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Renault Scenic to be reborn as electric SUV - report

Renault will slot a new, more spacious electric SUV above the Megane E-Tech Electric, and will give it the familiar Scenic name.

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William Stopford
William Stopford
Journalist
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Renault is planning a new electric SUV to sit above the Megane E-Tech Electric, and it’ll wear a familiar nameplate: Scenic.

CEO Luca de Meo told Auto Express the Scenic will cease to be an MPV in its next generation, and the new model will offer more space and range than the new electric Megane that’ll launch here next year.

The Scenic E-Tech Electric, as it may be known in full, will reportedly go on sale in 2024 and serve as the brand’s rival to the likes of the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq.

It may debut in concept form this May.

The new electric Scenic will reportedly share its CMF-EV platform with the smaller Megane E-Tech Electric, the Ariya from Alliance partner Nissan, and the upcoming Alpine GT X-Over.

Don’t expect a third row of seating, however. Gilles Le Borgne, Renault’s executive vice-president of engineering, told Auto Express the platform will support dual-motor all-wheel drive but won’t support three rows.

It’s unclear if Renault will eventually develop a version of the CMF-EV platform to support three-row vehicles. That would allow it to replace the current Grand Scenic and the Espace, which have been rumoured to be on the chopping block for some time now.

Expect a strong familial resemblance with the Megane E-Tech Electric, as we’ve seen with the upcoming, combustion engine-powered Austral crossover that’ll replace the Kadjar.

Expect a similar interior, too, with a selection of recycled materials. The electric Megane uses a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a portrait-oriented 12-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Built around Google’s Android Automotive bones, Renault’s new system is called OpenR Link. It can be updated over-the-air, and supports the sort of gestures familiar to iPhone or Android phone users.

The Megane E-Tech Electric offers a choice of two batteries and two powertrains, which could also be employed by the Scenic.

There’s a 40kWh battery good for 300km of range in the Megane, and a 60kWh one good for 470km.

Two powertrains will be offered: one with 96kW of power and 250Nm of torque, and another with 165kW and 300Nm.

Plugged into an AC home wall box, the Megane can charge at up to 22kW. It’ll charge at up to 130kW plugged into a DC public fast charger.

Renault has been a market leader in MPVs in the European market. The Espace essentially invented the MPV segment in Europe, while the Scenic popularised the small MPV segment and spawned a legion of rivals.

But the two long-running lines have been falling out of favour as European buyers, like everyone else, have come to embrace crossovers. Renault’s attempts to give the cars less boxy, more dynamic styling with their latest generations failed to arrest this sales slide.

Renault sold 36,592 Scenic and Grand Scenic models in Europe in 2020, less than half its 2017 tally. Rewind to 2005, and Renault sold over 300,000 of its small MPV.

Small MPVs never really resonated with Australian buyers. The Scenic was sold here for two generations but was axed in 2009, and was effectively replaced by the Koleos SUV.

The Scenic has received the “SUV treatment” in the past, with one such iteration – the Scenic RX4 – also sold here.

It offered all-wheel drive, ample black plastic cladding, and even a tailgate-mounted spare wheel, though it never posed a serious threat to established SUVs like the Toyota RAV4.

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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