2020 Renault MORPHOZ concept
Renault, like all other automakers, were forced to skip the Geneva Motor Show, but that sure didn’t stop it from unveiling what will probably be written in history as the weirdest futuristic concept of 2020. The Morphoz is, essentially, a vehicle that can transform based on range need, from a shorter, city car to a longer travel car. It sounds like the Morphoz will be a city car by default and would require you to stop by a station and swap to a larger battery if you plan to take a longer trip. The batteries, whether in the car or not, will be used to power infrastructure when not in use. I tend to speak too soon about a lot of things, but I’m going to come right out and say that this thing will never see production, but it could represent the future of automobiles, so here’s what you need to know about it.
2019 Renault Twingo
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).
2020 Renault Megane
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.
2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R
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.
2018 Renault EZ-Ultimo
The Renault EZ-Ultimo is a futuristic concept car that the French firm unveiled at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. A fully autonomous car, the EZ-Ultimo rounds out Renault’s trilogy of concept robo-vehicles designed for shared mobility. It joins the EZ-Go and the EZ-Pro, also unveiled in 2018.
Described as a "robo-vehicle for a premium mobility experience," the EZ-Ultimo was developed for increasingly congested city traffic and to meet new urban trends in which more and more people drop personal cars in favor of shared car services. Powered by an all-electric drivetrain, the concept car is intended to be offered as a service for "a single trip, a circuit or a day booking" provided by premium travel companies and resorts. One of Renault’s most luxurious vehicles ever, the EZ-Ultimo previews a production car that might become available over the next decade.
Update 3/28/2019: We stopped by Renault’s booth at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and got some good shots of the Renault EZ-Ultimo. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of the page!
2019 Renault Clio
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!
1974 Renault Alpine A110 1800 Group 4 Works
The Renault-Alpine A110 is one of the most famous rally cars of the two-wheel-drive era. It reigned supreme in the days before the WRC became a thing and this, the 1800, built to Group 4 specifications, is the swansong of the A110 and ran in 1974 and 1975.
The original Alpine A110 was launched in 1961 as the successor of the A108 which shared parts with Renault’s Dauphine. This time by, Paul Redele and his men relied on parts from the compact Renault 8 sedan. The car had a similar design to the A108, again with a rounded nose and straight-cut rear as well as bulbous headlights.
The A110, in its later versions, claimed numerous rally wins which made Alpine the 1971 champions in the International Championship for Manufacturers. This A110 was built for the 1974 season as one of only nine works-supported cars that year. It managed a best finish of second in the Tour De Corse but proved to be overwhelmed by the newly-homologated Lancia Stratos with its mid-engine configuration.
2018 Renault K-ZE
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.
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.
2019 Renault Arkana
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.
2018 Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy
The Renault Megane was most recently redesigned in 2016. Sportier than ever on the outside, it gained a modern interior with the latest tech and a range of revised engines. Two years have passed since then and Renault finally gave the fourth-generation Megane the long-awaited Trophy treatment.
Crafted by the Renault Sport division, also known as R.S., the new Trophy replaces the R.S. 275 Trophy model that the French firm offered between 2014 and 2017. Naturally, the new Megane Trophy is not only more aggressive on the outside, but it’s also more powerful. As usual, it’s built on the race-bred Cup chassis, which makes it a road-legal race car. The 275 Trophy-R holds track records for FWD cars on many circuits, including the Nurburgring, Suzuka, and Fuji. Will the new Trophy set new benchmarks? Probably. But until that happens, let’s have a closer look at its design and drivetrain in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Mégane R.S. Trophy.
All Changes Contrived by Renault Sport To Brew The Hardcore Megane RS Trophy
I can only infer that the importance of hot hatches in Europe is on par with the importance of muscle cars in the U.S. They are a must-have for every company that wants to do any business there. Renault and its division - Renault Sport - always did a really good job in this department with the overachieving Clio RS and Megane RS cars. Today, a new one emerged. Following the habits of the past, Renault Sport revealed the new Megane RS Trophy. It’s a car based on the regular RS but bathed with small tweaks to make it ever so faster, hardcore, and slightly meaner. It is a track weapon that tackles the monstrosity of the Honda Civic Type R, or the sophisticated gem the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport is. I will go even further and give Hyundai the courtesy of joining this exclusive group with its stunning Hyundai i30 N. I am fairly certain that the Megane RS and the Megane RS Trophy are fighting for supremacy with it too.
