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The German Government Is Basically Giving Away Free Electric Cars

The German Government Is Basically Giving Away Free Electric Cars

Thanks to a generous grant, German citizens can lease a Renault Zoe for two years without paying a single Euro cent

Germany is setting a new standard when it comes to encouraging people into cleaner cars and the distribution of EV grant money. The government is currently offering a €6,000 grant for the purchase of a new EV and, thanks to the way things are set up, this means you can lease a brand new Renault Zoe without paying a penny. Here’s how it works.

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2020 Renault Megane R.S.

2020 Renault Megane R.S.

Renault’s go-fast Megane R.S. hot hatch is in for a mid-life nip and tuck

Revealed at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, the current-generation Renault Megane R.S. is due for its mid-life nip and tuck. The coming of such a revamped model is backed up by a set of photos sent it by our spy photographers, who caught the French hot hatch completely free of camouflage during what looks a lot like a pre-production test run.

In all fairness, we don’t expect Renault to operate a lot of changes on the facelifted Megane R.S., which is already a mature model both in terms of exterior design and drivetrain. The cockpit, however, does leave some room for improvement especially in the technology and material quality areas. Renault knows this all too well and is surely working to tweak things in this regard, but take a closer look at the spy shots and you’ll spot a couple of other cosmetic changes as well. Let’s check them out.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

Powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that’s good for 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, the Megane R.S. Trophy-R is, hands down, the most hardcore Megane ever created. It features unique styling outside like the new hood, body wrap, and red accenting but also has a few interior upgrades as well, sans the requirement that you stick with the smaller infotainment screen. More importantly, Renault managed to shed some 130 kilo off the weight of the standard Megane R.S., so it’s capable of springing to 62.1 mph or 100 kph in as little as 5.4 seconds before topping out at 262 kph or 163 mph. Since we didn’t give the R.S. Trophy-R that much attention, we decided to make it our wallpaper of the day. We’ve added our favorite below, but there’s a whole gallery at the bottom for you to choose from too!

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2019 Renault Twingo

2019 Renault Twingo

Is having a pretty city car face enough to make the Twingo a success?

Renault radically changed the formula for its third-generation Twingo city runabout. The first- and second-gen Twingos were front-engined, front-wheel drive, three-door cars (and the second one even had a proper hot hatch variant). For its third generation, though, Renault completely changed things around, making the Twingo a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, five-door model.

Further differentiating it from its predecessors was its design. Whereas the two previous Twingo incarnations were styled to look as modern and fresh as possible, the current Twingo has a retro-inspired look that owes everything to the iconic Renault 5. And it really works - the Twingo is cute, tasteful and, even though there are other retro-inspired cars out there, it’s among the most successful from a visual standpoint.

But it too isn’t especially new, as it was launched back in 2015 and was recently given its mid-lifecycle refresh. Renault didn’t change anything major, though; the refresh has changed the front and rear bumpers, the headlights, as well as added some extra interior customization options. One of the engines available for the Twingo also gets a power boost courtesy of the facelift and some extra tech has been added too.

But overall, it’s still the same fresh looking car that attracted a lot of attention back when it was launched. That attention didn’t really translate into it becoming a sales hit, yet you still see a fair few of them scuttling around Europe’s major cities (the Fiat 500 is still king in this respect and the Twingo didn’t manage to dethrone it).

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All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant

All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant

Renault wants to reiterate the success of the first-gen Captur crossover with an all-new second-gen model

Renault unveiled an all-new generation of its Captur crossover at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it wasn’t really on many people’s radar, even though the previous generation model sold over 1.5 million units since its introduction. So the new Captur is a really rather important model for Renault; it’s not terribly exciting for automotive journos or enthusiasts, but as a car people are actually going to buy, it is quite significant.

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2020 Renault Megane

2020 Renault Megane

Refreshed Renault Megane looks more grown up both inside and out

Renault has been selling the current Megane unchanged since the current generation was launched back in 2016. Then, it attracted a lot of attention with its bold LED daytime running lights, wrap-around rear light clusters (that almost created a full-width light bar) and upmarket-feeling interior with its large portrait-style touchscreen infotainment screen.

Now, the manufacturer has brought the Megane in for its midlife makeover, in order to keep it looking fresh and to bring its look in line with that of newer models in the range (like the all-new generation Clio subcompact). The facelifted Megane features redesigned headlights (with a different but equally bold LED signature), a revised grille and front bumper, as well as a new rear light cluster design; the rear bumper may also be different, but if so, then the difference is so subtle we can’t really spot it.

Its interior has also been updated, but the biggest change can be found under the revised Megane’s hood. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains will be offered for the first time, as Renault continues the quest to electrify as much of its range as possible - this was to be expected, though, since the new Clio can also be had as a hybrid, so electrifying the Megane was a logical next step.

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2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R

The Trophy-R is the most hardcore Megane Renault ever created

The 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R is about as close as it gets to being the cap stone for the front-wheel drive hot hatch pyramid. It is the most extreme version of the current Megane RenaultSport and it makes the regular model look tame and watered down by comparison.

