Radical new Renault Clio hybrid to keep costs down

But Vanel said keeping the small petrol hatchback – currently priced at just under £18,000 – is important because it provides customers with choice, while ensuring Renault does not abandon a large proportion of its customer base as it introduces a range of more costly EVs. The Mégane E-Tech hatchback, for example, is double that price.

Renault Megane front driving

“We are not moving directly towards 100% electric,” said Vanel. “We are doing it step by step, to have this transition with hybrid cars so that we remain an affordable brand.”

Facilitating this push for affordability is the fact that Renault is able to sell combustion cars until 2035 in the European Union and – in accordance with the government’s recently relaxed decarbonisation timeline – the UK. 

As a result, the new Clio is set to be sold with an evolved version of the petrol-electric E-Tech powertrain used in the current car, combining a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with an electric motor, a starter-generator and a small-capacity battery for low combined emissions and the ability to drive small distances with the engine off. No doubt the need to reduce emissions across its line-up will mean Renault phases out the cheapest, pure-petrol variant of the Clio for the next generation.

Logically, the fact that Renault’s CMF-BEV platform for small electric cars is so closely related to the Clio’s CMF-B architecture means there is potential for an electric derivative down the line, but Autocar understands it is not yet planned.

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