The Renault concept hints at a new design direction, while also confirming the brand’s interest in hydrogen combustion technology.
Renault has confirmed that it will unveil a new ‘unprecedented’ concept car in May, and has teased this new creation alongside its financial results for 2021.
The single shot of the unnamed concept’s front end gives little away as to what segment the vehicle lies in. But it’s clear that whatever the vehicle is, it may signal a move away from the design language currently used by the brand on its two latest SUVs: the Megane E-Tech Electric and the soon to be revealed Austral, which will be a successor to the Kadjar.
The rounded noses of those cars, their full-width fascias and swirling daytime running lights look set to be superseded by a new look taking some inspiration from the R5 Prototype. The all-electric hatch concept will become a production vehicle in 2024, using a development of the Zoe’s platform called CMF-BEV.
Penned by Renault design boss Gilles Vidal, the new concept looks like it features a similar headlight signature, but the lower grille element and the kite-shaped running lights placed low on the sides of the front apron are both new.
Renault has not spoken much about the technology of the vehicle, but bucking the trend for all-electric concepts, this car uses a different propulsion system: a hydrogen combustion engine.
Hydrogen is not something that Renault’s passenger car division has made much noise about in the past, though it has developed fuel cell technology for production commercial vehicles through its HYVIA venture with US company Plug Power.
Hydrogen combustion engine technology has not seen mass deployment in the automotive sector and has been limited to concept and prototype vehicles. But there is renewed interest in this form of propulsion, and Toyota has publicly confirmed its interest in the tech with the development of a Corolla racing car using a Hydrogen engine.