Renault, Renault Megane

Renault’s updated Megane includes a more powerful RS


Renault has introduced a mid-cycle refresh for its Golf-rivaling Megane range, and key among the updates is the addition of a new plug-in hybrid model, new screens in the dash, and an expanded suite of electronic driver-assist features.

However, for performance fans, it’s the changes to the Megane RS model that will excite most. The Megane RS targets the Golf GTI and in hotter Trophy and Trophy R guises is among the fastest hot hatches in production. In fact, the Trophy R model is the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nürburgring with a time of 7:40.1 that was set last May.

For the refresh, the Megane RS now features the same 296-horsepower output as its Trophy and Trophy R big brothers, up from 275 hp previously. The power is generated from a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-4 that is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine incidentally is the same one fitted to the Alpine A110 sports car.

The Megane RS also benefits from an active exhaust system, as well as a new performance data recorder referred to as the RS Monitor. The latter is an available feature that can display many car settings in real time, such as acceleration, braking, steering-wheel angle, temperatures and various pressures.

2020 Renault Megane RS

For the Megane RS Trophy, the designers have tweaked the internals of the headlights and added more trim options in the cabin. The cabin also features the RS Monitor as standard. Buyers also receive all of the cool performance mods from the last model as standard, including stiffer suspension, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and Brembo brakes with red calipers.

As for the Megane Trophy R, the last one was a limited-edition model for 2019. Availability of an updated version is yet to be announced.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Renault has also launched an RS Line upgrade for the regular Meganes that give the cars a sportier look. It replaces the previous GT Line upgrade and includes tweaks for both the exterior and cabin.

The latest Megane range will go on sale in markets where Renault operates in July. Sadly the United States isn’t one of them.



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International News, Nissan, Renault

Renault, Nissan to revive joint R&D projects – report


Renault engineering chief Gilles Le Borgne is due to meet his counterpart at Nissan, Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi in Japan this week as the French and Japanese brands aim to revive joint projects crucial to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, Reuters reported.

Le Borgne was hired by Renault on January 6 following his departure from French rival Group PSA, and took on the roles of executive vice president and member of the Renault executive committee, after his departure from his position at PSA as executive vice president of quality and engineering which he held since 2013. His counterpart at Nissan, Yamaguchi is the executive in charge of joint engineering projects.

“The alliance has taken a hit, but the alliance engineering team is still there. You cannot, from one day to the next, stop something that has been embedded so deeply,” a source told Reuters. Former chairman and CEO of Nissan Carlos Ghosn spoke out against his ex-company, saying that it might ‘go bankrupt within two to three years’.

One area of focus for the joint projects will be in hybrid power systems, an area where the alliance has not effectively pooled its research and development efforts, Reuters quoted analysts saying; each of the three members of the alliance has developed their own hybrid power systems. “That has been among the sources of the friction. Now (that) the three systems are there, we’ll need to use them in the most efficent way possible,” the third source told Reuters.

According to the same sources, the joint engineering exercise will see the Renault-developed E-Tech system used for the Nissan Juke, while the Nissan-developed e-Power system is set to be employed in the Renault Kadjar, particularly in Asia. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi is still using its own hybrid drive system in the Outlander.

The troubles faced by the alliance arose as rumours of Nissan’s planned split from Renault sent share prices tumbling, initiated by Nissan’s intentions to return to independent efforts in engineering and manufacturing, along with concerns that its relations with long-time partner Renault had turned sour.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance offers crucial cost savings, in light of an overall slowdown of the automotive industry and the trending efforts and investments toward cleaner vehicles and automated driving, Reuters noted. Financial prospects have been difficult since Ghosn was arrested in November 2018 for alleged financial misconduct, who subsequently spent 108 days in jail.

Ghosn was released on bail under strict conditions, including not being able to communicate with his wife and only being allowed to use a computer at his lawyer’s office. The former CEO made his escape from Japan to Lebanon in December, followed by a press conference which he gave earlier this month, saying he fled the country as he did not think he would get a just and speedy trial.

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Cars, EVs and Alternative Fuel, Hybrids, International News, Renault

2020 Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in, Clio E-Tech debut


Renault has unveiled the Captur E-Tech Plug-in PHEV and the Clio E-Tech hybrid, half a year on from the debut of the current Captur and almost a full year since the current Clio was launched.

The Captur E-Tech Plug-in is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine and two electric motors in a series-parallel configuration, producing a peak power figure of 160 hp from a 9.8 kWh battery pack on a 400 V system, which is sent to a dog-clutch direct transmission gearbox.

The Captur E-Tech PHEV can be driven purely on electricity for 50 km on the WLTP cycle with a maximum of 135 km/h, and up to 65 km in urban use on the WLTP City cycle. Rated fuel consumption is 1.5 l/100 km and 32 g/km of CO2 emissions on the combined cycle.

The Captur E-Tech employs powertrain and battery management dubbed Multi-Sense, which is accessed through the infotainment screen or via a dedicated button. In Pure mode, the powertrain is locked into using battery power exclusively for as long as there is sufficient battery charge.

In E-Save mode, the system limits battery usage and emphasises internal combustion engine usage, in order to save battery charge for driving into emissions-limited city centres, for example. In Sport mode, the internal combustion engine and both electric motors are summoned together for maximum output, which can be used for overtaking.

Interior accommodation is unchanged from internal combustion versions of the Captur, says Renault, with the rear seats still capable of sliding along a range of 160 mm. In the luggage compartment, a hinged false floor enables the storage of the Captur E-Tech Plug-in’s charging cables without encroaching upon its boot volume.

Inside, the Captur E-Tech features a 10.2 inch instrumentation display and a 9.3 inch Easy Link infotainment display. The Captur E-Tech’s instrumentation can be configured to display battery life, recharge times, electricity flow exchanges, energy recovery and current charge levels.

