Arriving on the market in mid-2020, the Renault Clio E-TECH hybrid heralds the beginning of a new chapter for this popular compact car line. Leveraging its electric car expertise and the developments made possible by its involvement in Formula 1 racing, Groupe Renault offers mature technology that combines agility with economy.
For 30 years, Renault Clio has stood for freedom, low running costs and versatility, all features that are hardwired more than ever into the new E-TECH version. With a super-efficient hybrid drive, Renault Clio E-TECH promises considerable and long-term cost savings thanks to the option of driving in all-electric mode on everyday urban trips. The combination of gas and electricity makes for smoother handling and more agile driving thanks to greater onboard power. When the car starts it gets a boost from the electric motor that kicks in right away.
This versatility allows the Renault Clio E-TECH to perfectly meet all the demands of discerning drivers. The car’s build, as compact as ever, means that it is still perfectly comfortable in cities, where it can cruise around noiselessly thanks to the electric part of its hybrid drive. The car’s performance on the road makes long road and highway trips a feasible option that’s just as energy efficient. You can make real fuel savings thanks to the perfectly-optimized management of Groupe Renault’s unique hybrid technology.
In practice, this technical feat is achieved by the presence of an engine and two motors: a 1.6 liter four-cylinder combustion engine tailored to hybrid use, a 35 kilowatt electric motor and an advanced 15 kilowatt alternator-starter. The latter two are powered by a 1.2 kilowatt battery located under the floor, which means that there’s still an excellent 300 liters of useful volume for the trunk, not forgetting the innovative gearbox specially designed for hybrid use.
The Clio E-TECH uses “hybrid parallel-series” technology, enabling it to use the combustion engine and electric motors either separately from one another or together. When used together they total 141 horsepower, which means the Clio currently packs the most power on the market.
It’s the main electric motor that kicks in when you start the car, not the combustion engine. This provides a more enjoyable driving experience and improved reactivity thanks to the instant torque and noiseless start. The two other engines only kick in when the battery is uncharged or when you need more power, for sharp acceleration or driving up a steep slope for example. In any case, the switch from motor to engine is imperceptible for driver and passenger(s).
There’s no need for a power cord or plug to charge the Clio E-TECH battery. Charging takes place automatically whenever you drive the car. When slowing down, when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator and when the car is coasting or braking, the electric motor works like a generator to convert the energy produced by turning the wheels into electricity. A “B” position on the automatic stick shift panel activates advanced regeneration, further optimizing the amount of energy sent to the battery.
All of these features make the Clio E-TECH very agile and comfortable to drive. It still offers the versatility for which the Clio has been renowned for the past 30 years, lending itself to both highway driving and urban travel. It is especially cost-effective in cities, where up to 80% of the driving (in terms of time spent) can be electric, without using any fuel. So consumption can be 40% lower than that of a regular gas-powered engine and up to 20% lower than that of a diesel-powered one! This mode can be selected using the “EV” setting on the dashboard, provided the battery has enough charge.
Inside the car, an E-TECH badge at the base of the stick shift puts Clio’s technology on center stage. Among other features, the “Smart Cockpit” includes a driver-facing 7-inch screen displaying all the relevant trip information and a wide 9.3-inch touchscreen positioned vertically in the middle of the cabin for controlling the Renault EASY LINK multimedia system.
With Clio E-TECH, Renault moves well ahead of its competitors, with no equivalent vehicle currently on the market.
Copyrights: ADDITIVE, DOROSZEWICZ Agnieszka, LaCliente