Electrification ushers in a new era of design for Renault
Renault is not only entering the era of electrification with MÃ©gane E-Tech Electric, Renault 5 and Renault 4, but it is also embarking on a new direction in design.
Since 2009, Laurens van den Acker has led Groupe Renault design and has played a decisive role in defining the brand’s stylistic language. Industry veteran Gilles Vidal was named Renault’s new design director in 2020 and in a recent interview van den Acker said vehicles like the MÃ©gane E-Tech will define the brand and mark a midpoint between his design direction and that of Vidal.
Read more: Renault MÃ©gane E-Tech 2022 unveiled as a fully electric compact crossover
âMegane E-Tech is for me more than just a vehicle. It is also a symbol of the Renalution plan, for the intention and the vision of the company, because it is a fully electric car without compromise, âhe said. Automotive News. “And I thought it was very brave of Luca [de Meo] to call it the MÃ©gane, because by doing that you show that there is no turning back [to internal combustion]. It is the heart of our range. It is a very important car because in order for Renault to be able to sell electric vehicles, they will be more expensive. We must improve the design, finish and quality, and give it enough material in terms of technology and sensations that [the higher price] is really justified.
âOn the design side, it’s in the middle, because it’s the vehicle that is at the end of my reign at Renault design and the beginning of Gilles Vidal’s. You can see Luca’s influence already – we made a MÃ©gane show car for him, and he pushed the production car to get as close to the show car as possible. And that had a really positive influence because he pushed the size of the wheels, he pushed the finishes, the colors.
Like other car manufacturers, Renault makes the most of the flexibility offered by electric platforms. For example, the French car manufacturer was able to give the MÃ©gane E-Tech a kind of overhang before leaving room for the HVAC system. The presence of a small electric motor allowed it to fit bigger wheels and tires without sacrificing the turning radius, while the lack of exhaust allows for a larger trunk and the long wheelbase provides plenty of room for the occupants.
Renault will also revive two of its most famous nameplates from the electric era: the Renault 5 and the Renault 4. The new Renault 5 has already been previewed as a retro-inspired sedan to be launched in 2022. , while the Renault 4 will arrive as a compact crossover model later in the decade. They will not look like other Renault models and it is no coincidence, explained van den Acker.
âFirst of all, I don’t see these cars as a starting direction that has to be applied to the rest of the lineup. For me, they are unique, âhe said. âIt’s kind of like a Ford Mustang or a Ford Bronco – you have the base lineup and then you have a Bronco and a Mustang because those tell you stories from the pastâ¦ And in this particular time when you risk to become commonplace. , like everyone else, being able to dive into this treasure box of icons that we have that really tell a story about the roots of the company, the brand, is an asset and an advantage that we must use. And now the idea of ââa Renault 5, an electric, progressive and cool city car, is super appealing, and that helps us to give the brand some flavor.