Renault has unveiled the hybrid variants of the new Captur and Clio at the 2020 Brussels Motor Show. Branded as ‘E-Tech’, the Captur (PHEV) and Clio (HEV) models combine a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine and two electric motors including a Starter Generator, all packaged at the front axle. The Captur E-Tech Plug-in and Clio E-Tech have a system output of 160 hp and 140 hp, respectively.
Thanks to a clutch-free gearbox hooked-up with an electric motor, the cars start in electric mode every single time. The Clio E-Tech gets a 1.2 kWh battery pack while the Captur E-Tech Plug-in packs a larger 9.8 kWh battery.
The Captur is claimed to go up to 50 km (WLTP) in pure electric mode with a top speed of 135 km/h. The EV range in urban use is claimed to be 65 km (WLTP City). While we don’t have Clio’s EV range just yet, it can apparently do a speed of up to 70 – 75 km/h in all-electric mode.
All hybrid devices represent an additional weight of no more than 10 kg compared to a dCi 115 engine, Renault said.
The Captur E-Tech Plug-in has got the Multi-Sense feature. Thanks to the series-parallel architecture, the ‘Sport’ mode in the feature enables all three motors to work together when the accelerator pedal is fully depressed. This feature comes in handy when overtaking, for example. Pretty similar to EQ Boost in Mercedes.
Another mode in the Multi-Sense is called ‘E-Save’, which limits the use of the electric motor and draws power from the combustion engine, thereby saving battery power (at least 40%) to be used later in urban areas.
As for regeneration, when the shifter is in ‘Drive’, the primary electric motor functions as a generator that recovers kinetic energy from deceleration and turns it into electrical energy that is sent back to the battery. To recover more energy, the shifter can be slotted into ‘Brake’ (B) mode; in which case, the car slows down much faster. More information here.
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