Renault has totally changed its strategy since Luca de Meo took over the group with the leitmotif of “going from volume to value”. The final objective of the “Renaulution” plan is to pivot the brand’s economic model towards technology, energy and mobility, by 2025, in other words tomorrow!
One of the pillars of this strategy is to consolidate the brand’s leadership in the electrical field, with more than 300,000 vehicles sold since 2010. To do this, the group has erected a brand new industrial pole in the north. from France: the “Renault ElectriCity”. The Douai, Maubeuge and Ruitz sites have been reconverted to become the electric sillicon valley in France with the objective of producing 400,000 electric vehicles per year by 2025 and building up a range made up of 90% of models. electric by 2030. This new Mégane is produced in Douai.
The only French manufacturer present, Renault take advantage of Munich fair to present with fanfare the first product offensive of this “Renaulution”: the electric Mégane. If it keeps the name, this car has nothing in common with the current one. Starting with the format. Renault wanted to break the codes so well that it is difficult to place it in a specific category. 4.21 m long, the French sports a silhouette halfway between a compact sedan, an SUV but also a coupe. It’s roughly the same recipe used by Citroën with his latest C4.
Compact in size, this electric Mégane also has its eye on the world of crossovers with its side sill guards, 20 ” wheels and high beltline. The fleeting roof which reduces the rear-view mirror, the widened tracks and the flush door handles as standard evoke the world of coupes, just like the ground clearance, more reduced. For the fluidity of the line, Renault has again placed the rear door handles high up near the skylight.
At the front and at the back, the optics form a band which encompasses the new logo. The front side marks the spirits with an important role of the light, put forward here by a cut of the wings around the headlamps. 100% LED, the front and rear lighting inaugurates an unprecedented signature destined to become widespread on all the brand’s models (thermal and / or electric). The turn signals are scrolling and the rear lights are 3D effect. The lighting is now adaptive, no need to switch from high beam to low beam.
At launch, the new Megan E-Tech electric will be offered in six body colors (Burst Gray, Shale Gray, Night Blue, Flame Red, Star Black and Glacier White). It is possible to opt for a two-tone color with a different roof color, pillars and exterior mirror caps.
This reinvention of proportions, we owe it to the CMF-EV base, shared with the other members of the Alliance (and in particular, the next Nissan ariya), and the compactness of the batteries. This allows the wheels to be pushed into the corners and to offer a generous wheelbase. The result is a living space in the upper middle of the category with a lot of legroom for two adults in the back. As a real electric car, it takes advantage of its architecture such as the absence of transmission tunnel or gear lever to offer more storage. There are a total of thirty liters in addition to the trunk volume of 440 liters. The latter offers a double floor to store the charging cables.
On board, the centerpiece is the new digital universe called “OpenR”. It is an inverted “L” shaped association between a 12.3 ” XXL digital instrumentation and a 12 ” multimedia system (at entry level, the multimedia screen measures 9 ”) , a principle inaugurated by Mercedes with the Class A.
This is the first serial production of this equipment at Renault. Here, the multimedia screen is covered with a reinforced glass surface. It hosts an Android OS that works much better than anything Renault has offered to date. It integrates all Google functionality. You can link your account to the car and integrate your preferences. Everything is connected, responsive, Renault is finally entering the 21st century. This system is also Carplay wireless compatible.
The slender dashboard is made of recycled materials, topstitched leather and in some cases textile. Wood panels adorn the storm doors to give a warm atmosphere. This qualitative presentation is enhanced by LED mood lighting which varies according to the exterior light. A lesser evil for this really very dark interior. The glass surfaces are small and there are no plans to integrate a panoramic roof.
The ergonomics are quite good with physical shortcuts to manage ventilation, temperature and airflow. We regret the placement of the gear control behind the steering wheel, like the Volkswagen ID.3 which is far from being a benchmark in terms of ergonomics.
Under the hood Renault installs for the first time a brand new powertrain developed within the Renault / Nissan Alliance. It is a very compact and lightweight wound rotor synchronous motor. It will be available in two versions (EV40 of 96 kW (130 hp) and 250 Nm / EV60 of 160 kW (218 hp) and 300 Nm). The most powerful version allows it to go from 0 to 100 km / h in 7.4 seconds. Note that this new platform, brought to develop within the brand, can receive a second engine on the rear axle to benefit from all-wheel drive.
A range of between 300 and 450 km
To power these new engines, Renaut has installed new batteries in the floor of its Mégane. This is also one of the biggest technical feats achieved by the brand at the Losange. This is a lithium-ion battery developed by LG. The thinnest on the market, only 11 cm thick. It differs from that of Zoe by integrating a different chemistry for the benefit of energy density. It is finally liquid cooled, a first for Renault. Two capacities will be offered to customers: 40 kWh for a range of 300 km (WLTP standard) and 60 kWh for a range of 450 km (WLTP standard).
To optimize your chances and extend your radius of action, the Frenchwoman offers 4 levels of regenerative braking, predictive charging management which uses navigation to optimize efficiency up to the nearest charging point, as well as a pump. heat to maximize range in cold weather. The Megan E-Tech electric is compatible with all recharging infrastructures. In alternating current (AC), it can accept up to 22 kW and up to 130 kW in direct current (DC). A very good point.
An ecological bonus of € 5,000 upon marketing
Renault is renewing its Multi-sense system, which allows different driving modes to be configured. The firm has put all its know-how in the field of chassis to offer a good compromise between comfort and dynamism. Thus, it adopts a brand new multi-link rear axle and recalibrated electric power steering to provide faster response. This is without counting on the thirty or so driving aids such as a driving assistant which manages lane keeping, acceleration and braking, anti-collision warning, fully automatic parking or even the camera. 3D 360 °.
Renault has not yet communicated on prices but we already know that the range will be made up of 3 finishes called “Equilibre, Techno and Iconic”. However, we expect an entry ticket of € 40,000 bonus not deducted. Moreover, at the time of marketing (opening of orders in January 2022) the latter will drop to 5,000 €.
The Caradisiac moment
Renault does not have a gigantic stand at this 2021 Munich Motor Show but still wanted to present the electric Mégane E-Tech as it should with half a dozen models! The diamond brand, the only French present at the show, even paid the luxury of lining up three in blue, white and red.