New 2021 Renault Megane EV to lead brand’s electric charge

Renault has committed to a rapid turnaround of what will become one of the most important cars the brand has produced in decades, when it reveals the all-new electric Megane crossover later this year – only months after the surprise reveal of the Megane eVision concept last October.

Spied for the first time in late prototype form, the reinvented Renault Megane will open a new chapter for the French marque with former SEAT boss Luca De Meo now in charge. His plan, dubbed “Renaulution”, will see Renault launch seven new all-electric vehicles by 2025, with the reinvented Megane being the first of the bunch.

It’s one of several cars planned by Renault to use the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new CMF-EV platform. “Like with the first generation of Megane, this Megane with an E is just the beginning. A whole family of vehicles will be based on our CMF-EV platform,” said De Meo at the unveiling of the concept in October. However, Renault is more likely to make a range of separate models, rather than a cluster of EVs all under the Megane banner.

The lines of the eVision concept will be toned down for the production model, but our spy shots confirm the new Megane’s compact dimensions. Our exclusive images here preview how it could look when the covers come off – something that could happen as soon as this summer.

De Meo hailed the Megane eVision as “a masterpiece of packaging”. The concept measured in at 4,210mm long, 1,800mm wide and 1,505mm tall, giving it a comparable footprint to the Captur small SUV, but with a lower roofline.

The final production car will be similarly tightly packaged. The wheels are pushed out to the corners of the body to give interior space to rival a larger family hatch with exterior dimensions similar to the current Megane. The floor appears very shallow for an EV, too – no surprise, given that Renault promises that the Megane EV will use the slimmest battery pack on the market, at just 11cm deep.

The eVision concept’s interior was kept under wraps, and our spies have yet to catch a glimpse inside the cabin, but it should represent a total reinvention for the brand, thanks to the new platform.

The concept teased the prospect of a large L-shaped display, which could link a central touchscreen on the centre console with a widescreen digital instrument panel.

From launch the electric Megane will use a 60kWh battery, which will power a 160kW electric motor with 300Nm. De Meo promises 0-100km/h in less than eight seconds and 450 kilometres of range on a single charge under WLTP rules. However, he also said that Renault could look to develop a longer-range version of the car in the future.

That’s not a surprise, given that the Nissan Ariya – a larger electric SUV using the same platform – offers a bigger battery with 87kWh of usable energy. In that application, Nissan claims a range of 500 kilometres.

An on-board charger will allow 7kW AC single-phase charging from a wallbox, with AC three-phase compatibility, too. However, the only charge time Renault has revealed so far is that the electric Megane will be able to reclaim 200 kilometres of range in 30 minutes when rapid charging at its maximum of 130kW DC.

We believe the Megane will be revealed mid-2021 before going on sale in Europe before the end of the year, but it’s unlikely to be on Australia roads until late 2022.

James Brodie

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