Bold SUV is the first of 24 electric vehicles that will be launched by the Renault Group between now and 2025 as part of its ‘Renaulution’ recovery and future growth blueprint.
Renault has said the new Megane E-Tech Electric will hit showroom floors in the second half of 2022, with the sleek family EV capable of travelling distances close to three hundred miles on a single charge.
Inspired by the Megane eVision concept, it is the first to wear the 1970 retro-inspired Diamond badge. The swooping front end – which incorporates Renault’s familiar C-shaped headlights – blends form and function, according to designers, with the aerodynamic shape key to improving efficiency levels.
The tail-lights feature a unique 3D-effect arrangement, with the gloss black cladding present on the wheel arches and along the door bottoms repeated along the base of the rear bumper. Flush fitting door handles, two alloy wheel sizes – 18- or 20-inches – and a choice of six body colours that includes a two-tone finish for the roof, pillars and wing mirror caps are just some of the other design highlights.
Inside, a 4K multimedia screen measuring 9-inches on the entry level model and 12.3-inches on top-spec versions is joined by a 12-inch digital driver display. Inspiration for the look and feel of the cabin has been taken from the world of home furniture to create a “welcoming and homely” atmosphere.
In a bid to reinforce the car’s eco credentials, the chairs in range-topping variants are upholstered in leather, while the fabric found in other Megane E-Tech’s is made from 100% recycled plastics. A total of forty-eight interior lighting options, in tandem with bright stitchwork, raises the overall ambience.
As for practicality, four adults should have no trouble getting comfortable, with a 440-litre boot among the best in this class. Oddment space is strong as well and comprises a 7-litre storage compartment between the driver and front passenger seat, and a further 3-litres of storage under the front armrest.
A direct rival to the likes of the Peugeot e-2008 and the Volkswagen ID.3, the Megane E-Tech adopts a skateboard-style arrangement for its batteries, of which customers will have two to choose from – 40kWh and 60kWh – with these good for a WLTP range of 186-miles and 292-miles respectively.
Further choice comes by way of power output: 125bhp is offered on top of a sprightlier 215bhp version that Renault says can reach 62mph from a standing start in a hot hatch worrying 7.4 seconds. As for charging, the optional 130kW DC set-up can top-up the battery from 15% to 80% in 30 minutes.
And this has all been made possible by engineers despite the LG-developed battery being the thinnest currently on the market, and some 40% smaller than the one found in its Ford Fiesta-sized Zoe sibling. Lightness has been a key theme in the research and development phase of the Megane E-Tech as well.
Running a battery that is more compact than the Zoe’s means the most potent version tips the scales at just 1,624kg. Mass has also been shaved off the total kerb weight thanks to doors that are made from aluminium and an electrically excited synchronous motor that’s 145kg lighter than the Zoe’s.
Renault has set out to make EV ownership easy but also safe; the Megane E-Tech features a ‘Fireman Access’ that ensures quick access to the battery should it catch fire in an accident. On top of that, a switch is positioned under the rear bench so emergency services can quickly disconnect the battery.With prices expected to start from £30,000, the Megane E-Tech will initially fill the production lines at Renault Group’s industrial Douai site in Northern France until more EV models join the company’s portfolio. At its operating peak, bosses will aim to produce around 400,000 EVs every single year.