Clio E-Tech

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic


In the absence of the Geneva Motor Show, it was at the Atelier Renault on the Champs Elysées in Paris that we were able to discover the new electrified innovations for 2020 from the manufacturer with a diamond: the Twingo Z.E., the Clio Hybrid as well as the rechargeable Megane and Captur Hybrids.

For Renault, 2020 will be electric or not. Indispensable for meeting CO emission targets2 fixed by Brussels, no less than four hybrid or electric models will be marketed this year. Without Coronavirus, its stand at the Geneva Motor Show should have been entirely devoted to this electrification.

Twingo Z.E

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Renault Twingo: electricity reserved for the city

We already told you about the electric Twingo when it was revealed a month ago. Discovering it for real does not in truth conceal immense surprises, as the car is aesthetically close to the thermal version. Recall that this micro-city does not take the battery of the Smart Forfour with which it nevertheless shares the same platform but uses much more modern accumulators, designed for it. They are in fact composed of cells using the same chemistry as those of the ZOE.
Unlike the latter, they benefit from liquid cooling, made necessary according to Renault by the compactness of the car. A surprising feature, when you know that the small Volkswagen Up! electric, much larger with its 36.8 kWh, does not require such a device. The difference is no doubt explained by the space allocated to the drums, much more important in the German than the French.

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet

Note the fairly contained mass of this pack announced at 165 kilos all inclusive, or half the weight of the batteries of the first ZOE with comparable capacity. This is evidence of the progress made by batteries in almost 10 years. Finally, please note that it is entirely specific to the car and will not be used on the small Dacia Spring. Given its small capacity (22 kWh) Renault did not consider it necessary to equip the car with a quick charger: the manufacturer announced an hour to recharge 80% of the battery on a 22 kW terminal. Again, the Volkswagen up! does better with 40 kW of maximum recharging power announced.
The charging socket is located at the (small) petrol hatch of the thermal model, which therefore does not include a CSS combo socket but a type 2 connector. We will not complain, this type of socket being very more common in town. On the aesthetic level, the specifics are limited to a few badges, a grille coated with blue patterns and borders of the same color. Inside, there is a specific gear lever and an Easy Link multimedia system adapted to the electric, but that of our model did not work.

Twingo Z.E

Twingo Z.E / Camille Pinet for Clubic


Marketing is scheduled for the end of the year. According to Emmanuel Bouvier, Commercial Director Electric Vehicles, the current Coronavirus crisis does not call into question this calendar. As for those who are asking the question of a possible internal competition between the small electric Dacia Spring and the Twingo Z.E., he is confident: “ Just like on the thermal car market, the two brands cater to different clienteles. With the Twingo Z.E., we are targeting an essentially urban clientele, while the Spring will be able to target peri-urban or countryside areas. Each will have its type of audience, just like the Clio and the Sandero today " It remains to know the final rates to judge the relevance of the proposal, especially against the Volkswagen up !, Seat Mii and Skoda Citigo, which are scarecrows of the small electric market.

Clio E-Tech

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic

An innovative Clio hybrid

Renault has been slow to get into the hybrid for a long time, but we can say that it has struck a blow this year with no less than three models on offer. The one that is intended to be the most widely distributed is undoubtedly the Clio, much awaited by companies. Remember that this is a simple hybrid equipped with a completely new system based on a dog clutch without clutch or synchronizers.

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Powered by a small 1.2 kWh battery, the two electric motors installed in the box take care of the agreement between the primary and secondary shafts in order to avoid the jolts and crackles associated with such a transmission. The larger of the two is systematically responsible for starting the car, which eliminates the need for a clutch. This ingenious system also stands out through the choice of an atmospheric thermal engine, in this case the 1.6 original Nissan SCe, already seen in particular under the hood of the Dacia Duster. Comparable to that of the Toyota Yaris, this system has the advantage, however, of not causing the engine to run away during acceleration. A real plus in terms of driving pleasure, which we look forward to testing.

Clio E-Tech

Clio E-Tech / Camille Pinet for Clubic


In total, the Clio Hybrid develops 140 hp and WLTP combined cycle emissions of less than 100 g / km, compared to the 85 g / km announced by Toyota on its new Yaris. Despite its unprecedented character, this powertrain is characterized by its simplicity, which allows it in particular to display a mass and a reduced bulk. In fact, we have seen that the trunk of the Clio Hybrid offers a trunk volume of 300 liters, still respectable even if it yields 91 liters to the thermal versions.

Unfortunately, its loading threshold has not been lowered! Again, do not expect large aesthetic differences from the thermal versions, especially since the car is available in the same finishes, with the exception of the entry-level Life. Even the gear lever is not the ZOE e-shifter but rather that of the EDC automatic transmission versions.

In terms of prices, the Clio is clearly positioned at the top of the range with an additional cost of € 2,000 compared to the Diesel 115 hp in manual transmission. They range from € 22,600 for the Zen grant to € 28,200 for the Initiale Paris. Significantly higher amounts than those of the Yaris (between € 20,950 and € 25,450) which displays a lower power (114 hp).

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet for Clubic

The Renault Mégane rechargeable on approach

The Clio's hybrid engine was designed from the start to be available in a rechargeable version. The restyled Renault Mégane, which should also have been unveiled in Geneva, benefits. The addition of a much more powerful 9.8 kWh battery achieves 160 cumulative hp. The thermal and electric motors remain strictly identical. Renault also announces 50 km of autonomy in the WLTP cycle.

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet

But what strikes you first when you take a seat on board this Megane is the disappearance of the indescribable multimedia system R-Link2, whose complex ergonomics has caused more than one to suffer. Instead, it receives the Easylink already seen on the Clio and the ZOE, infinitely more fluid and easy to use. Depending on the finish, it is coupled to a new digital instrumentation which gratifies the driver when starting an evocative sunrise. It offers four screen configurations, with a choice of driving information, navigation map, music or a personalized mode.

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in

Mégane E-Tech Plug-in / Camille Pinet for Clubic


Also note the appearance of an "EV" button on the center console which allows "forcing" the electric mode if the battery charge allows. Still in the station wagon presented in Paris, we see that the hybrid system does not encroach on the loading surface which remains at its height. Below, the storage space under the floor disappears, but a space has been created for the charger.

Finally, note that the Megane can now benefit from the level 2 semi-autonomous driving system launched by the Clio and the Captur. On the outside, however, you have to have an American eye to notice the front face and the redesigned lights. The prices are not yet known but the restyled Megane should be marketed this summer.

Captur E-Tech Plug-In

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

A rechargeable hybrid engine for the Captur

Last representative of the new electrified range, the Rechargeable hybrid Captur takes over the engine of the Mégane and announces the same figures of power and autonomy. On the other hand, the location of the battery has a greater impact on the volume of the trunk: the floor is now at the threshold, very high.

In total, it lost 157 liters of bench seat volume, pushed back to reach only 265 liters, less than the Clio. This clearly compromises his family capacities, even if he keeps his sliding seat on 16 cm and therefore remains just as livable in the back. The small SUV is the only one to take over the Zoe's shifter e-shifter, but it is practically impossible to distinguish thermal models except by its specific badges.

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

Captur E-Tech Plug-In / Camille Pinet for Clubic

The final addition is all the more salty as the rechargeable Captur will only be available on the high Intens and Initiale Paris finishes. So count between € 33,700 and € 37,200 to get one. Be aware, however, that the Captur should benefit from the Clio's simple hybrid powertrain next year.