Renault says a new electric SUV will arrive to sit between the Megane E-Tech and Nissan’s Ariya.
Renault will launch an all-new fully electric family SUV that will sit above the recently revealed Megane E-Tech Electric – and we’ll see it at the 2022 Paris Motor Show, according to the brand’s bosses.
Renault’s vice president for engineering, Gilles Le Borgne, told Automotive Daily that the brand is “already working on a new car in between the Megane [E-Tech Electric] and the Nissan Ariya [with which the Renault will share its platform] for the year to come”.
The French firm’s second electric crossover will sit on the CMF-EV platform and, says Le Borgne, it can be stretched to up to 4.7m long, with a wheelbase of up to 2780mm.
Renault’s current mid-size combustion-engined SUV, the Kadjar, is 4489mm long and has a 2646mm wheelbase, so even if the firm’s all-electric Kadjar replacement is a similar overall length, the wheels will be pushed towards the extremes of the car to improve packaging and maximise space.
This will extend to the battery, which will be mounted in the car’s floor. Le Borgne highlighted that “the line-up could easily fit our 60 [kWh battery]” and that “the maximum energy on board will be 87kWh”.
The latter will deliver a range of around 500km, while 130kW DC rapid charging means a 10 to 80 per cent top-up will take 35 minutes, adding around 320km of range.
Renault has developed a super-slim battery for the CMF-EV platform. At just 110mm deep, this will help improve the space inside for passengers, maximising the EV platform’s potential; this new SUV should offer more luggage space than the Kadjar’s 472-litre boot, too.
Depending on the battery choice, a front-mounted 160kW motor will probably power cars fitted with the 60kWh battery, while a more potent 178kW unit is set to drive the front wheels on the 87kWh model.
However, Le Borgne told Automotive Daily that, unlike its Ariya twin, the Renault won’t use a rear electric motor to equip the car with four-wheel drive; this will be reserved for the hot Alpine version.
Inside the more spacious cabin, the brand’s new Android Automotive-powered OpenR infotainment will be fitted, offering a crisp, clear 12.3-inch digital dash and a 12-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen featuring over-the-air software updates.
As our exclusive image shows, Renault’s next SUV will follow the latest evolution of the brand’s design, with the new, simple 2D logo sitting in pride of place, splitting the slim LED headlight units and sharp running lights. Flush-fit door handles to reduce drag and improve range will also feature, with smooth surfacing on the doors balanced by sharper lines at the front and lower down.
According to Renault’s vice-president, global marketing, Arnaud Belloni, the car could wear a new boot badge, too. When asked about the Kadjar’s strength as a nameplate or if we could expect to see a new name, given Renault’s heritage, having reinvented the Megane, R5 and (soon) the R4 for the modern era, he said: “We could. The name is simple. Either the car has been a success and you can say, ‘Let’s go for another generation,’ or the saga is already existing. Clio is a saga. Megane is a saga. Espace is a saga. You will be surprised; we will have new names too.”