Renault Zoe gets power and range boost
Renault launched the Zoe electric five-seater back in March 2012, along with a monthly battery hire scheme that meant the company could offer EV drivers an attractive purchase price. With other European car makers such as Seat and Opel now muscling in on the compact electric space, Renault has bumped up the performance specs for the 3rd gen Zoe.
The all-new Zoe now comes with a Z.E.50 52 kWh Li-ion battery pack, which gives the vehicle a per charge WLTP range of 390 km (242 mi) and represents a 20 percent increase over the previous generation. Popping the diamond-shaped cover at the front now reveals two charging points too, one for up to 22 kW AC charging and the other for up to 50 kW DC fast charging.
Renault is offering a power bump too, with 100 kW (135 hp) motor putting 245 Nm (180 lb-ft) of torque on tap. The Zoe can zip from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 10 seconds, and has a top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph). A new urban driving mode means the driver should be able to use the brake pedal less – something Nissan Leaf drivers will be familiar with.
Renault's design team has touched up the exterior, with a new look for the contoured hood, a new bumper shape and fresh LED lights said to give the Zoe a more confident stance. The headlights feature high beam auto dimming to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, there's included blind spot alerts and the car can read traffic signals.
There are enhancements inside the cabin too. The driver gains a 10-inch instrument display that's available on all models. As well as the speedo, odo and charging status indicator, this digital cluster features navigation aids and an eco-meter that's designed to encourage the driver to adopt more eco-friendly driving habits.
The vehicle's main settings and entertainment options are controlled using a 9.3-inch touchscreen multimedia display in the center, with the center console also getting some attention. This now includes an electronic gear lever, automatic parking brake, an induction charger and more.
The new Easy Link multimedia system can work with a mobile app to offer the driver a range of helpful applications and services and, in a welcome touch, the new Zoe's upholstery has been made using recycled materials sourced from safety belt straps and PET waste.
No pricing or availability information has been revealed as yet, but you can have a look at the pitch video below while we wait.