All-new Renault Megane electric crossover spied

Renault’s all-new pure electric Megane will become a compact crossover EV.

This is our first look at the new, next-generation and pure-electric Renault Megane, which will be revealed in full later in 2021.

The hatchback has been a stalwart of the French brand’s line-up for the past 25 years, but the current demand for electric cars and crossovers means Renault will soon broaden the car’s horizons.

It will combine the car industry’s two most popular trends by adopting a new pseudo-SUV stance and an electric powertrain. It’ll also be based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s dedicated CMF-EV platform, a version of which underpins the pure-electric Ariya SUV.

Renault previewed the car in October last year with the Megane eVision concept and, although these test mules are still heavily camouflaged, we can tell many of the prototype’s styling cues will make it into production.

The slim LED headlamps look very similar to the concept’s and, underneath the wrap we expect to find a near identical front bumper. The EV’s waistline looks like the Megane eVision’s, with a similar kick up to rear quarter light and shaved rear door handles. Renault has also retained the show car’s raised ride-height, in the likely hope of capturing potential Kia e-Niro and Skoda Enyaq buyers.

Despite the SUV stance, the new Megane EV is expected to be slightly smaller than the current hatchback. The concept measures 4,210mm long, 1,800mm wide and 1,505mm tall, giving it dimensions comparable to the supermini-sized Captur crossover.

However, the packaging benefits of the car’s electric powertrain mean there should be at least as much room inside as the petrol-powered Megane. Renault has pushed the wheels further out towards the car’s corners and, as the electric motor doesn’t need a transmission tunnel, there’s likely to be a little extra legroom, too.

Renault has released some tentative technical specifications. The Megane eVision concept has an electric motor on the front axle and a 60kWh battery pack mounted under the cabin floor, for an output of 160kW and 300Nm of torque. A similar setup is already available on the Nissan Ariya.

Renault says that’s enough for a 0–100km/h time of “less than eight seconds.” The company hasn’t released a range figure as such, although executives have said the system will be able to drive from London to Newcastle in the same amount of time as a petrol-engined car. That would suggest a range of around 440km.

As the electric Megane’s platform will be the same as the Nissan Ariya’s, it will also offer support for 130kW DC rapid charging. That should allow the battery pack to take on an 80 per cent charge in around half an hour.

Luke Wilkinson

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