It’s off to the Champs-Élysées in Paris for Esteban Ocon, the Renault DP World F1 Team driver, and Thomas (from the WorldSupercars channel)! Awaiting them at Atelier Renault are two of the brand’s experts: François Leboine, to discuss the design of the MORPHOZ concept, and Grégoire Ginet, a specialist in the E-TECH hybrid and plug-in hybrid technology.
The MORPHOZ is the very latest creation to emerge from the Renault design studio. A futuristic electric concept car, as Esteban and Thomas would confirm, yet it is also a modular vehicle that pushes back the boundaries to adapt to the needs, wants and habits of each and every one of us.
"The concept is very simple”, says François Leboine, Renault Concept Cars Director. “It’s like a childhood dream. You start with a city car and then you enlarge it to hit the road. As the front of the car extends to house an additional 50 kWh battery pack, the back end stretches out to give a bigger passenger compartment. And you can choose to load up your luggage or create a roomier rear seating area."
With the MORPHOZ concept, there is a twin approach to batteries. When it is parked up, those batteries that remain permanently in the car can power equipment in the house or the neighbourhood, via smart charging devices. Meanwhile, the travel mode batteries, which are removed from the vehicle when not required, are held in a station for fitting on other vehicles or are used to power installations, such as a cycle charging station or street lighting.
The connected MORPHOZ, with its level 3 autonomous driving functions, heralds a new family of electric Renault models that are due to arrive from 2021.
Groupe Renault is the pioneer and expert in electric mobility. The expertise acquired in over ten years means that it is possible to offer highly developed hybrid engine configurations that are at once dynamic and efficient. These E-TECH engine configurations complement the all-electric range headed up by the New ZOE and the Twingo Z.E. They are available on three core market best-sellers: the Clio E-TECH, the New Captur E-TECH Plug-in and the New Mégane E-TECH Plug-in.
As Grégoire Ginet, Powertrain Marketing Director at Renault, explained to Esteban: "E-TECH technology is similar to that used in Formula 1. There is a direct link to the track with, for example, the clutchless gearbox and regenerative braking."
There are two E-TECH engine configuration options. One is a full hybrid for urban use (on the Clio), where electric mode shows its true value: 40% of driving time in town in all-electric mode! The other is a plug-in hybrid version (the Captur and the Mégane), which is more versatile and adapts to any trip: electric for daily runs, unlimited for long distances.