2022 Renault Megane E-TECH Electric: full details announced
Renault’s new electric crossover has up to 215bhp and a maximum range of 292 miles • Megane evolves into electric crossover-style hatch • Up to 215bhp and 292-mile range • New Android-based OpenR Link infotainment system
Following months of teasers, the production version of the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric has finally been revealed. The Megane has evolved from a traditional family hatchback into an all-electric model with crossover styling.
Set to go on sale in February 2022, the Megane E-Tech Electric is expected to go head-to-head with the Volkswagen ID.3 and Nissan Leaf. Prices have yet to be confirmed.
2021 Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: range and performance
The Megane E-Tech Electric is underpinned by the same platform as the Nissan Ariya SUV. This means it can be fitted with either a 40kWh or 60kWh battery, providing a range of up to 186 or 292 miles respectively.
It’s also capable of rapid-charging at up to 130kW, meaning a 15 to 80% top-up takes as little as 30 minutes. Its on-board Chameleon charger allows 7.4kW charging from a wallbox, or speeds of 11 or 22kW as an optional extra.
Two power levels are set to be offered, with an entry-level motor providing 128bhp. The range-topper will produce 215bhp, with both versions sending power to the front wheels. The more powerful Megane E-Tech is capable of 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds, with its top speed limited to 99mph.
Paddles behind the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the strength of regenerative braking over four levels, with the strongest providing one-pedal driving. Eco, Comfort and Sport driving modes will alter the steering and accelerator pedal feel, along with the display graphics and interior lighting. Unlike some EVs, the Megane will be able to tow a trailer weighing up to 900kg.
Renault has concentrated on making the E-Tech Electric as light as possible, using aluminium extensively in its construction. As a result, the 60kWh version weighs just over 1,600kg, which Renault claims makes the Megane around 100kg lighter than its rivals and the lightest car in its class, improving efficiency and the way the car drives.
Design and practicality
At a glance, the new electric Megane is similar in size to the Renault Captur SUV but, since it doesn’t have to accommodate a combustion engine, there’s more space inside. The CMF-EV platform enables a spacious passenger area by pushing out the wheels to each corner and minimising the space taken by the electric powertrain. Renault says the new Megane has the thinnest battery on the market and an ultra-compact power unit.
The car’s 2.7m wheelbase (the distance between its front and rear wheels) is similar to that of the Volkswagen ID.3, and there's 440 litres of boot space on offer, which is more than the combustion-engined Megane. There's also a dedicated space to store the car's charging cables.
The Megane E-TECH Electric’s design is very close to the Megane eVision concept, revealed in October 2020, which hinted at a higher ride height and sharp LED lights. For the production car, 3D rear lights are animated when the car is locked and unlocked. Alloy wheels range from 18- to 20-inches and there's a short bonnet to reflect the compact electric powertrain. Flush-fitting door handles also make it from the concept to the production car, helping to reduce drag at higher speedsIt’s expected that you’ll be able to order from a wide range of paint colours, and personalisation options will include having the roof in a contrasting colour. Several trim levels should be available but, if Renault’s other models are to go by, even the base model is likely to be well-equipped. Features like sat nav and the ability to see charging progress should come as standard.
Interior and equipment
The Megane E-Tech Electric will feature the brand’s new infotainment system, called OpenR Link. It boasts a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel and a portrait 12-inch touchscreen with sharper graphics than any Renault setup we've seen before. It's powered by Android Automotive software, using Google Maps-based sat-nav. This also gains an 'Electric Route Planner' that can work out where to charge along a route, along with recognising 'Hey Google' voice requests.
There's an upmarket feel inside and, according to Renault, the interior has been manufactured entirely from recycled materials in entry-level trims. It will also contain a large quantity of safety equipment, including autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, semi-autonomous cruise control with lane keep assist, a 360-degree camera view, passenger exit warnings and tech to help prevent bumps while reversing.
The electric Megane E-Tech is the first of seven zero-emission models set to be made by Renault. The brand has yet to confirm a starting price for the car.