RENAULT has unveiled an all-new pure-electric car, the Mégane E-Tech Electric, to take on the VW ID.4 crossover.
Despite the name, Renault’s new EV isn’t based on the current Mégane hatchback, instead adopting a crossover stance to sit somewhere between the Captur and Kadjar in size.
The new Mégane E-Tech joins other pure-electric models in Renault’s line-up including the Zoe and battery-powered versions of the Kangoo and Master vans.
Visually, it’s all about the details, with sharp, narrow headlights appearing to run across the front end and daytime running lights descending in a swipe down towards the body-contrasting front bumper blade.
In top spec, the Mégane E-Tech sits on a set of 20in wheels, though 18in rims are available further down the range.
The roof, pillars and mirrors can be optioned in a contrasting colour to the body, giving the impression of a floating roof delicately held aloft by the narrow chrome strip that meets the rear of the car as it descends the blackened C-pillar.
The rear lights are narrow and use micro fibre-optic cables, allowing for effects such as the pause button symbol when the brakes are applied. Other tech flourishes include flush door handles that extend when someone carrying the key card approaches the car.
What’s it like inside?
The Mégane E-Tech is based on a new electric car platform that has been developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance and will provide the basis for the next Nissan Leaf.
Within the limits of the platform, Renault has placed thin 110mm batteries under the floor, meaning, like many EVs, the Mégane E-Tech’s cabin gets a flat floor, for excellent leg room. Interior space is around the same size as that of a normal Mégane hatchback, though the boot is a little bigger. The rear seats can be flipped down or folded in a 60:40 configuration to accommodate larger loads.
Inside, the 12.3in instrument panel forms an “L” shape alongside the vertically-positioned 12in infotainment screen in the middle. With 4k resolution, images, icons and instruments should all be notably sharp and vivid.
Renault’s OpenR Link multimedia system is powered by the Android Auto, meaning that occupants get access to Google Maps for navigation, the Google Play catalogue for adding apps, and Google Assistant voice control. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay, though, and can also receive over-the-air updates.
The interior features wood, Alcantara and other soft materials such as the carpet-lined storage compartments, to prevent rattles while driving. Faux-leather seats are available, too.
Packed with technology
Active Driver Assist works in conjunction with cameras, radar, satellite geo-location and the car’s other assistance systems such as Lane Keeping Assist and Stop & Go technology. It’s even capable of decelerating to around 20mph when approaching a roundabout and accelerating back up to speed again as it exits.
In town, Rear Automatic Emergency Braking prevents reversing into pedestrians, cars, shopping trolleys, etc, while Occupant Safe Exit issues a warning when it detects that passengers are about to open a door into oncoming traffic.
Full Auto Park means that the can Mégane park itself with only minimal input from the driver who can control the progress of the procedure just by using the accelerator.
Performance and range
Powertrains in the Renault Mégane E-Tech will consist of two power outputs and two battery options. Both 128bhp and 215bhp electric motors will be available, the latter allowing a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds.
A 40kWh battery delivers a claimed range of 186 miles, while the larger 60kWh pack manages 292 miles, says Renault. The Mégane E-Tech Electric will be compatible with AC charging as well as faster DC charging points up to 130kW, adding 124 miles of driving at motorway speed in just 30 minutes, according to Renault, or 186 miles on a combination of roads.
Release date and pricing
Renault’s order books for the Mégane E-Tech Electric open in February 2021 with deliveries beginning in March. Pricing is to be confirmed but, based on prices for the Renault Kadjar and adding an EV premium, we’d expect something around the £30,000-35,000 mark.
- After reading how an electric Renault Mégane was unveiled for launch in 2022 with 292-mile range, you might be interested to read why Clarkson said that owning the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy will result in ridicule
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