Renault Clio e-Tech hybrid engine confirmed for 2020

Mild-hybrid Renault E-Tech engine confirmed for 2020, with claimed fuel economy gains of 40%

Renault has confirmed that a new mild-hybrid ‘E-Tech’ engine will join its Clio line-up in 2020.

The hybrid powertrain will combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor and a 1.2kWh battery. Renault claims fuel economy gains of up to 40%, with as much as 80% pure-electric driving in urban environments.

The engine will be naturally aspirated and paired with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

No performance figures have been released at this stage, although the Clio range will also feature a 1.3-litre petrol engine producing 129bhp and 240 Nm of torque: it’s likely the 1.6-litre mild-hybrid will improve on these figures.

Unlike Peugeot, which recently revealed the all-electric e-208 supermini, Renault will not offer an electric version of the Clio. Instead, the French brand is focusing on the next-generation ZOE, with the forthcoming Captur SUV likely to bridge the gap with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Clio will be Renault’s first hybrid car, with the company having focused until now on its electric line-up, consisting of the Twizy quadricycle and current ZOE supermini, as well as the Kangoo Z.E. and Master Z.E. vans.

The move towards hybrid technology is being driven by the marque’s ‘Drive the Future’ plan, which aims to have 12 electrified models on sale within three years.

The plan also references the introduction of autonomous technology in forthcoming models, with as many as 15 set to welcome driver assistance systems over the next three years.

Confirmation of the ‘E-Tech’ hybrid engine came at the same time as Renault revealed its fifth-generation Clio, which will arrive with petrol and diesel engines initially before the hybrid joins the range in 2020. By 2022, Renault says it'll have 12 electrified cars in its range.

At 4,050mm, the new Clio will be slightly shorter than the outgoing car, as well as being 1,798mm wide. It’ll be lighter too with a kerbweight of just 1,042kg. Boot size also looks generous for the class, with up to 391 litres offered.

Inside, the Clio features cushioned plastics across the dashboard and on the door panels, with interior pieces trimmed back where possible to make the car feel roomier and more comfortable.

A digital dashboard and a new, 9.3-inch touchscreen are included, too. Renault is also likely to boost the number of personalisation options available throughout the range with leather upholstery adding to the premium feel inside.

The Clio is the best-selling supermini in Europe, with 450,000 units hitting the roads in 2018 alone. Prices of the new-generation model are expected to start in the region of £14,000.