Renault kicks off the presentations at this year’s Paris Motor Show by unveiling no less than seven global debuts from its collective sub-brands.
CEO Luca de Meo follows this up by promising that a further 25 new models will be launched by 2025. This expansion of the product range will not be focused solely on battery electric vehicles where the group together with its Alliance partner Nissan has been leading for more than one decade.
In fact, with its commercial sub-brand Hyvia and the Alpine Alpenglow ICE hydrogen combustion concept, the automaker sees gas as the way forward for powertrains that can’t handle the limitations of BEVs.
Perhaps the most exciting of the group’s launches was the rebirth of the famous Renault 4 brand in the form of the new Renault 4Ever Trophy (image below). The name derives from the off-road rally series in the desert over Morocco where old 4s continued to be used 30 years after production of the base cars had ceased. Now an all-electric concept suggests that the model may be on its way back.
The retro-styled Trophy is designed to combine rugged off-road looks with appropriate technology, including extensive use of carbon fiber to keep weight to a minimum, a spare tire located on the roof, a shovel and waffle boards on the upper part of the rear. door and a visible compressor on each wheel to change the tire pressure for optimal grip on a variety of terrain.
Renault says the show car paves the way for the future all-electric B-segment SUV that will work on both city and country roads.
Renault also unveils its Kangoo Hippie Caviar Motel concept in a clear attempt to steal some of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz’s thunder. It’s a converted van built around the Kangoo L2 E-Tech Electric that claims versatile accommodation for adventurers and sports lovers.
The Megane E-Tech Electric is the first model in Renault’s “generation 2.0” of BEV cars. It is connected and integrated into the EV ecosystem as well as the users’ digital ecosystem and Renault hopes it is the first step in recapturing the C-segment where the brand was once a dominant force.
The automaker’s sub-brand Mobilize is introducing the Duo, essentially a version of the Renault Twizy but specifically designed to appeal to the young, connected urban generations on a subscription or car-sharing basis.
Renault’s budget brand, Dacia, debuts its radical off-road concept that aims to pitch the brand exclusively into the C segment. The manifesto concept is very much based on the dune school of design. While this BEV concept is unlikely to see production, the automaker promises that many of its features will appear in future vehicles, including, perhaps, airless tires that last the life of the vehicle.
Jeep provides a show highlight with the long-awaited European debut of its first BEV, the Jeep Avenger (pictured above). Parent Stellantis says it is the first of the brand’s range of BEVs aimed at the European market, which is second only to China in the adoption of all-electric vehicles.
It uses the group’s second-generation 400V electric powertrain and is the first to be launched by Emotors, a joint venture between Stellantis and Nidec Leroy-Somer Holding. It claims an output of 115 kW (156 hp) and 191 lb.-ft. (259 Nm) of maximum torque.
Stellantis claims its new 54 kWh internal battery pack delivers 248 miles (399 km) of range in the WLTP cycle, or 341 miles (549 miles) in the city cycle.
The Avenger comes with a 100-kW Mode 4 cable that, when connected to fast public charging, provides a range of 18.6 miles (30 km) after just three minutes. Considering the figure is the average commute for Europeans, the automaker estimates the vehicle can be driven for days before charging.
Its off-road credentials include being the first front-wheel-drive Jeep vehicle equipped with standard Selec-Terrain, which offers six drive modes and hill control.
Super-premium brand DS Automobiles unveils its DS 3 E-Tense aimed at young buyers, a BEV making its first public appearance in 100% electric life with a range of up to 250 miles (403 km); DS 4 in its plug-in hybrid version with extended electric range; and the special edition of DS 9 Opéra.
The other Stellanti headliner is Peugeot’s latest mid-market contender, the Peugeot 408 plug-in hybrid. This comes with a 7.4kW onboard charger and a claimed combined output of 225bhp from its 81kW electric motor and 1.6 liter petrol engine.
Chinese electric brands are showing a host of new models for the first time in Europe.
BYD unveils its full range of models from compact to mid-size sedans and SUVs with engaging names like Tang, Han, Cat, Coffee and Marvel. Smaller brands Seres and Leap Motor share a stand to showcase their BEV hopefuls.
Great Wall Motors is showing two of its brands, including the Wey PHEV and its latest all-electric brand, the Ora. Currently, none of them are available on the European market, but unlike some of the other Chinese automakers in Paris to hear the public’s response, GWM promises to enter the German market in early 2023 with its Wey Coffee 01 model (pictured above)followed shortly afterwards by the Next Ora Cat BEV in the UK market.
While Renault talks about hydrogen, French startup NamX is showing off a production-ready premium hydrogen vehicle. Entrepreneur Faouzi Annajah and French designer Thomas de Lussac have teamed up with legendary Italian design house Pininfarina to create a striking hydrogen fuel cell-powered performance car.
The range-topping NamXperience GT version delivers 550 hp, a range of 500 miles (805 km) and a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint time of 4.3 seconds. The car is said to be available for delivery from the fourth quarter of 2025 and will cost between €65,000 ($63,500) and €95,000 ($93,000) in Europe.
Finally, Vietnamese BEV carmaker Vinfast is showing the most models at a European show to date with its sedan and SUV range from VF6 to VF9. The latest two, VF8 and VF9, also boast styling from Pininafarina.