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First pictures: New Renault Megane goes EV

Renault has revealed its dramatic new Megane, with the electric-only mode arriving in the UK around September 2022.

A pair of powertrains will be offered – a 130hp motor with 40kWh battery that has an official range of up to 186 miles, and a 218hp motor mated to a 60kWh battery that has an official maximum of 292 miles.

Charging can be taken on board at up to 130kW, which Renault said means 186 miles of range could be added in 30 minutes.

Renault Megane EV 2021On the inside, the Megane debuts a new Renault multimedia system, which comes in 12.0- or 9.0-inch configurations on the model. Called OpenR Link, the system uses Google’s Android operating system, including Google Maps and Google Assistant for voice control operation, and is capable of receiving over-the-air updates.

The new model is significantly shorter than the current Megane hatch at 4210mm, 149mm down on the outgoing car, which has just moved to PHEV power only with the deletion of petrol and diesel models from this month (see Megane hatch PHEV test drive review, p34). But by managing the packaging of a battery that is claimed to be thinner than Renault has built before, the wheelbase is the same length as the current car, which means the smaller dimensions don’t affect interior space and are accounted for by shorter front and rear overhangs. According to Renault, rear knee space is up 210mm thanks to the improved packaging of the CMF-EV platform, including developments such as moving the air conditioning components under the bonnet to allow for a pared-back dashboard.

The centre of gravity is also 90mm lower than the existing Megane, which Renault said makes for a “more exciting driving experience”, helped by what the French brand claimed is more agile steering with more direct feedback. Flush door handles pop out when the car is unlocked, or a driver or passenger approaches a door.