the women’s 1,000 km, reaching 445 km/h on August 11, 1934. In a nod to history, “the training base and the runways of the Caudron Renault aerodrome were located in Guyancourt, where the current Renault Technocentre is located,” says Dos Santos.
A line that takes your breath away
The distinctive design of the Caudron Renault Rafale is the work of Marcel Riffart. This brilliant aerodynamic engineer also worked on the design of Renault cars, such as the Nervasport and Viva Grand Sport. Viva Grand Sport was a unique, extremely luxurious model, powered by a 6-cylinder in-line engine. In the advertisements of the time, Hélène Boucher, hired by Renault at the time, was seen driving this model.
Aviation, like automotive, is a pioneering discipline that drives progress and innovation. In keeping with its illustrious heritage, the new Renault Rafale aspires to excellence in design and aerodynamics. With its impressive lines, it is Renault’s flagship high-end coupe SUV.
“The name Rafale is immediately associated with technology, performance and daring, as well as driving pleasure and agility. Building on our history, Rafale is a very significant name that perfectly conveys the positioning of our future high-end coupé SUV. I am sure that the Rafale will have a promising future together with the other vehicles in the Renault range,” says the head of the Name Strategy of the Global Marketing Department of the Renault brand.
New airs at the top of the range
The new Rafale will therefore represent the top of the Renault range. To illustrate the great offensive of the brand in the D segment, together with the new Espace, this model needed a strong, impressive name with character. Far from ordinary, the choice of the Rafale name is full of meaning and coherence.
“In the 1930s, the technology used in the Caudron Renault aircraft was a true laboratory for the development of the cars of the future, in the same way that today Formula 1 is a source of technology for our current vehicles”, comments Dos Santos.
With its catchy sound and the fact that it refers to a force of nature, the name is associated with aerodynamics and efficiency. This is particularly appropriate for a car with a design like the new Rafale. «Rafale evokes the wind, which sculpts its aerodynamic bodywork. It immediately refers to the aerodynamic silhouette and the strong character of our vehicle », he concludes.
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