Renault Scenic to return as electric SUV in 2024

Scenic Vision concept previews both the styling of the brand’s reborn large family car for 2024 and a range-extender hydrogen powertrain for use in future Renaults

The Renault Scenic MPV arrived way back in 1996, before disappearing from UK showrooms during 2021. However, the Scenic name will return in 2024 as a fully electric SUV based on the same platform as the Nissan Ariya, the French brand has confirmed.

The forthcoming Scenic will also share its CMF-EV underpinnings with the Megane E-TECH Electric crossover, and Nissan’s forthcoming replacement for the popular Leaf hatchback. We expect it'll be offered with the same choice of 63 or 87kWh batteries and either front or all-wheel-drive powertrains as the Ariya. If true, the electric Scenic could offer a range of roughly 300 miles, with the Nissan’s 130kW rapid-charging capability likely to be carried over as well.

Although details like that can only be speculated on for the time being, we can get a good idea of what the car will look like thanks to the Scenic Vision concept seen here. It’s a striking design, featuring some styling cues from the electric reborn Renault 5, which has also been confirmed for production in 2024. 

The boxy shape and angular lines of the Vision Scenic also call to mind the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that the production version of the new Scenic will compete with. In terms of size, the Scenic Vision is just under 4.5 metres long with a 2.28-metre wheelbase, is 1.9 metres wide and stands 1.59 metres tall. If the production version sticks close to those numbers, it’ll have a similar footprint on the road to the Kia Sportage or Renault Austral.

Being a one-off concept, the Scenic Vision features some unique elements that aren’t likely to appear on the production car, such as the coach doors with no B-pillar for easier access to the rear seats. The same goes for the digital side mirrors, the 10 separate screens dotted around the cabin and the facial-recognition cameras used to unlock the car when you approach.

The Scenic Vision does, however, feature a plethora of driver safety systems, including ‘Safety Score’, which rates your behaviour behind the wheel and will be featured in upcoming production models. Sustainability was also front-and-centre when developing the Scenic Vision, as Renault claims 70% of the materials used in the concept are recycled, from the aluminium and carbon-fibre body panels to floor mats made from milk bottles and plastic pipes. Better still, 95% of the concept, including the battery, is recyclable at the end of the car’s life cycle.

Finally, there’s the Scenic Vision’s powertrain. While the new Scenic arriving in 2024 will be a fully electric SUV, the concept features a hydrogen fuel cell in addition to the 40kWh battery and 215bhp electric motor swiped from the Megane E-TECH Electric

The idea behind this setup is to provide the driving experience of an electric car the majority of the time, then if you need to make a longer journey, you can use the hydrogen fuel cell to keep the battery topped up. The advantage of this system is that when it runs empty, it takes roughly five minutes to fill up the 2.5kg hydrogen tank, as opposed to a longer charging session at a rapid charger. In winter, the fuel cell also helps keep the battery at the optimum temperature to maximise range.

Renault claims that beyond 2030 and enough hydrogen filling stations around, with a powertrain like this 500-mile journeys would only require a quick five-minute pit stop to fill up the hydrogen tank. Then, once you arrive at your destination, you recharge the car's battery.

To fit all the components required for this complex setup, the Scenic Vision uses a new platform that Renault is currently developing. The battery is still mounted under the floor like any electric car, while the electric motor is fitted at the rear to allow the hydrogen fuel cell to go under the bonnet. 

Renault’s second electric car, the Megane E-TECH Electric, will go on sale later this year, with its long list of rivals including the Cupra BornVolkswagen ID.3 and new Kia Niro EV. Then, the reborn Renault 5 will go on sale in 2024, with a small retro-inspired electric crossover, called the Renault 4, confirmed for production as well. The electric Renault 5 is also set to share its platform with Nissan’s electric successor to the Micra supermini.

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