Cars | 29 June 2020

Test driving the Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid, with Renault Sport driver Laurent Hurgon

2 min
The Clio 5 that we see being put through its paces in the video is the brand-new hybrid version. The new Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid 140 hp uses an innovative hybrid system based on two electric motors, a combustion engine and a clutchless gearbox to maximise the benefits of the electric system. In town, it’s capable of driving 80% of the time in electric autonomy , with fuel savings of up to 40%! At the wheel to introduce this test drive of the new Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid is Laurent Hurgon, Renault Sport’s test driver, who gives us his view of the E-TECH system.
by Nicolas LE-BOUCHER

Meet the Clio E-TECH Hybrid

New hybrid car available right now for a test drive and to buy, Clio E-TECH Hybrid is coming to the market at the same time as the New Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid and the New Mégane E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid. It is the first Clio hybrid, with dual petrol and electric engines, in Renault’s history.

The introduction to the Clio E-TECH Hybrid begins with the owner’s walk-round. This gives us a chance to notice the E-TECH Hybrid badges affixed to the bodywork, the rear bumper specific to this version and the aerodynamic nature of the overall design. Inside, we find great attention to detail and two screens (9.3 and 10.2 inches) for the multimedia system and the instrument panel. A blue circle around the gearshift lever indicates that it is a’s a hybrid car.

As a pioneer and expert in electric vehicles, Renault has been able to provide its best-selling city car with a ‘parallel series’ hybrid system configuration based on a unique combination of two electric motors, an atmospheric combustion engine (no turbo) and a clutchless, multimode dog-clutch gearbox. No need for a power outlet or a charging station to recharge the hybrid battery, as the kinetic energy recuperated make the recharging.

The E-TECH petrol hybrid technology permanently and imperceptibly optimises car operation between the electric and combustion components. The results are there for all to see: this Clio E-TECH Hybrid can run for 80% of the time in electric mode in town and gives fuel savings of up to 40% when compared with an equivalent petrol engine. In the WLTP cycle, it emits 96 grams of CO²/km for a combined consumption of 4.3 litres/ 100 km.

 

Behind the wheel of the Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid

The Clio E-TECH Hybrid is spreading the electric experience. It always starts in all-electric mode so, in addition to silent running, it offers instant response when starting and accelerating. At the wheel, the acceleration is re-assuring and pick-up is lively as the vehicle goes from 50 to 75 mph in just 6.9 seconds, thanks to the "Sport" hybrid mode, which combines the power of all the engines. The braking is convincing, even though there is little need for the brake pedal, thanks to the gear lever’s “mode B” of the automatic gear which optimises kinetic energy recovery. In passing, we should stress that the energy management rules (recovery on braking and on deceleration, availability on acceleration) are derived directly from the expertise of our F1 engine designers.

From the Renault EASY LINK multimedia system touchscreen, the MULTI-SENSE settings allow the driver to select a driving mode that suits their mood or the profile of the road. In this way, the Clio E-TECH Hybrid is able to combines driving pleasure and energy efficiency, whatever the circumstances.

 

Laurent Hurgon’s view

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.

His assessment of the Clio E-TECH Hybrid is very positive. He really enjoyed being behind the wheel of this hybrid car, with an unprecedented driving experience. As well as offering incredibly low fuel consumption during the test, in the city and on the motorway, he found the Clio E-TECH Hybrid comfortable and dynamic. And his final words? “Hats off to the engineers at Renault for this innovative system!”

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