Cars | 21 October 2020

TEST DRIVING THE RENAULT CAPTUR E-TECH PLUG-IN HYBRID WITH RENAULT SPORT DRIVER LAURENT HURGON

2 min
A video of the new Renault Captur being tested in its E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid version. With its silent start, its sharp accelerations, its electric range ideal for everyday trips, its versatility and controlled consumption on long journeys, it offers unequalled driving pleasure. It is also and above all the least expensive plug-in hybrid urban SUV on the market. Behind the wheel for the presentation of this test of the new Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid is Laurent Hurgon, test driver for Renault Sport, who gives us his opinion on this E-TECH system.
by Jean-Baptiste Pietra

E-TECH, HOW DOES IT WORK?

If the Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid differs little from the ICE versions from a purely aesthetic point of view, it is its motorization and use where the changes are visible. In fact, the "E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid" badges added on the trunk door and the central pillar, as well as the presence of two recharging hatches, on the left for petrol and on the right for electricity, are a reminder that this is indeed a plug-in hybrid model.

So, what does the name "E-TECH" mean?

The result of 10 years of EV expertise our E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid technology involves some 150 Renault patents, explains Laurent Hurgon during his test.

Under the hood of the new Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid, Renault engineers have implemented a 4-cylinder 1.6L naturally aspirated petrol engine combined with two electric motors. The three engines can operate independently or in concert by directing their energy to the wheels or to the battery. The system thus automatically manages the distribution of energy according to power requirements.

The intelligent combination of its internal combustion and electric motors "allows you to benefit from the dynamism of electric driving while making substantial fuel savings.”

 

AN ECONOMIC AND URBAN SUV

While Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid can cover long distances like its thermal equivalents, it proves to be extremely practical in urban environments and on short everyday journeys. Indeed, its battery charges in 3 to 5 hours, depending on the type of plug, giving it a 100% electric range of 65 km in the city and 50 km on the road.

In addition to the comfort of silent driving, the electric mode gives this new Captur a liveliness worthy of a Renault ZOE. On the road, priority is still given to the electric mode, but many operating modes are available. The MULTI-SENSE settings can be used to force certain configurations. The Sport mode gives priority to power. The E-Save mode, on the other hand, retains a charge reserve for electric driving when you return to town, for example. Finally, Pure mode allows you to drive in 100% electric mode.

 

MODULARITY AND XXL SCREENS

On board, passengers’ comfort is ensured by both the overall layout and the equipment.

The passenger compartment is identical to the petrol and diesel versions. The rear bench seat still slides 16 centimeters, giving more room for passengers or a few extra litres of storage in the boot depending on use. The boot has a loading volume of 379 dm3 when the rear seat is fully forward and a space under the false floor to store recharging cables.

In terms of on-board equipment and technology, this Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid features the two largest screens in its category: a 10.2-inch digital dashboard display and a 9.3-inch multimedia touchscreen including the Renault EASY LINK multimedia system.

 

WHAT DOES LAURENT HURGON THINK?

Laurent has been a Renault Sport test driver since 2004. As a specialist in axles and the development of sports vehicles, and an ace driver to boot, he has set many records, including the fastest lap on the Nürburgring Nordschleife at the wheel of the Mégane R.S. Trophy-R, which meant, once again, that this model was able to claim the title of the fastest front-wheel drive production car.

Comfort, dynamism, fun and driving pleasure are all there. for Laurent. His assessment of the Caput E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid is very positive. “It is very versatile. It really brings together all the advantages of combustion and electric motors”.

 

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