The much-anticipated “hydrogen-powered” prototype that Renault has been holding back until the Summit ChangeNOW 2022 event has, somewhat unexpectedly, been given the moniker of the Scénic. The Renault Scénic Vision is an entirely new concept car that looks nothing like any of its predecessors. It has a body shaped like an SUV and is intended to serve as a prototype for a Renault model that will be introduced in 2024. In addition to this, it has an unorthodox hybrid engine that combines an electric motor with a hydrogen fuel cell range extender. This gives it a greater driving range.
The H2-Tech technology is the centrepiece of the idea. Its primary objective is to shorten the amount of downtime associated with charging while also lowering the carbon impact. The powertrain includes a front-mounted electric motor that generates 215 horsepower (160 kW / 218 PS), a range-extender hydrogen fuel cell that generates 21 horsepower (16 kW / 22 PS), and a battery pack that has a capacity of 40 kWh. This hybrid configuration enables the vehicle to travel the same distance while carrying a battery that is half as heavy. Renault claims that the Scénic Vision has a carbon footprint that is 75 percent less than that of a typical battery electric vehicle. After 2030, when the network of hydrogen stations will (hopefully) have developed, the corporation anticipates a range of up to 800 kilometres (497 miles) with a hydrogen refill period of approximately five minutes.
The experimental platform that the concept vehicle is based on has a larger footprint than the Mégane E-Tech. It measures 4,490 millimetres (176.8 inches) in length, 1,900 millimetres (74.8 inches) in width, and 1,590 millimetres (62.6 inches) in height, and it has a wheelbase that measures 2,835 millimetres (111.6 inches)
Despite the installation of the hydrogen fuel cell, Renault claims that the weight is only 1,700 kg (3,748 pounds), which is comparable to the most luxurious trim level of the Mégane.
With a sharply contoured body, strong character lines, and futuristic accents, the idea takes style cues from the most recent iteration of Renault’s design language. The two-box silhouette of the new Scénic distances itself from the MPV roots of the previous generation of the vehicle by spanning the gap between SUVs and hatchbacks. An aggressive appearance is achieved at the front of the vehicle by the slim LED headlights, which are complemented by additional LED units positioned lower and new kinds of textiles for the grille and bumper.
The unique surfacing on the doors and the futuristic 21-inch wheels contribute to the very dynamic appearance of the profile of the vehicle. At the back, things get a little more down-to-earth with LED taillights curved like a boomerang, an illuminated emblem, and a rear spoiler that stands out. Chief designer Gilles Vidal stated that the concept is 90 percent ready for production, but that the outside design would continue to evolve. He did say, however, that the inside design is complete.
As we move further within the cabin, away from the frameless suicide doors that increase accessibility, we come upon an interior designed in the style of a concept. A yoke steering wheel, fancy ambient lighting, broad floating-style seats, an array of little rectangle-shaped screens (we counted eight of them), a wraparound screen on the top of the dashboard, and a wraparound screen on the bottom of the dashboard are some of the features.
The widescreen display can send a live feed from an external camera, which will increase the driver’s field of vision by an additional 24 percent. A facial recognition system will instantly unlock the doors and modify the settings of the vehicle to match the driver’s profile. In addition, each seat will have its own microphone and speaker so that passengers may listen to their own audio and communicate with one another more effectively. In addition to that, there is a Safety Coach who monitors the driver to ensure that they are fit and attentive to the road at all times while also assisting them in developing better driving practises.
The Scénic Vision is a tribute to Renault’s eco-friendly philosophy and concentration on sustainability with regard to the materials used in its construction. Over seventy percent of the materials that went towards the construction of the car are recycled, and an additional ninety-five percent are recyclable. The upholstery is made of recycled low-carbon polyester, and there is no use of leather anywhere inside the vehicle. Additionally, thirty percent of the plastic used is derived from natural sources.
As was just indicated, the idea serves as a sneak peek at a production model that will be presented to the public in the year 2024. This model will most likely be the fifth generation of the Scénic. This one will replace the electro-hydrogen powertrain with a battery electric powertrain that is more conventional, and it will be built on an extended version of the CMF-EV architecture, which will be widely utilised by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance in the future years.
Concerning the utilisation of hydrogen, Renault is already selling production light commercial vehicles (LCVs) powered by fuel cells under the HYVIA brand, and the company plans to keep working on the experimental hydrogen-electric architecture for the purpose of possibly incorporating it into future models.