One of the clever things about the Megane E-Tech is its batteries: they might weigh 395kg but they are 110mm thin, 40 per cent smaller than the batteries in the Renault Zoe. Tailor-made for the CMF-EV architecture, they are spread like sandwich filling under the floor. Thinner batteries mean they sit lower in the chassis which means a lower centre of gravity (90mm lower than the combustion Megane, says Renault) which means more of the skateboard-style agility that electric cars are quickly becoming known for.
Like the batteries and charging options, there’s a choice of power for the single front-mounted motor, which in either case drives the front wheels.
You can have either 130PS (96kW) and 250Nm (185lb ft) – which sounds to us really slow in a car that will weigh around 1,600kg – or 218PS (160kW) with 300Nm (222lb ft). That version will be less slow but its 0-62mph is still 7.4 seconds. This is a family hatch, not a performance machine, and alas there’s no RenaultSport version… yet.
It looks good, though, with its swirly light graphics, roof and pillars in contrasting colours and options for distinctive contrasting inserts in the front apron. Its form was previewed by last year’s Megane eVision show car which itself drew inspiration from the Morphoz concept from 2019.
Quite a lot has been lost in the translation from the more SUV-like Morphoz, although Renault is adamant the electric Megane remains a disruptive design for the class. It’s not a huge car but it still sits on 20-inch wheels in its best form (as shown) while its character is further beefed up by SUV cues such as protective strips on the lower body and wheel arches, as well as that high beltline.