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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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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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2020 Renault ZOE EV has sharper looks, more range and two motor options

2020 Renault ZOE EV has sharper looks, more range and two motor options

Renault has cranked up the design aggression meter up to eleven on the 2020 ZOE and its interior is finally pleasant

Our readers from North America may not really be familiar with the Renault Zoe, but it is actually the best selling all-electric vehicle in Europe, so the fact that a new one has been launched is a pretty big deal. It’s definitely an evolution of the old car and not a dramatic, revolution, but it addresses some key concerns people had with it in the past in order to make it even more enticing for city types who don’t want a small EV.

The 2020 Renault ZOE has freshened up exterior design, a much improved interior (it sorely needed), a battery pack has 30 percent extra capacity over the old one and new tech that was not available on the old ZOE. And having improved the car in all these areas, Renault has a chance of staying on top of EV sales in Europe, even though there are far more rivals out now than there were when the ZOE debuted, back in 2012.

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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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The 2019 Renault Kadjar is a Car We Can't Love or Hate

The 2019 Renault Kadjar is a Car We Can’t Love or Hate

It’s just not living up to the hype even after a facelift

The Renault Kadjar facelift comes three years after it was launched and, while it definitely looks refreshed, it just doesn’t live up to the hype it created back when it was launched in 2015. For 2019, the Kadjar even receives Renault’s latest engine, along with some changes to the inside and outside.

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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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2019 Renault Captur Coupe

2019 Renault Captur Coupe

French automaker is looking to introduce a coupe-crossover for the masses

Renault’s got big plans for its Captur lineup, and it seems that one of those plans involve rolling out a new coupe-crossover that will make its debut in concept form at the 2018 Moscow Motor Show. The French automaker has rolled out at the first teaser of the concept, but more importantly, a heavily camouflaged test prototype has been seen rolling on the streets recently. By all accounts, this test mule is an early production version of the Moscow-bound concept that we will see this August. It’s already pegged to get the Captur Coupe name, and it will likely be shared with Dacia using the same nameplate.

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The Renault Megane RS Is Quick to 60 mph, but it's a Turd in the Top End

The Renault Megane RS Is Quick to 60 mph, but it’s a Turd in the Top End

An acceleration test shows just how limited that 1.8-liter really is

We’ve praised the new Megane RS up and down. It’s attractive, it’s sporty, it’s got the proper interior appointments, and it stands out in a crowd where models like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R thrive. With that said, its spec sheet doesn’t disappoint either. 276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque isn’t exactly something to sneeze at, at least not coming from a car this size anyway. But, engine size matters; transmission gearing matters. And, that’s painfully evident in this acceleration and top speed test put together by AutoTopNL.

From the start, things look good; the RS manages to hit the 62.1-mph barrier in around 5.8 seconds. That’s just 0.9 seconds slower than the Civic Type R and 1.1 seconds faster than the Ford Focus RS, both of which are more powerful. What happened after that run to 60 is what’s a bit discerning. It was able to run to 140 from nil in around 27 seconds, which again isn’t bad for a car with this kind of power, but beyond that, this thing is the definition of a turd. So much so that in the first attempt the driver couldn’t even hit the RS’ top speed of 155 mph. He got close, at 152, but never made it to the top of the hill.

The driver did manage to hit a top speed of 155 mph, but it wasn’t until he slowed down to 140 mph, then jumped on it again, spending 46 seconds in the process – again, that’s a turdishly slow as it gets. It’s like the car just loses all motivation beyond 135 mph or 140 mph. So what’s the reasoning behind this? Well, first off, that little 1.8 liter starts to fall off in a major way beyond 5,000 rpm. Second, it’s pretty clear that the transmission is geared more for top speed than acceleration from third on up. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a tactic to provide a high top speed on paper without having to mention that it has a significant effect on mid-to-high-range acceleration.

Either way, this video is very telling of what you can really expect from the new Megane RS. It’s not a bad vehicle by any means, but it’s probably not going to win any acceleration contests – not now, and not ever. Well, unless you do some serious modification. And, in that case, by all means, please send us some video.

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Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Renault Megane

Wallpaper of the Day: 2016 Renault Megane

Renault introduced the world to a new-gen Megane for the 2016 model year, and it’s the best move the company has made in a long time. It came complete with a revitalized look that shed the woes of yesteryear with a lot of new DNA. The weird rear end was replaced with something more modern while the front end got much sportier. The interior was improved tenfold as well. And, the best part is that there’s a model for everyone. You want economy? You can roll with a 90-horsepower diesel engine. Or you could opt for the 110 or 130 horsepower diesel. On the gasoline front, there’s an economy smart 100 horsepower mill or a 130-horsepower mill. If you have a thirst for more power, though, you could opt for the 205-horsepower engine. Either way, it’s an attractive proposition, and it certainly fits right into the hatchback market. And, it’ll make a great desktop wallpaper too, so we’ve hand-selected one of our favorites. If it’s not good enough for you, though, you can grab one from the gallery below too. Go ahead; there’s plenty to choose from!

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