It is the even more extreme version of the Megane R.S. 300 Trophy, which, in turn, is more hardcore than the base Megane RenaultSport. The 300 Trophy already has plenty of go-faster mods, such as a standard Torsen limited-slop differential, a stiffer suspension setup complete with trick dampers that feature a hydraulic bumptstop, as well as bigger brakes and extra power extracted out of its 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder.

The Trophy-R takes things a step further: most of its performance gain comes from the weight shedding of 130 kilograms (286 pounds) and some enhanced aero. Renault engineers also removed the 4Control four-wheel steering system not only to make the car lighter, but to also give it a more consistent feel when driven quickly around a track. This and other mods result is a car that currently holds the front-wheel drive lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which is no surprise, because that’s what it was designed to do (and also be the quickest and most focused vehicle of its type).

It’s also definitely got future classic written all over it. Only 500 examples will be made, all with a manual six-speed gearbox, stripped out interior (with a deleted back seat) and unique graphics. The high asking price might put some off it, but for those hardcore enthusiasts who are willing to spend more than 50 percent more on a Trophy-R than they would on the regular RenaultSport Megane (in order for the car to come fitted with the Nürburgring Record Pack), the difference will be worth it.

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The 2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy R Just Killed the Civic Type R's Nurburgring Record

The 2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy R Just Killed the Civic Type R’s Nurburgring Record

Renault is back on top of the hot hatch game with new Megane RS Trophy-R

Renault’s performance division, Renault Sport, is a name synonymous with hot hatches, and its latest offering, the 2019 Megane RS Trophy-R, is a reminder why that is. The new lightened, track-focused Megane RS has just beaten the Honda Civic Type-R around the Nurburgring, stealing the front-wheel-drive crown from the Japanese manufacturer.

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Jay Leno Goes Full Throttle in a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo2: Video

Jay Leno Goes Full Throttle in a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo2: Video

A commuter-turned-mad-machine ready for rally racing

You gotta love it when manufacturers bring race-proven performance to the street. Back in the ‘80s, that’s exactly what Renault did with the R5 Turbo2, a boxy giant-slayer that looks the part of a sideways dirt-slinger all the way down to the hugely flared rear fenders.

This thing is just dripping with old-school-cool, which means it fits right in at Jay Leno’s Garage. Originally, the mighty mite used to be (as Jay puts it) “just a front-wheel drive, front-engined, econobox.” Now, however, it’s so much more. For starters, the engine is in now behind the seats, and now features a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder producing just under 200 horsepower, all of which flows through a five-speed manual transmission. The suspension was also completely reworked, and of course, don’t forget that glorious new body work. The product of racing homologation, just 200 were produced with the same aluminum roof as the example seen here.

This thing is a straight-up rally superstar for the road. Check it out in length in this 27-minute, 44-second video, which includes a look at all the technical details, and a stint on the streets of Southern California.

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The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production

The 2020 Renault K-ZE EV Showed up in Shanghai Ready for Production

Renault’s brand-new EV is a tiny crossover

Six months after it made its debut as a concept car at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the Renault K-ZE broke cover in production form at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. The tiny electric crossover was designed in China as part of the eGT New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. joint venture between the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and local carmaker Dongfeng.

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2019 Peugeot 208 vs 2019 Renault Clio

2019 Peugeot 208 vs 2019 Renault Clio

The launch of French city cars is a pretty big deal in Europe, and this year we saw all-new generations of the most important models from Peugeot and Renault. The Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio are both all-new, even though in the case of the former you can certainly tell, whereas the latter just looks like the a facelift for the previous-generation model.

Renault played it safe with the Clio, clearly stating that its exterior look is merely evolutionary, but once you step inside you will notice the radically different (and better) interior. Believe it or not, the Clio rides on a new platform that, for the first time ever, gives Renault the chance to also offer it in hybrid form.

Peugeot has done one better, though. Its 208 looks striking and fresh both inside and out, borrowing design cues from the larger 508. Overall, therefore, it nudges in front of the Clio in terms of the way it looks and, on top of this, Peugeot will offer it in full EV guise under the name e-208. To make matters even better the e-208 is apparently going to have excellent range too.

However, Peugeot’s flamboyant approach to the design and styling of the 208 might put some people off completely, so even if on paper it may already sound like the winner in this company, the fact of the matter is there’s a lot more to it, and they need to be analyzed side by side.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Renault Clio

Wallpaper of the Day: 2019 Renault Clio

It’s not always about what’s under the skin!

The 2019 Renault Clio might look a lot like its predecessor, but at the same time, it’s also largely rethought in all the right ways. In short, it’s fundamentally better than ever before and rides on an all-new platform that provides a home for new engines, lower ride height, and a revamped interior that’s not only more modern but more spacious as well. I non-performance form the new Clio can be had with anywhere between 65 and 114 horsepower but, once Renault pulls the sheet off of the GT and R.S. models, the Clio is expected to put at least 225 horsepower to the ground. It’s not clearly visible at first, but Renault is now able to take on the Audi A1 and BMW 1 Series alongside models like the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. With such an enlightening new generation at hand, we’ve decided to make the brand-new 2019 Renault Clio our wallpaper of the day here at Topspeed headquarters. And, since we’re feeling so enlightened, we’ve decided to make our favorite, along with a selection of other Clio wallpapers, easily available for you to download.

