Everything is new in May. When Renault invited to Paris, it was not clear whether we would see a car, an engine, or both. But what few expected was the Renault Scenic. After all, the previous flagship truck, like the entire truck segment, had been struggling for years with declining sales numbers. Only 3,124 Scénic and Grand Scénic were registered in Germany in 2021. In 2017, a year after the appearance of the fourth generation, there were still 13,799 units.
But the French are clearly associated with the resonant name Scénic, the press release says, also with the idea behind the car. First of all, Renault Scenic with the new generation of 2024 should not be trucks at all, but a family car, a car that puts people first. Incidentally, in the first Scénic study from 1991, this was attempted using a rotating passenger seat, among other things.
As the description of family car and people in focus applies to virtually all segments except for the two-seater sports car, it’s surprising that the new Scénic isn’t clinging strongly to the sales-boosted SUV trend, but rather remains modest.
Platform, body and dimensions
Technically speaking, the new Renault Scenic 21-inch wheeled concept car is based on the CMF-EV (Common Module Family – Electric Vehicle) platform. It shares with Renault Mégane E-Tech and Nissan Ariya. As the name of the platform already suggests, the new Scénic can be considered an additional building block in the electric strategy of Renault boss Luca de Meo, who has announced a total of 24 new models by 2025 and wants to rely increasingly on electric cars.
With the new Scénic largely turning its back on its predecessors and relying more on the Mégane E-Tech concept, the comparison with the small French model is clear. In terms of dimensions, the new Scénic, which weighs about 1,700 kilograms, is still in the compact class, but is slightly larger than the Mégane e-Tech. So it reaches 4.49 meters in length (plus 28 centimeters for the Mégane e-Tech), 1.9 meters in width (plus 12 centimeters) and 1.59 meters in height (plus 9 centimeters). The wheelbase is 2.84 meters (plus 14 cm).
Renault Megane E-Tech
It’s hard to predict whether getting into the serial version will still be so easy, because those responsible for the project have already hinted that Suicide Doors will hardly make it into series production. Otherwise, the car is compatible with 90 percent of the series.
Battery and driving
This probably applies to the drive as well – at least in part. Because, contrary to what was originally expected, the advertised “hydrogen engine” was not a classic hydrogen-based combustion engine, but a hybrid electric motor. More precisely: a pure electric car with a fuel cell range extender.
In addition to the 160 kW electric motor, which we already know from the Mégane E-Tech, the Scénic should also get a 16 kW fuel cell, which should ensure a longer range. Because in the floor of the car there is only a 40 kWh battery as an energy storage. That’s just 8 kWh more than the VW E-Up and 12 kWh with the smallest battery in the VW ID.4, which the Scénic has to compete with given its dimensions.
H2 engine only from 2030
In terms of range, the Scénic with its combined engine is said to cover 800 km – at least if you stop for five minutes at the H2 pump. According to Renault, this also includes the route from Paris to Marseille. Since the infrastructure of the H2 filling station in France (4 pumps – all in Paris, 2 more in the layout) is currently worse than in Germany (94 pumps, 12 in the layout), this trip will take some time. If Renault has its way, even by 2030. By then the hydrogen infrastructure should be mature, the group believes.
Until then, it is hoped that the separate excited synchronous motor will also have access to the large 60 kWh battery also available on the Megane. Depending on the engine specifications, the front-wheel drive needs between 15.8 and 16.1 kWh on the combined WLTP cycle. In the larger Scénic, the consumption should be higher.
Renault Scenic Vision specifications
|to cut||Hydrogen Hybrid Engine|
|Electrical engine||160KW/218HP Separately Excited Synchronous Motor|
|fuel cell performance||16 kW|
|battery capacity||40 kWh|
|Maximum study speed||About 100 km/h|
Equipment and design
At first glance, the Scénic Vision reminds us of a large Mégane, with its light graphics and sharp lines, skillfully combining the looks of the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Peugeot e-205 to create a new, independent look. The doors do not need handles, they are opened by face recognition and opened by the touch screen. Inside the car, which is otherwise kept in black, passengers can expect a bright and very discreet interior with four seats.