As with its crossover sibling the Captur, the Clio gets unique exterior and interior treatments to differentiate it from the internal combustion engined variants; here, the E-Tech hybrid gets unique front and rear bumpers, while ‘E-Tech Hybrid’ badges denote its electrified powertrain.

The Clio E-Tech’s interior features the Smart Cockpit layout which is comprised of a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster and an Easy Link infotainment screen. Here, the Clio E-Tech displays hybrid-specific graphics, indicating battery levels when charging or when the electric drive motor is in use.

Like the Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in, the Clio E-Tech is also powered by a 1.6 litre naturally aspirated engine with a high-voltage starter-generator and a larger electric drive motor paired with a multi-mode clutchless gearbox, though the Clio E-Tech gets a smaller rear-mounted 1.2 kWh battery on a 230 V architecture, and yields a total system output of 140 hp.

In this hybrid guise, the Clio gains no more than 10 kg compared to the dCi 115-engined variant, says Renault; if the Clio E-Tech is driven on city roads 80% of the time in pure electric mode, this yields fuel savings of up to 40% compared to an internal combustion engine of a similar size on the urban cycle, the company said. The Clio E-Tech can travel at speeds of up to 75 km/h in fully electric mode.

2020 Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in

2020 Renault Clio E-Tech

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Cars, Local News, Renault

Renault Koleos launched in Malaysia from RM180k – standard and Signature, available on Subscription


Renault franchise holder in Malaysia TC Euro Cars has announced the official launch of the Renault Koleos facelift, which was previewed at this year’s paultan.org Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE) earlier this month.

Two variants of the Koleos are offered – the standard trim and Signature, which are priced at RM179,888 and RM189,888 respectively; both prices are on-the-road without insurance. Customers who make bookings will receive rewards for their trade-ins, and the new Koleos comes with a free service package for five years or 100,000 km, whichever comes first. Warranty is five years, manufacturer-covered with unlimited mileage.

Both variants of the 2019 Koleos are powered by a 2.5 litre, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 171 PS at 6,000 rpm and 226 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. This is paired to an X-Tronic CVT which drives the front wheels, and returns a combined fuel consumption figure of 8.1 l/100 km.

Some differences show up here compared to the preview vehicle shown at PACE 2019; the facelifted Koleos gets 19-inch wheels and 225/55 tyres in Signature trim, while doing wthout the Bose speakers of the preview show car. The Signature trim also adds a panoramic sunroof, whereas the standard model rolls on 18-inch wheels with 225/60 tyres.

The existing Universal White and Black Metallic colours are carried over, with the new additions being Amethyst Black, Millesime Red, and Ultra Silver. Inside, standard equipment on the facelifted Koleos includes the R-Link 2 infotainment system with a portrait-oriented 8.7-inch touchscreen with capacitive touchscreen functions such as two-finger zooming and page scrolling, and is compatible with Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay.

Further features include USB and 3.5 mm auxiliary audio connectivity, SD card slot and a 12-volt power supply along with Bluetooth for phone and audio functions. Voice recognition is also employed for telephone functions. Riviera leather upholstery features on both the base and Signature variants; black for the former and brown for the Signature, which also adds satin chrome trim.

Safety equipment for the Koleos is comprised of two adaptive front airbags, two lateral/thorax airbags for front occupants and two curtain rer ISOFIX child seat anchors, all-round load-limiting and pretensioning seatbelts, blind sport warning system, stability and traction control, brake assist, EBD and hill start assist, along with front, rear and side parking sensors and rear-view camera.

Besides the conventional hire-purchase route to car ownership, the Renault Subscription scheme is offered in two plans – Fixed or Switch. The Fixed plan offers use of the Koleos from RM2,299 per month for durations between one and two years, with costs of road tax, insurance and servicing covered by the plan. Alternatively, the Switch plan offers the Captur crossover as its base model from RM1,999 per month, with the option to upgrade to the Koleos or the Megane RS 280 Cup.

GALLERY: Renault Koleos facelift previewed at PACE 2019

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Cars, Local News, Renault

Renault Malaysia teases arrival of new Koleos facelift


TC Euro Cars (TCEC) has teased the arrival of the facelifted Renault Koleos, which was first revealed back in June this year, with a post on Renault Malaysia’s Facebook site. Interested customers can begin registering their interest by clicking on the link above, or just head on over to our Premium Auto Car Expo (PACE) 2019 event happening next weekend, November 2 and 3, at the Setia City Convention Centre to check out the car in the flesh!

Styling revisions that are part of the facelift include a more prominent front grille with new chrome trimmings, which sits between the Pure Vision LED headlamps and C-shaped light signatures. You’ll also find a new trim piece running across the width of the front bumper that divides the upper and lower aprons – the latter sees redesigned fog lamp enclosures, smaller fog lamps and a more pronounced skid plate.

Moving to the rear of the SUV, there’s a silver-painted skid plate placed just below revised chrome garnish that doubles as faux exhausts. Other exterior updates include new two-tone alloy wheels and a Vintage Red metallic paint finish, although it isn’t known if we’ll get either.

Changes to the interior are more subtle, with new soft materials and satin inlays applied to certain areas to give the Koleos a more upmarket feel on the inside. Elsewhere, the rear seats sport a two-stage reclining seat back, while the 8.7-inch R-Link 2 touchscreen infotainment system now supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The current Koleos on sale here is powered by a 2.5 litre NA four-cylinder petrol engine with 171 PS and 226 Nm of torque, which is paired to an X-Tronic CVT driving the front wheels, and it is likely this powertrain will be retained for the facelift as well.

2020 Renault Koleos facelift

2016 Renault Koleos 2.5L 2WD (Malaysia-spec)

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