The new generation Renault Scenic will no longer be a minivan. It will be a one hundred percent electric SUV that will arrive in 2024. On the Highway, we have already been able to see and touch it.
The new generation Renault Scenic will say goodbye to its minivan silhouette and, as current canons dictate, it will be reinvented in an SUV, one hundred percent electric and with a lot, a lot of technology. We will be able to see it in 2024 and keep the image of this prototype, named Renault Scenic Vision because its managers have assured us that the exterior of the production model will be 85 percent faithful to this prototype.
Renault writes a new chapter in the history of the Scenic , the forerunner of compact MPVs more than 30 years ago, in 1991, but wants the new Scenic to remain this “car for living in the future”. And for this, he has focused on everything that made the first-generation Scénic great: a family car, easy, comfortable, and with optimized interior space.
The Future Scenic Is an Suv!
In a small studio on the outskirts of Paris, we have the opportunity to see and touch this Renault Scenic Vision for the first time. The expectation is maximum after so many rumors. Renault had only shown us an image as a teaser or advance, but finally, we have it in front of us. And although it was already sensed, yes, it is an SUV. An SUV that enjoys the advantages of the CMF-EV platform, with a length of 4.49 meters (for a width of 1.9 meters and a height of 1.59 meters), that is, a C-segment SUV.
Its wide wheelbase of 2.8 meters is striking, a low body that seems to touch the ground, its large glass surfaces, and the elements of the front grille inspired by the brand’s logo or wheels that go towards the ends. The headlights and daytime running lights also use the same lines as the logo.
We look at the design of the 21” wheels. They have, as they explain, some flaps that reinforce the aerodynamics and, therefore, the efficiency of the vehicle. When the vehicle is in motion, the flaps close to increasing aerodynamics, and when the vehicle decelerates and slows below 10 km/h, the flaps open to increase cooling and better evacuate the heat generated by the brakes.
Time to Take a Seat
We get closer to opening it but… how does it open? Pressing the Renault logo touch screen located on the false B-pillar. The doors open in reverse which, together with the absence of a B-pillar, offers great accessibility.
The cabin of the Renault Scenic Vision is quite futuristic, but we are left with the feeling of space, light, thanks to its large glass roof and light colors, and calm. Also with the materials, which they assure us are mostly recycled and recyclable. A philosophy of sustainability and care for the environment has been taken into account throughout the car value chain. More than 70% of its global mass is made up of recycled and renewable materials. And 95% of the materials that are part of its design (battery included) are recoverable and recyclable in industrial recycling plants.
Upon entering, the cabin and seats move back, leaving passengers and the driver with maximum access space. They then return to their place adapting to the user’s morphology. The driver has a more sporty and enveloping seat, while the passengers enjoy some armchairs to be more comfortable and travel in “first-class”. And many modern and technological winks, such as the steering wheel in the shape of control and with a screen on which a camera can show images of the passengers in the rear seats.
Surround Airbags and Much More
One of the peculiarities inside the Renault Scenic Vision is the airbags because they are no airbags to use. These are airbags baptized as “Cocoon Airbags”, located in the seat to envelop passengers in the event of a crash, which allows more freedom when designing the dashboard.
In front of us, we find a huge screen located at the junction of the dashboard and the windshield. This screen shows the immediate environment through a camera device integrated into the front part of the vehicle, which allows the driver’s field of vision to be enlarged by 24% thanks to the visual extension of the windshield and the “disappearance” of the parthood front. Along with this main screen, ten small screens in the form of smartphone widgets, are adaptable, intuitive, and configurable. In addition, from these screens, it is possible to transfer content to the large screen on the dashboard.
And another curiosity about the interior has to do with the color, or rather with the absence of it. Renault uses the idea of dichroic glass panels in the door panels that, in contact with light, emit color without using pigments.
Safety Coach: Technologies That Save Lives
Dangerous turns, roads with a high incidence of accidents, the appearance of danger… The Safety Coach system informs users of the risks of their journey based on data from the environment and thanks to information from the navigation system. Safety Coach allows the driver to go ahead, avoid the risk zone and regulate the speed based on the elements of the context (roundabout, dangerous intersection, legal speed) and to receive warnings progressively through visual, sound, or tactile interfaces.
Safety Coachworks in combination with Safe Guardian, which is activated automatically in the event of a real risk (very dangerous curve, steering wheel without control for a long period, drowsiness, etc.). At that moment, the vehicle slows down and gets to safety. To do this, several health sensors have been installed in the vehicle. A steering wheel-mounted heart rate sensor and camera constantly detect signs of driver fatigue or weakness. If a problem is detected, signals are sent to the driver and passengers, and emergency services are automatically alerted.
Hybrid Engine Powered by Hydrogen and Electricity
Although the production car that we will see in 2024 will be a one hundred percent electric model, Renault is betting on the Scenic Vision for a unique hybrid engine, powered by hydrogen and electricity at the same time. The idea of the French manufacturer is that this propulsion is ready for the year 2030 when the network of hydrogen stations is developed.
The 160 kW wound-rotor synchronous electric motor of the Renault Scenic Vision comes from the new 100% electric Mégane E-TECH. For its part, the 40 kWh battery, recyclable and will be manufactured in France from 2024 in the ElectriCity center gigafactory, is less heavy and bulky (also cheaper) than the battery of an equivalent electric vehicle. Added to its capacity is a 15 kW fuel cell that facilitates recharging on long journeys.
The platform of the Scenic Vision has been adapted to house all the elements: engine, battery, fuel cell, and hydrogen tank. The engine is located at the rear, which converts the Scenic Vision into propulsion and makes it possible to house a 2.5 kg hydrogen tank at the front. The fuel cell is located under the floor at the rear of the platform, behind the battery.
The operation of this motor is simple and efficient. On everyday journeys, the vehicle works like a conventional electric vehicle and does not use a fuel cell. However, when you want to make a long journey, a route planner calculates the power that the fuel cell will use to limit battery consumption and prevent the user from needing to recharge the battery during the journey. On long journeys, the use of the fuel cell is prioritized to reduce the time to recharge energy (hydrogen).