Renault Group has unveiled the first model of its core brand’s Gen 2.0 EV line-up at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021) – the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric. With this model, the company is renewing its efforts to regain lost grounds in Europe’s popular family car segment.
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is the production avatar of the Megane eVision concept, which was an evolution of the Renault Morphoz concept. It’s a pure electric alternative to the Renault Megane compact car, although it’s a crossover by body style.
Take a look at what we know about Renault’s next-generation electric car:
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric looks the same as the eVision concept for the most part. The production version has a less flashy front-end with revisions to the light clusters, but the shape of all the elements is the same. Unlike the concept, the production car features the new ‘Nouvel’R’ logo that is flat and has minimalist vibes. However, the new logo doesn’t feature illumination. The side intakes have a new blade bisecting them for style.
While the eVision concept features a charging port on the driver side (left), the Megane E-Tech Electric has it on the passenger side (right). Also new are conventional mirrors that should cost lower (and meet global regulations) and smaller (20-inch) wheels that should provide a better ride and range. The automatic flush door handles are part of the standard equipment. Up top, a shark-fin antenna is present on the final model. At the rear, the tail lamps have received simpler clusters, while the Renault logo has adopted the new look and lost illumination.
The Renault Megane electric SUV looks quite handsome for a car its size. There aren’t any out-of-ordinary design elements, like two-tier headlamps, for instance. Chunky proportions and compact dimensions do the job of making it very athletic, and the slim, technical-looking headlights and rear lights and the sporty bumpers heighten its overall attractiveness.
At 4.21 meters (165.7 in.) long, 1.78 meters (70.1 in.) wide, and 1.50 meters (59.1 in.) tall, the Renault Megane eVision is roughly the size of the Hyundai Kona EV (164.6 in. x 70.9 in. x 61.2 in.). As a model designed as an EV from the ground up, it benefits from a long wheelbase of 2.70 meters (106.3 in.). For reference, the Korean electric SUV’s wheelbase is 102.4 in.
Inside, a highly digital cockpit and clean layout of elements give the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric minimalist vibes. There are very few physical controls, with most comfort/multimedia functions operable via a large portrait touchscreen infotainment system on the dashboard.
An ‘OpenR’ panel brings together the digital instrument cluster and central console multimedia screen, making them look like an upside-down L-shaped single-screen. This panel houses the central air vents as well. The digital instrument cluster measures 12.3 inches, while the multimedia screen measures 9 or 12 inches, depending on the grade. These OpenR displays are part of the OpenR Link multimedia system developed with Google and based on Android Automotive OS. Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play are part of the default software package to provide a smartphone-like user experience for core functions.
A sleek horizontal air vent covers the remaining width of the dashboard on the right side. The floating centre console has dedicated mobile phone storage space, and right below it, there’s some extra storage space to put other small items. The absence of a drive-shaft tunnel and a gearshift lever has allowed a flat floor for more space and comfort.
Our smart packaging improves roominess and trunk volume. It also provides great ergonomics with comfortable sitting position and rear legroom. All the powertrain elements are put on the front of the car, removing all crossing cable from the rear to the front. This creates more space and reduce weight and weight and cost. Heating ventilation and air conditioning is also located in the engine bay, creating a thinner dashboard.Laurence Excoffon, Alliance Platform Leader, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)
Performance & range
The Renault Megane electric sits on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance’s CMF-EV platform, which underpins the Nissan Ariya. Its battery is 40% smaller than that of the Renault Zoe and weighs 395 kg. It is the thinnest battery on the market, Renault Group claims, and it allows keeping the Megane’s height low.
There are two battery pack options: 40 kWh and 60 kWh. The 40 kWh battery pack consists of 8 modules of 24 cells each. The 60 kWh battery pack comprises 12 modules, which have 24 cells each. The 40 kWh battery pack has a single layer of modules, while the 60 kWh battery pack has two layers of modules. Renault Group guarantees that they won’t deteriorate to less than 70% of their nominal capacity for eight years.
On a full charge, the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric can travel 300 km/186 miles (WLTP) in the 40 kWh variant and up to 470 km/280 miles (WLTP) in the 60 kWh variant. A heat pump is present in the EV to keep the range in check in the winter. The maximum AC charging power is good – 22 kW, but the maximum DC charging power is a disappointing 130 kW.
An electrically excited synchronous motor (EESM) powers the wheels using the energy stored in either of the battery packs. The low-end configurations use a 96 kW (130 PS)/250 Nm motor, while the high-end configurations pack a punchier 160 kW (218 PS)/300 Nm version. A 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint takes just 7.4 seconds. The top speed is just 160 km/h (99 mph), though. The driver can choose from different braking regenerative levels, starting from Level 0 and going up to Level 3.
By 2024, Renault Group plans to introduce what it calls ‘Gen 2 performance” for its sports cars, with an energy density of 700 Wh/l at the cell level. Eventually, this technology would trickle down into cars like the Megane E-Tech.
Our new platforms integrate our latest software, the electric route planner, and contextual Adaptive Cruise Control for better efficiency.Gilles Le Borgne, EVP Engineering, Renault Group (Renault eWays ElectroPop)
Price & release date
The Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is available to pre-order now. Orders will open in February 2022, and sales will begin in March 2022. Production will take place in Douai, France. The prices of the Megane electric SUV should range in the EUR 35,000-45,000 mark.
Featured Image Source: Renault Group