Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022

It is the breakthrough car for the French brand. Built on an all-new platform, in a new production center, it features crossover lines that break with the model’s past. And on the road it does not disappoint

Low, smooth, bloody. Wherever you look at it, it convinces you. And the same positive impression comes when I open the door. Clean lines, large screen, quality finishes. Renault turns the page right with this Mégane E-Tech. And the news that it is exclusively electric, perhaps, is not the main one.

Because Régie has been making battery cars for over a decade. And so now, with the necessary experience gained, it has been easier to rewrite the rules. Thanks to a new platform, Cmf-Ev, built in a production center in the north of France dedicated solely to the electric world (see box on page 138).

At four and twenty-one meters long, the new Mégane – spanning the B and C segments – bears no relation to the previous sedan and betrays its electric spirit by boasting a substantial wheelbase, two meters and 70 , with the classic ruoton (18 or 20 inches) placed at the bottom (the strings are obviously too small).

Observing it from the side, or even better from the rear three-quarters, its crossover character is clearly highlighted, with a very steep tail: it develops in height by only one and a half meters, the sporty hips are very muscular and the black roof emphasizes even more, its SUV-coupé lines. This is what fashion wants today and it is not caught unprepared.

Over the heads of those sitting in the back, of course, there cannot be much space, and to ensure sufficient rear visibility you have to rely on the cameras. However, those with families do not think the worst: the French manufacturer declares a luggage capacity of 440 liters.

ALL FORWARD

There are two battery cuts, from 40 kWh (for an autonomy in the Wltp cycle up to 300 kilometers) and 60 kWh (up to 470 kilometers), and two maximum power values, 130 or 218 hp. The engine and traction are in the front (when the German school, in both cases, chooses the rear solution).

Claimed weight ranges from 1,513 to 1,636kg and is relatively low, being a Bev. Important aspect: the alternating current charger has a good power of 22 kW and this allows 160 kilometers of autonomy in an hour in the most popular columns. The very thin battery, only 11 centimeters, has allowed the seat to remain quite low, like that of a normal sedan.

The reconfigurable instrumentation is attractive, because it continues seamlessly into the central display, forming a type of inverted “L” with extraordinary development: 744 cm2, a record for the category. The new OpenR Link multimedia system has Google built in, which makes it easier to use, because the icons and graphics are what we use every day on our smartphones.

The almost square steering wheel surprises you at first, you have to pull back a little, but then you appreciate it. The area behind the crown, on the right, is a little crowded, because the gear lever is added to that of the wiper and the audio control satellite (which survives unscathed, despite the fact that its rivals are now gone).

ADAS IS NOT MISSING

The deadlock hint is great, especially if you’re running the more powerful version, like this first contact. The steering response is also important, very direct (12:1).

There is a very healthy perception of contact with the ground as long as the ride is normal, then it coexists with the typical reactions of front tractions, here softened by meticulous electronics and, in a way, “miraculous”, if one thinks for the close couple he has; and to make things better it has a refined multi-connected rear end.

Of course, as with all electrical equipment, the weight factor inevitably manifests its inertia when cornering is handled at steady speed. In addition, there are four options for regenerative braking, using paddles on the steering wheel.

At the level of Ada, the French crossover is complete: it boasts 26 of them and guarantees level 2 assisted steering. Interior acoustic comfort is high: sound insulation has been especially taken care of, as well as attention to the use of recyclable materials . . At the end of the life cycle, in this regard, the French manufacturer declares that the car will be 95% recyclable.

The Mégane E-Tech, which has just arrived on sale, is offered in three configurations, Equilibre, Techno and Iconic, starting at €37,100 with a 40 kWh battery and from €41,700 if you choose the 60 kWh battery. For the intermediate versions, 3 thousand euros must be added and for the first ones another 3 thousand, in both cases.

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