Renault has taken wraps off of the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech Electric SUV at the Munich motor show following the MeganE concept car from late last year and a string of teasers. The all-new fully-electric Megane closely follows the concept car’s footsteps in morphing the former Megane’s hatchback body style into an SUV “ a first for the Megane nameplate.
The 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech blends SUV styling cues such as big 20-inch alloy wheels (wheel sizes start from 18 inches), a raised ride height and black plastic body cladding with hatch-like design elements such as a sloping roofline, shallow glass house and sporty haunches. The Megane E-Tech is the first Renault to wear the new retro-inspired logo that first debuted on the Renault R5 concept car. The Megane’s LED headlights evolve Renault’s current C-shaped signature by adding an additional hook that sweeps back and doubles as the scrolling indicator. The trim below the air dam can be optioned to feature a contrasting bronze finish or matched to the body colour.
The side of the car features flush front door handles that pop out when you approach the car or when unlocked and the rear door handles are hidden in the C-pillar like on the Renault Clio. The rear end showcases a steeply raked windscreen and wide LED tails lights that connect with the Renault logo in the centre. The tail lights carry over the unique fibre-optic LED design from the concept car to create a 3D effect and the brake lights feature two vertical strokes designed to look like a pause symbol. The lower diffuser area can be finished in the contrasting bronze finish like the front.
The new 2022 Megane E-Tech is based on the new Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CMF-EV platform that is already set to underpin the 2022 Nissan Ariya SUV. Unlike the larger Ariya SUV, the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech is pitched firmly at the C-segment and is actually smaller in most of its exterior dimensions to the current generation Megane hatchback. Measuring in at 4,210mm long with a 2,700mm wheelbase, the new Megane is 146mm shorter than its conventionally-powered predecessor but claims to offer more space thanks to its flat EV architecture and a 30mm longer wheelbase. The boot has a total volume of 440 litres and there’s even a dedicated area for the charging cables. The weight figure is also competitive for an electric car with the Megane’s 1,625kg figure looking decidedly trim compared to the Volkswagen ID.4’s 2,049kg.
Renault boasts that the 110mm battery pack is one of the slimmest currently on the market which helps to create better proportions, lower the car’s centre of gravity and lower the driving position. There’s currently a choice of a 40kWh battery that offers up to 300km of WLTP range or a 60kWh unit that’s good for up to 470km. The NMC batteries are liquid cooled and designed to provide consistent performance regardless of hot or cold climate. Like the Nissan Ariya, the Megane offers 130kW DC charging that is capable of providing an additional 300km of range in just 30 minutes.
Unlike the Ariya, the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech will initially be a front-wheel drive only prospect with the choice of a 96kW/250Nm motor or a 165kW/300Nm motor. The former can be paired with either battery pack while the latter will come with the 60kWh battery and allows the Megane to sprint from 0-100km in 7.4 seconds. Max speed is limited to 160km/h. Renault cheekily refers to the new Megane as the ‘GTI of electric vehicles’ thanks to it’s sharp 12:1 steering ratio and multi-link rear suspension where previous Meganes used a torsion beam.
The interior is dominated by two large screens connected in an L-shaped bezel. The driver’s digital display measures in at 12.3 inches and can be configured to display maps, media or information about the various driving aids. The infotainment touchscreen on high-spec cars is 12.0 inches in size and portrait in orientation. Dubbed ‘OpenR Link’, the new system utilises a Google operating system that supports over-the-air updates, Google Maps navigation, Google Assistant and more. iPhone users need not stress as the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay in addition to Android Auto. Lower-end Meganes will come equipped with a 9.0-inch infotainment screen but images of that unit are yet to be revealed.
The rest of the cabin is typically EV with a flat floor and plenty of storage in place of where a transmission tunnel would be. The gear selector is relocated to a column-mounted shifter and the paddles on the steering wheel control allow the driver to choose from four levels of regenerative braking. The cabin utilises a range of recycled materials including the cloth or faux leather on the dashboard and seats. Where lower-spec models get Alcantara on the dash and door trims, higher-end models receive real wood and genuine leather upholstery. Renault has also swapped out the usual Bose stereo of a Harmon Kardon unit in higher-spec Megane. The 48-colour ambient lighting is said to be inspired by the “human body’s natural 24-hour circadian cycle” and will change every 30 minutes, utilising cooler tones during the day sand warmer tones by night. Even the interior sounds “ including the indicators, seat-belt reminder, parking sensors “ have all be redesigned to be more ‘caring, positive and fun’.
Technology highlights include all the usual suspects such as autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist and so on. New for the Megane is contextual adaptive cruise control that adjust its speed for the road conditions such as cornering or dealing with roundabouts. There’s also a smart speed limiter that updates based on speed signs, reverse emergency braking, occupant safe exit, adaptive LED headlights, a 360-degree camera and a smart rear-view camera that can display a live wide-angle feed of what’s behind the vehicle at the flick of a switch.
Production of the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech is scheduled to commence in early 2022 and the SUV will be sold alongside the internal combustion fourth-generation Megane hatchback and station wagon until the end of their lifecycle (likely late 2022 or 2023). Renault’s Australian distributor, Ateco, is yet to confirm if the 2022 Renault Megane E-Tech Electric is headed for our shores. Stay tuned to DiscoverAuto for the latest car news and reviews.