90% of the car is recyclable
The bright design is mainly due to the theme of sustainability – to which Renault has committed itself to the entire Scénic Vision project. Because using the same white to gray polyester fiber in different processing is supposed to increase recyclability. The car floor is also 100 percent recycled and consists of 45 percent plastic milk bottles and 55 percent plastic tubes. The seat belt buckles do not have a plastic coating, and the copper in the battery and electrical cable has been completely recycled.
In general, a vehicle must be made of more than 70 percent of recycled materials and up to 95 percent of a vehicle must be recyclable — including the battery.
While the front passenger and rear passengers sit on upholstered lounge-like seats, the driver’s seat has a sporty design and does not offer a long leg rest. Depending on the seat adjustment, the center console and door armrest move forward and backward. This would make travel more enjoyable and once again confirm that the focus is on people.
Information and entertainment
Renault breaks new ground in infotainment with the Scénic Vision. Like most modern cars, the study is based on many screens. Scénic contains 11 pieces. The emphasis is on a large one, which is mounted in front under the windshield and is intended to make the hood transparent. It should display information from the assistance, navigation or speed systems. The image from the front camera is also displayed here so that the driver can better perceive his surroundings.
Small and mobile touch screens
On the other hand, other monitors are a nice and possibly practical gimmick. On the one hand, they are on every door, because passengers must be able to use them to operate both window lifters and door locks. On the other hand, three small movable touch screens about 5 centimeters in size are placed to the left and right of the telephoto steering wheel. From there they head towards the driver after boarding the plane, where only the motors driving the small screens are protected by a glass case, so you can watch the technology in action unimpeded. It may not be suitable for serial production, but it is really eye-catching.
Then, the car’s functions are controlled using these small touch screens: from music to air conditioning and seating position. And since touch screens are more flexible than buttons, each small screen called UI elements can be customized as desired.
Steering wheel heart rate monitor
Another feature is the display of the driver’s heart rate – let’s remember: focus on people. The car recognizes this through two sensors on the steering wheel, which are used in heart rate monitors or smartwatches. In addition, the square curtain has two touch panels on which settings can be adjusted on the large screen.
All in all, the operating concept makes you want more, but unfortunately the Scénic Vision doesn’t go beyond the slim demo mode. Therefore, it is hoped that the creative idea with many small gadgets will not be reduced to a large screen for cost reasons and that Renault will not again be subject to the rough operating chassis of the R-Link infotainment system.
In terms of safety, the Scénic also offers something new. Not only do you want to draw attention to the safety issue by seeing the airbags. Airbags should also work differently. So-called cocoon airbags are integrated into the seats, which are not supposed to hold the car’s occupants as usual, but rather enclose them in the event of a collision.
In addition, Renault wants to make road traffic safer with the Scénic with additional active and passive safety systems. Overall, jobs such as safety score, safety coach and safety guard should reduce the number of accidents by 70 percent by increasing driver awareness of safe driving.
Prices and market launch
It is not yet clear what the Renault Scenic will cost, but it can be assumed that the Stromer will hardly be available for less than 40 thousand euros. It remains to be seen if buyers will be able to deduct the e-car premium from the amount, since the Scénic won’t be available before 2024 – and whether the supply chain problems will be resolved by that time is also not clear. Since, according to Renault, the fuel cell infrastructure will have to wait until 2030, only a pure BEV variant can be expected initially.
With the Scénic Vision, Renault turns its back on the previous truck concept and presents a modern electric crossover with an attractive design and a futuristic driving concept. Unfortunately, this relies on two scalable infrastructures. Because, especially with hydrogen, the number of gas stations in Europe is still in its infancy. Therefore, it is hoped that the pure Stromer will at least be able to use the 60 kWh battery from Renault’s shelf at market launch, which is already used in the Mégane e-Tech.