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2019 Renault Clio

2019 Renault Clio

The 2019 Renault Clio is completely re-engineered and it comes with hybrid propulsion

The much anticipated new 2019 Renault Clio city car finally showed its face. In an effort to move towards the premium spectrum of the city car segment (you know, where the A1 and the Mini reside), the new Renault Clio gained many of the design traits from the latest line of Renault vehicles such as the Talisman sedan and the Megane hatch. It showed its face before the imminent reveal at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year and it is a fundamentally better car than before. Yet, with the new platform, new engines, new interior, and new dimensions come new thinking as well. The new Clio is actually shorter compared to the predecessor. Lower too. But roomier inside. Somehow, Renault engineers achieved the Tardis effect with the new Cio and I will tell you how. First things first. Why the hell does it look so similar to its predecessor?

Updated 03/14/2019: We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the Renault Clio that we took during the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Check them out in the gallery below!

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2019 Renault Twingo shows up with new face and engine in Geneva

2019 Renault Twingo shows up with new face and engine in Geneva

Features new engine and automatic transmission

On the market for almost five years now, the third-generation Renault Twingo needed an update. And the French firm delivered at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, where the mid-cycle facelift broke cover with updated features inside and out, and a new engine and transmission.

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2020 Renault Clio brings evolutionary design, hybrid powertrain promise to Geneva

2020 Renault Clio brings evolutionary design, hybrid powertrain promise to Geneva

Renault is playing it safe with its new Clio, but it’s all the better for it

Whenever Renault launches an all-new Clio, it’s a big deal, and this year’s edition of the Geneva motor show and the next-gen Clio debut are no exception. Why is it such an important model? Well, since the first generation of the model debuted, in the year 1990, Renault has sold a whopping 15-million units and with this latest one it’s decided to play it a bit safe.

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2019 Renault Clio's smart, upmarket looking interior revealed

2019 Renault Clio’s smart, upmarket looking interior revealed

Is the upcoming Clio’s interior the best looking in the segment?

Renault seems really proud of its 2020 Clio city car’s interior as it’s been revealed separately and before the exterior. The French giant has all the right to be pleased with it because, at least from the photos, it looks fantastic through its design, combination of materials and textures, and its newfound techy feel.

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2018 Renault K-ZE

2018 Renault K-ZE

Is this the electrified future?

Renault is previewing its future mini electric crossover with the K-ZE concept revealed at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Taking a closer look at the K-ZE, it becomes immediately apparent that it is, in fact, just a dressed up Kwid (which Renault already sells in emerging markets) which has had its internal combustion powertrain swapped out for a full-electric one.

The future electric crossover will look much closer to this concept, than it will to the current Kwid, although it will maintain its basic body shape. What will set it apart visually more significantly are the new, redesigned front and rear fascias, as well as various details around the exterior. It also promises to offer “class leading” range for a vehicle in its size-bracket.

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The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show

The Future of Renault Lies in this KWID-Based Electric Crossover Concept from the Paris Motor Show

Renault enters the fray with a small crossover for the masses

Renault premiered the grand stage with an all-electric crossover concept called K-ZE. It will eventually head to the production line and reach the masses next year. The concept looks funky, and the production version may not be very different from the concept. Given the segment Renault has slotted it in, the car will most likely fetch big sales numbers.

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2019 Renault Clio SUV

2019 Renault Clio SUV

Renault is preparing to launch a small crossover based on the next Clio city car, aiming to woo buyers away from the Ford Fiesta Active, Hyundai i20 Active and other similar small high-riders. What’s a bit strange is that the French automaker already has just such a vehicle in its range, called the Captur, but apparently, this one is going to be placed under it in the model lineup.

We also don’t yet know what Renault wants to call this new model, whether it will use the Clio SUV or a completely new name. One thing’s certain - it won’t be merely a Clio with extra ground clearance and body cladding; its body is taller and looks different compared to the fifth-gen Clio we’ve seen in another batch of spy photos.

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2019 Renault Arkana

2019 Renault Arkana

Finally An Affordable Coupe Crossover

In a surprising turn of events, French manufacturer Renault revealed an all-new coupe SUV called the Arkana. Shown at the Moscow Auto Show, the Renault Arkana is the first coupe-inspired SUV to sit at a lower price point compared to any of its premium competition. For now, the Renault Arkana is only a show car, but one really close to production. Renault will introduce it for the Russian market in 2019, with the launch on CIS markets some time later. The car could be introduced on the western markets as well (maybe not in the same guise and with the same name) and while we cannot expect it in the U.S. (Renault isn’t available here at all), I would not be surprised if the Arkana architecture ends up supporting some kind of similar Nissan coupe SUV. The Renault press release is clear - the Arkana “heralds a new vehicle with global ambitions.” Last time I checked, global means all around the world.

Renault’s Design Chief Laurens van den Acker did hint that Renault is considering bringing the Arkana to Europe. China, Latin America, and South Korea are already confirmed destinations for the new car.

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