THERE is a massive trend at the moment for bringing back car names that evoke good memories.
I give you Manta, Puma, Bronco, Supra and even the Renault 5.
But this one was an odd choice.
The original Renault Scenic from the late Nineties was the hearing aid of the car world. Essential, but you didn’t want to be seen with one.
I’m allowed to say that because I had one. Actually, I had two.
I also had an Espace. I’ve got a five-a-side team with the same surname, so a Renault MPV was the obvious choice.
I will admit the last-gen Scenic was much easier on the eye but Renault stopped selling it here three years ago.
Now it is being revived as a cool piece of EV kit.
Ignore the make-believe dash with TEN screens, facial-recognition cameras and PlayStation steering wheel — that’s just concept-car tinsel — but the car itself is pretty close to the real thing coming in 2024. We like.
Scenic will use the same innards as the £35k pure-electric Megane arriving in September. That means a choice of two e-motors and two battery sizes, the biggest — at 60kWh — giving 292 miles’ range. It’ll be pretty punchy too.
Electric cars have instant power — no turbo lag, no waiting for the down shift.
The prototype Megane EV we tried was 220hp and nails 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds. Scenic is a bit bigger than Megane, which also means it’ll cost more, but those performance figures will be much the same.
Also like Megane, 95 per cent of Scenic can be recycled at the end of its life, with 100 per cent of the upholstery made out of recycled materials. The onboard computer is Google. The super-thin battery pack sits low in the floor, so the cabin is roomy and family-friendly.
Renault is also experimenting with a hydrogen fuel cell that goes further, refuels as quickly as a petrol car and emits only water.
Love or loathe the car, you can’t knock Renault for its ambition to make affordable EVs.
We all know one of the biggest barriers to buying an electric car is cost.
Ford’s an affordable brand, right? But its cheapest battery-powered car starts with a high four.
The Golf-sized Volkswagen ID3 starts at £35k.
Renault will currently sell you a Zoe for £30k and promises its next-gen platform for small EVs will “reduce the vehicle cost by 33 per cent” compared to Zoe. Which means the remastered Renault 5 will have a £20k price tag when it hits the road in 2024.
We’ll hold them to that.
Renault has cut battery costs by half over the past ten years and has vowed to halve them again in the years ahead.
So maybe Renault 4 — another old name being revived — will be even cheaper.