Renault Scenic revolutionized the car market in 1996 as a compact MPV that added more space to the hatchback’s footprint. Fast forward 26 years and the French carmaker wants to do it again with the concept of Scenic Vision, this time with a new fungal powertrain under that chic design.
You see, this car is a hybrid, but not in the traditional sense. There is still only one “engine” – a 160 kW (218 PS) electric motor, powered by a relatively small 40 kWh lithium-ion battery. Complementing the latter, however, is a 16-kilowatt fuel cell that makes it a kind of range expander – and with its battery-charged and hydrogen tank top-up, Sinek Vision claims a total range of 800 kilometers.
Renault argues that adding a fuel cell enables a car battery to be half the weight of a conventional electric car for a given range. This not only makes the car more efficient – thus using less power to move it – but also helps reduce carbon emissions by reducing the resources and energy needed to make batteries.
Another, more obvious advantage is that a hydrogen tank takes about the same amount of time to fill as a conventional fuel tank, so users don’t have to wait to charge their car for long journeys. Renault says the hydrogen station network should be large enough to support such a vehicle – at least in France – after 2030.
Externally, Scénic’s trademark long and compact proportions have been restored to a crossover format, adopting the language of the company’s latest Nouvelle Vague design. The aggressive chiseled front end has slim headlights, triangular lights in the bumper corner, and plenty of slash to define.
The aesthetic side of this sharp edge continues to the side, where the line of upward windows intersects with the falling roof to form an X-shape, highlighted by illuminated strips in D-pillars. The side of the body is slightly cleaned using a camera instead of a door mirror. An inverted L-shaped taillight and an illuminated three-dimensional version of Renault’s new logo can be found on the back.
Inside, Scenic Vision offers four lounge-like seats, a clean, sweeping horizontal dashboard and a spacious center console for front occupants facing a thinly wrapped display strip. In front of the driver sits a yoke-style steering wheel with an X-shaped design, enclosed by a small “floating” display panel. There is also plenty of glazing to open the interior, while the lack of flat floors and B-columns is said to improve the entry and exit for people with low mobility.
Other technologies include facial recognition that opens doors for drivers, highlights their reserved preferences and even adjusts driving conditions to compensate for potential disruptions. A “safety instructor” provides driving and health advice using data from cameras and sensors (detection of heart rate, fatigue, etc.) inside the vehicle, while a front-facing camera allows drivers to “see” the bonnet.
Renault has also implemented a number of measures to reduce the car’s carbon footprint and improve the overall well-being of residents. Scenic Vision uses 70% recyclable materials and more than 95% recyclable (including batteries), the floor is made from plastic waste; In total, 30% of the vehicles have been plastic bio-sourced. Fittings are also made from carbon waste from the aeronautical industry.
Elsewhere, the company uses small loops for sourcing materials such as platinum, copper, aluminum, steel and battery minerals, while tires come from members of the global platform for sustainable natural rubber (GNSPR). Fuel cells, meanwhile, are made from carbon fiber from recycled paper waste.
In the case of finishing, the black color of the car derives its pigment from the glass held in the air and inside the Renault peels the skin in favor of 100% recycled polyester. Scenic Vision There is an air filter inside the driver’s door, as well as a headrest speaker and a single loudspeaker on each door to improve indoor air quality. Following in BMW’s footsteps with Hans Zimmer, Renault collaborated with composer Jean-Michel Jarr to create a unique soundscape for the car.
Overall, Scenic Vision is a carbon footprint 75% smaller than an electric car like the Megan E-Tech Electric, where its battery is 60% smaller than an equivalent EV battery. The latter is thanks to the use of short loop, low-carbon mineral sourcing and low-carbon energy for production and assembly.
As the name suggests, Scénic Vision will predict the next Scénic, which will be an electric-only SUV that will go on sale in 2024. Meanwhile, the electric-hydrogen hybrid powertrain is a bit far, although Renault already offers hydrogen. Commercial vehicles through the Hivea joint venture with Plug Power.