This is the most powerful production car Renault Sport has unveiled up to this point. The RS 1.8-liter turbocharged engine has been tuned with F1 tech and is now producing 296 horsepower. This is not the end of it as I suspect the Megane RS Trophy-R will come sometime in the future.
2019 Renault Captur Coupe
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.
2018 Renault Megane R.S.
Renault Shifted the Megane into a new generation for the 2016 model year, bring about an all-new look that was more refined and sportier than ever. For 2018, it was time to introduce the all-new Megane R.S., a model that puts the rest of the hot hatch segment in check with its wide stance, unique body lines, commanding front end, and a motorsport-inspired, functional rear diffuser. And, at around $37,000 at current exchange rates, it’s an affordable proposition as well.
2018 Renault EZ-GO
Renault has been big on the whole EV self-driver thing for the past few years now, pulling the sheets on several SYMBIOZ concepts back in 2017. The EZ-GO is the latest follow-up, offering the same drivetrain and autonomous tech as before, but with an extra dash of shared mobility services and connected features to boot. The result is a vision of the future of urban mobility, promising improvements to both energy efficiency and quality of life.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault EZ-GO.
2018 Renault Clio R.S.18
Renault’s involvement in Formula One has crossed over into its production car business at various points in the past. Now, the French automaker is dipping into that pond again with the launch of the Clio R.S.18, a new iteration of Renault’s feisty five-door hatchback that traces its roots to the Clio 220 EDC Trophy.
2017 Renault Symbioz Concept
While there’s certainly no shortage of automakers out there offering visions of our inevitable all-electric autonomous future, Renault is one of the few that’s actually taking the idea into new, unexpected directions. For example, what if your car could integrate with your home as a spare room, a smart electric energy grid, and a mobile multimedia center? It’s called the Symbioz, which is a play on the word symbiosis, and it was recently on display alongside a full-size model home at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Renault frames it as a vision of things to come in the year 2030, offering passengers a chance to “enjoy a cabin that feels like home and has been designed for autonomous motoring. On the road, the car becomes an extension of the home. When parked inside the home, it doubles as an extra mobile, modular and multi-purpose room,” adding, “The car is complementary to the home and also an extension of it,” finding common themes of “major architectural design choices, common materials and styling.”
Indeed, Renault is the first automaker to bring a full-size home to a car show, but it goes a long way to proving a point. The Symbioz project brought together “designers and engineers, academics and architects, startups and sociologues,” all in the name of finding out how to make the most of upcoming technologies. Interested in learning how your car could become an integral part of the Internet of Things? Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault Symbioz.
Renault R.S. 2027 Vision
Formula 1 has always been a bastion of the high-tech, a series where futuristic ground-bound spaceships boom by at terrifyingly high speeds, challenging what we think is possible when a human pilot takes the helm on four wheels. For the past 40 years, Renault has taken part in this orgy of speed and technology, and now, we’re getting a peek at the French automaker’s vision of things to come. Long story short, expect even more of the heart-stopping pace we know today, plus more excitement, higher levels of spectator engagement, reduced costs, increased safety, and even a dash of environmental responsibility as well.
You gotta love it when a press release kicks off with the line “the year is 2027,” so I was keen to dive into the specifics as soon as I saw this thing roll across my desk. And while these sorts of design studies don’t always nail it in terms of predicting the real future, they almost always come with a nice set of interesting ideas that could gain some traction (in one form or another, at least) in the years to come. Not only that, but the aesthetic-driven renderings are a surefire way to light the imagination and set you off on a little sci-fi day dreaming…
Updated 09/18/2017: Renault R.S. 2027 Vision made quite an appearance at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Hit the "Pictures" tab to see it on the auto show floor.
Continue reading to learn more about the Renault R.S. 2027 Vision.