Renault E-Tech hybrid vehicles: The best of both worlds
Taking inspiration from it’s F1 development, the Renault E-Tech hybrid vehicles bring together a combustion-powered engine with two electric motors.
Groupe Renault is the pioneer of 100% electric vehicles in Europe, leading technological developments in multiple spheres: from motor design, battery energy efficiency and energy recuperation during braking, to system and vehicle production, commercial knowledge and aftersales service.
With Renault being at the forefront in promoting electric mobility over the past decade, the range has been expanded beyond 100% electric vehicles, by adding hybrid and rechargeable hybrid engines in order to increase accessibility to a broader consumer base.
Philippe Brunet, Director of Combustion and Electric Powertrain Groups at Groupe Renault has been instrumental in the E-TECH technological development through his electric expertise, backed by proficiency drawn from Formula One.
With this know-how on hand, Renault has been able to develop the E-TECH powertrains — hybrid and rechargeable hybrid — even on the most popular models: Clio, Captur and Megane.
RENAULT E-TECH HYBRID DEVELOPMENT
As for Formula One, the development of a hybrid engine for the 2014 season by the Renault DP World F1 Team has benefited these models immeasurably. The same race car architecture has been transferred to E-TECH, combining a combustion-powered engine with two electric motors: one for traction, the other as an alternator-starter, for a 100% electric start-up. Whilst a “dog clutch” gearbox replaces mechanical synchronizers with the precise control of electric machinery.
As a result, the Renault E-TECH engineering has stimulated innovation, resulting in no less than 150 patents, making this technology unique to the market.
The innovations resulting from dual experience in electric and Formula One provide direct benefits to the mechanical efficiency, dedicated to the enjoyment of driving and economizing running costs.
RENAULT HYBRID AND RECHARGEABLE HYBRID POWERTRAINS PRESENT UNIQUE DRIVING EXPERIENCES:
Acceleration is immediate upon start-up thanks to the systematically 100% electric traction and absence of a clutch. The drive is dynamic and supple, gear changes are smooth, and the vehicle responds even to high demands without any surge from the combustion engine.
Thanks to the extended electric range, the driving experience is as dynamic as it is smooth. Available immediately, the torque allows for accelerations and swift pick-ups right from the lowest speed. The power of the electric motor converts into acceleration without jolts. The drivers enjoy the 100% electric mode for up to 80% of their time behind the wheel of a hybrid E-TECH model (and up to 65 extra kilometres in a rechargeable hybrid E-TECH model).
Enjoyment is coupled with moderation. The electric drive, multi-mode gearbox, regenerative braking and large battery recharge capacity all contribute to significant energy economy compared to combustion-powered vehicles. This results in around 40% less consumption on an urban cycle for a hybrid E-TECH model, and well above that for a rechargeable hybrid E-TECH model.
The Renault Arkana & Captur Hybrid E-TECH models offer the best of both worlds
WITH REDUCED FUEL CONSUMPTION AND IMPROVED DRIVING PLEASURE
Not only do these E-TECH vehicles embody distinctive French styling, but there are several other benefits to driving them:
A hybrid powertrain
- A 145hp E-TECH Hybrid which is not only economical but has the added benefit of reduced automotive emissions
- The E-TECH Hybrid engines are based on a new-generation 4-cylinder 1.6 petrol engine, adapted to hybrid technology, which allow for excellent performance
- Fuel consumption gains of up to 40% compared with an internal combustion engine in the urban cycle, equating to reduced running costs
- E-TECH Hybrid recharges automatically while driving, providing ultimate convenience
- The E-TECH Hybrid technology offers an elevated driving experience through the following:
AN ECONOMICAL HYBRID POWERTRAIN
The 145hp E-TECH Hybrids consists of a 94hp 1.6 4-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors – a 36kW e-engine and a 15kW HSG (High-Voltage Starter Generator). The motors can operate independently or in unison, directing their energy to the wheels or to the battery. The driver is not required to do anything: the E-TECH system automatically manages the combinations of operation between the different motors and the gearbox ratios. In use, the mode changes are almost imperceptible. In the city, battery charging during deceleration and braking is optimized.
Regenerative braking combined with the high self-recharge capacity of the 1.2kWh (230V) batteries and the efficiency of the E-TECH system optimizes consumption. Thanks to the benefits of the E-TECH Hybrid engines, these vehicles can be driven up to 80% of the time in suburban areas in 100% electric mode, with a fuel consumption reduction up to 40% compared with a traditional combustion engine. On the open road, the electric motors assist the petrol engine when power is needed. Fuel consumption is therefore limited, even in Sport mode. The result is a combined fuel consumption of 5 l/100 km and contained CO2 emissions as low as 108g/km. Silence, responsiveness and agility, whether you drive in town or on the open road, all contribute to an enhanced driving sensation.
