Renault’s Scenic Vision concept is pitched around the idea of a car of the future where the brand is using technology and innovation to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Its overall design encapsulates Renault Group’s overarching development strategy: Carbon neutrality, safety and inclusion. What we like most about the Scenic Vision is that the entire tech exists so it’s not some pie-in-the-sky plaything with an expanding wheelbase built from moon rocks.
It also harks back to the original Scenic which debuted as a concept in 1991 and – after the Espace – altered the way we think of family cars through its innovative use of space and paved the way for a raft of small MPVs, the legacy of which continues to this day.
Renault pitches the Scenic Vision as being built from 70 per cent recycled materials. What’s more, 95 per cent of the materials that go into the final car are themselves recyclable. A hybrid hydrogen-electric powertrain (more on that in a minute), enables a smaller battery to be used, meaning a 75 per cent lower carbon footprint than a conventional EV.
Renault’s ambition is to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2040 and globally by 2050. Reducing emissions from production as well as the cars themselves, and maximising the use of recycled – and recyclable – materials are all part of this.
In terms of safety, Renault imagines a time where technology enables a 70 per cent reduction in crashes, enhancing driver, passenger and pedestrian safety. A mixture of the regular ADAS we’re used to alongside three on-board systems – Safety Score, Safety Coach and Safe Guardian – push safety even further.
Safety Score uses data collected by sensors mounted on the vehicle and analyses driving style, including acceleration, smoothness, inattention, speed management, and driver distractibility. It then gives personalised tips to each driver based on the score to help them improve how they drive. While on the move, Safety Coach identifies risks and uses visual, audible and tactile warnings to highlight these, and finally, Safe Guardian activates in the event of a risk, bringing the car back under control or taking other proactive intervention if an incident occurs.
The concept uses a hybrid powertrain, combining hydrogen fuel cell technology with a smaller battery to reduce the car’s carbon footprint as well as enabling it to travel further on one fill. A 215bhp motor from Renault existing stock uses no rare earth materials. It draws power from a comparatively small 40kWh battery, due to start production in France by 2024. This means a lower carbon footprint from battery production as well as being 95 per cent recyclable – alongside the rest of the car. Furthermore, Renault’s second life projects could easily see the battery repurposed for future use.
Supplementing this is the 15kW fuel cell which works as a range extender by charging the battery on longer drives. A 2.5kg hydrogen tank supplies the fuel. Theoretically, and if hydrogen infrastructure is up to scratch, the Scenic Vision could travel over 500 miles before needing a refill or charge. A hydrogen range extender also makes a lot of sense in a carbon-free future for longer range driving where hydrogen will have at least some place in road transport.
The Scenic Vision forms the basis of a pure EV that Renault will be bringing to market in 2024. Measuring 4.49m long, 1.9m wide and 1.59m high, it’s within the realms of a C-segment car – like the original Scenic – but more SUV in style rather than MPV, as is the trend these days. A long wheelbase, low belt line and wheels pushed to the corners do, however, mean it will have plenty of space inside. The production version will be based on the CMF-EV platform.
Inside, the Scenic Vision has lots of tech, such as adaptive seats that adjust to each user, a game controller-style steering wheel, large front screens and ten small widget screens throughout the cabin. Few of these will see the light of day in all reality, with the final version of the car likely being far more conventional. We also suspect that the final version will gain the same (or very similar) powertrain to the MeganeE when it hits production in 2024.
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