Renault Mégane E-Tech at the IAA

Electrical pioneer Renault ignites the next level in the with the Mégane E-Tech E-mobility. On the occasion of the world premiere at the Munich IAA, Renault Head of Development Gilles Le Borgne explains some of the advantages of the compact converter.

One of the most important car innovations at the IAA Mobility (until September 12th) is undoubtedly the electric compact Mégane E-Tech Electric, with which the car maker Renault is opening a new chapter in e-mobility. Visually and technically, the Frenchman offers some surprises, including with regard to its most important competitor: the ID.3 from VW. 

No new design consciously

The Megane looks modern and well proportioned, at 1,50 meters it is slightly higher than classic compact cars, which is why Renault positions it as a crossover. But the bottom line is that the newcomer, which will be available next year, is pretty conventional. Unlike VW with the ID.3, the designers at Renault consciously decided against a futurism styling, because from the perspective of the e-pioneer, electric mobility is already the new normal. 

Megane E-Tech
At 4,21 meters, the electric Renault Mégane is quite compact for a compact

Its classic compact format is also due to the packaging, because in principle the E-Mégane is constructed like a compact one with a combustion engine. And so it differs fundamentally from the ID.3, as Renault development chief Gilles Le Borgne explains at the IAA. Instead of placing the engine in the rear, as with VW, Renault has placed the drive unit, including cooling and air conditioning, in the front. In contrast to the rear-wheel drive ID.3, the Mégane can do without cooling lines between the front and rear, which, according to Le Borgne, has cost advantages and also allows a flatter battery design. The battery box in the floor is only 11 centimeters thick in the Renault, while the power storage in the ID.3 is around 3 centimeters higher. 

Efficiently on the go

“The flat battery design also allowed us to keep the vehicle height low at 1,5 meters, which also reduces air resistance,” says Le Borgne. Together with a few other aerodynamic measures, such as the door handles that are flush with the sheet metal, the new Renault offers a level of wind that is conducive to efficiency.

Of course, Renault has also trimmed the drive of the new E-Mégane for efficiency. “We have an electrically stimulating rotor. It is not a permanently excited magnet. This allows the magnetic field to be controlled at high speed. We have double windings for the rotor and the stator. Thanks to this solution alone, we were able to increase efficiency by 1 to 2 percent, ”said the Frenchman. Another advantage of the engine technology is that it does not use rare earths, adds Le Borgne.

The Mégane E-Tech continues

The various measures to increase efficiency have a positive effect on the range that is so important for e-cars. In the case of the Mégane E-Tech, the WLTP consumption is, according to Le Borgne, 12,8 kWh per 100 kilometers. The ID.3 Pro consumes 15,4 kWh. “That's why it's possible to drive 60 kilometers with the Mégane's 470 kWh battery. At 130 km / h on the autobahn, he can do more than 300 kilometers, ”says Le Borgne. For comparison: With the 58/62 kWh battery, the ID.3 drives 426 kilometers according to the WLTP. 

For the time being, the Mégane E-Tech will be available with two drives. In addition to the variant with a 60 kWh battery and 162 kW / 220 PS engine, a 40 kWh version with 96 kW / 130 PS and a range of 300 kilometers is also planned. For this, Le Borgne has also revealed the comparatively low weight of 1.620 kilograms, which is around 100 kilograms less than the ID.3. And it promises a high-performance driving experience. After all, the standard sprint should succeed in 7,4 seconds, the top speed is limited to 160 km / h. The ID.3 Pro with 150 kW / 204 PS offers almost the same key data. 

Fast at the pillar

The charging technology of the Mégane with its 400-volt architecture is on a par with the competition: it takes a good eight hours to fill the battery on a 7,4 kW wallbox, while the 130 kW charging station can be used for 300 kilometers for 30 minutes . The ID.3 Pro fills up on the fast charger with 120 kW in 30 minutes for 290 kilometers.

At 4,21 meters, the body of the Mégane is a few centimeters shorter and also lower than that of the ID.3. The interior is just as spacious. At the front, even taller guests will find more than enough room to develop, only in the rear can you have problems stowing your feet properly, as there is no space under the front seats. The arrangement of the drive has a beneficial effect on the trunk volume: While there is space for 440 liters of luggage in the rear of the Mégane, only 3 liters can be loaded there with the ID.385. 

No to futurism

The cockpit of the Mégane is pleasing with its huge, high-resolution and freely configurable displays and high-quality materials. At the same time, the styling of the dashboard remains largely conventional. Here, too, the French have rejected futurism. 

Renault Mégane E-Tech at the IAA
The workplace is made chic and valuable. Here, too, Renault has dispensed with futuristic-looking elements

There is currently no official price for the Mégane E-Tech. Le Borgne suggests, however, that this could level off at a similar level to the ID.3. It is currently available from 35.460 euros.

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