Scenic EV

Renault Scenic is back — as an electric SUV

Soundtrack by Jean-Michel Jarre (seriously)

Renault has revealed its all-new Scenic E-Tech Electric at the IAA Mobility motor show in Munich, with the family-friendly model transitioning from an MPV (formerly known as “people carriers”) to something much more SUV-like this time around. It’s also powered exclusively by electricity, while the majority of its body is fully recyclable, too.

Crisp two-box design

Renault makes no explicit mention of it in the accompanying launch blurb for the new Scenic, but it’s clear there has been a significant change in shape for this model. Gone is the former “monobox” profile of a traditional MPV, whereby the bonnet line continues up over the windscreen, replaced instead by a distinct two-box design that gives the Scenic a more SUV-like stance.

It’s a transition that has already happened to the larger Espace, a vehicle no longer sold in the UK, and it would appear the Scenic has discreetly followed suit.

Renault Scenic E-Tech Electric

The angular design of the new Renault Scenic E-Tech features the “Nouvel’R” diamond logo and high-tech LED lights as seen on the latest cars from the French car maker.

Its bodywork isn’t just meant to be eye-catching, though; the Scenic was designed to be as aerodynamic as possible. Even the larger of two alloy wheel sizes, which are either 19in or 20in, are shaped to reduce turbulence and drag, while all the door handles are flush to the body.

At the rear of the Scenic, the lamp clusters are “sited like two arrows facing each other”, an aesthetic flourish which visually widens the vehicle. And up top, there’s a panoramic roof that can be lightened or darkened in sections, allowing passengers to sit under different opacity glass as they so desire.

Spacious and high-tech cabin

Renault says the Scenic’s exterior proportions — at 4,470mm long, 1,860mm wide and 1,570mm high — ensure there is plenty of room and comfort onboard for occupants. The company also cites the raised driving position as a boon, while passengers in the rear are claimed to enjoy as much knee- and headroom as in the largest family cars in its class, thanks in part to a flat floor all the way across, with no transmission tunnel.

The Scenic’s dashboard an cabin layout is characterised by a minimalist appearance which is facilitated by the twin digital displays. As with the Megane E-Tech, the OpenR Link multimedia system is powered by Android Automotive, which is different from the Android Auto that runs via smartphones in that it’s built into the car itself.

The system features more than 50 apps built in from Google Play, and the whole lot is presented on a 12in vertical screen in the centre console, accompanied by a 12.3in horizontal display for the driver. And don’t worry if you’r an Apple iPhone user — all phones will connected via Bluetooth for calls and streaming.

Renault Scenic E-Tech Electric

Previous generations of Scenic were known for their clever and adaptable interiors designed for the rigours of family life, and the new one is no exception. As well as a useful 545-litre boot, rising to 1,670 litres with the rear seats folded, there’s another 38.7 litres of storage dotted throughout the cabin. There are also USB-C ports and fold-out stands in the rear, so passengers can comfortably view portable screens on the move.

Finally, Renault has approached electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre to come up with the soundtrack for the Scenic E-Tech. So the noise the car makes to warn pedestrians that it is moving (at speeds of up to 19mph) and the ‘Welcome’ sound sequence it plays when you get in were both created by the French musician.

Purely electric powertrain options

Renault will offer the Scenic with two electric drivetrains. The first uses a 125kW (168bhp) electric motor that delivers 207lb ft of torque. This is linked to a battery pack with a capacity of 60kWh, allowing for a range of around 260 miles, Renault says (pending official verification). It’s also good for a claimed 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds and top speed of 93mph.

Above that in the line-up is a 160kW (217bhp) and 221lb ft motor, which is accompanied by an 87kWh battery pack. This’ll do 0-62mph in 8.4 seconds and manages a slightly higher top speed of 106mph, although more crucially Renault says this is the Scenic which will be capable of up to 379 miles on a single charge.

Renault Scenic E-Tech Electric

In terms of charging speeds, the smaller battery pack has a maximum rate of 130kW on DC rapid chargers, while the larger can run to 150kW. No exact charging times have been given as yet, although Renault does say the 87kWh pack can gain “two hours of motorway range” with a 30-minute top-up at 150kW.

Scenic’s sustainability

Renault says that almost a quarter of the Scenic E-Tech’s materials are recycled, while fully 90 per cent of its mass — including the battery — is recyclable.

Highlights include 80 per cent recycled aluminium being employed in the doors and bonnet, while the interior includes kenaf for the dashboard cowling, ricin-oil PVC and cotton weft used in more than half of the steering wheel’s coverings, and floor mats made up of (in the main) recycled plastic bottles.

The Scenic E-Tech is also assembled at the Douai plant within ElectriCity, which aims to be a carbon-neutral production facility by 2025.

Prices and on sale date

There’s no word on UK prices or specs for the Renault Scenic as yet, but with the Megane E-Tech starting at just under £37,000, we could expect the larger model to be priced from above £40,000. Expect model lines to follow the Techno, Esprit Alpine and Iconic trim structure. The all-new Scenic is due to launch in early 2024.

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