The battery of the E-TECH Hybrid vehicles re-charge automatically while driving. During deceleration, when the driver lifts his foot off the accelerator pedal and the car is coasting or braking, the electric motor works like a generator to convert the energy produced by the rotation of the wheels into electricity. A “B” position on the shift lever activates advanced regeneration, further optimizing the amount of energy returned to the battery.
MULTI-SENSE DRIVING MODES
The driver benefits from a very smooth ride, with the car always starting in 100% electric mode. The front axle is precise, and the shock absorbers are well optimized. The handling is dynamic, but not sporty, making it a pleasure to drive. Thanks to the MULTI-SENSE settings, it is possible to adapt the engine mapping, power-assisted steering, ambient lights, and the digital screen configuration replacing the dials.
THREE DRIVING MODES ARE AVAILABLE – MY SENSE, ECO & SPORT.
The MULTI-SENSE settings allow the driver to choose a driving mode according to his mood or the road profile he is facing. The My Sense mode is the everyday mode, with an ‘electric effect’ that is very present and easy to maintain or repeat, whether in urban use or at higher speeds. Eco mode is based on a less dynamic and more measured accelerator pedal mapping. The Sport mode takes advantage of the engine’s full potential in terms of response time and performance.
Driving is made easier by the latest technology, including the Highway and Traffic Jam Companion, which combines adaptive cruise control (with Stop & Go) and lane centring assistance. It’s almost like autonomous driving, bringing safety and peace of mind.
Thanks to its hybrid engine and its high-performance chassis, the vehicles show great versatility of use. Comfortable and roomy, and at ease in the city and on the open road, thanks to its E-TECH engine, the Renault E-TECH Hybrid vehicles are economical yet dynamic.
Exemplary Exterior and Interior styling come standard on both the Arkana & Captur Hybrid models
THE RENAULT ARKANA HYBRID: SUV-COUPÉ
The Renault Arkana boasts sporty SUV styling. It combines robustness and elegance: a motorsport inspired splitter, gold detailing, Silverstone wheel rims with gold inserts. At the rear, the twin exhaust underpins the Arkana’s dynamic nature. The signature C-shaped headlights are distinctive to the design language of Renault, with 100% LED lights for improved night visibility.
Renault is the first automotive manufacturer in Europe to offer a SUV-coupé. The unique dynamic design of the Arkana blends visually pleasing attributes from the world of SUVs (200mm ground clearance, elevated beltline, wheel arch protectors, front and rear skid plates) with those of coupés (plunging roofline and moderate height of 1.58m). It has a length of 4.57m and a wheelbase of 2.72m.
The interior of the Renault Arkana is undeniably high-tech. The dashboard features two screens: the 10.2-inch digital instrument panel (one of the largest display surfaces in the category!) and the 9.3-inch vertical central touch screen on the central console. Connectivity features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless charging for smartphones in the centre console and four USB plugs (two at the front and two at the rear).
Despite its coupé-like appearance, the Arkana is very much a family car. Rear seat occupants enjoy 211 mm of knee room and 862 mm of headroom, which is significant for such a coupe design. The boot is generous with 480 litres in the E-TECH Hybrid version, and is extremely easy to access. Its height-adjustable floor can be placed in the low position to maximise loading capacity and in the high position. To make it easier to load heavy objects. A configuration that allows you to make the most of a flat surface, once the 2.3-1/3 bench seat backs are folded down. The rear bench seat offers 3 seats with generous leg and knee room.
THE CAPTUR HYBRID: UNIQUE SUV STYLING
CAPTIVATING EXTERIOR DESIGN
The Captur E-TECH Hybrid vehicle sports a gold front bumper with an F1 blade, shiny black front and rear skid plates and 18” alloy wheels, all adding to its attractive exterior design appeal.
REVOLUTIONARY INTERIOR DESIGN
The Captur Hybrid boasts exceptional interior design. It features a smart cockpit with a 9.3” driver-oriented multimedia touchscreen, customisable 7” digital instrumentation, a unique floating console with a futuristic << Shift >> gear lever within easy reach, clever storage space, and much more.
VERSATILITY COMES STANDARD
Despite the presence of the battery, the boot volume remains at the best level in its category. Above all, the rear seat remains sliding for 16 centimetres and the space for the spare tyre is preserved. In the E-TECH Hybrid version, the Captur retains its versatility, for elevated convenience. On the road, it offers the best compromise between comfort and dynamism.
The Arkana and Captur E-TECH Hybrid vehicles certainly offer the ‘best of both worlds’, not only with access to the ‘je ne sais quoi’ of French design and revolutionary technology, but access to a more efficient yet dynamic driving experience.
Both the Arkana and Captur E-TECH Hybrid vehicles are not available for retail in South Africa as yet.