Next Renault Megane points to larger model overhaul

Next Renault Megane points to larger model overhaul

After revamping its small cars, Renault is now sorting out its range of Mégane-size cars and above, starting with the new Espace

The Renault Mégane and other cars of similar sizes in Renault’s range will be overhauled as part of its brand reinvention.

With the firm now back on track with its new range of small models — including the Clio, Captur, Zoe and forthcoming Mk3 Twingo — it will start rolling out a whole new range of medium to large cars based on a flexible new platform shared with Nissan.

The new architecture, dubbed CMF2, has been used first on the Nissan X-Trail launched earlier this month. The first Renault to be underpinned by it is the new Espace, due in late 2014. However, this model is not destined for the UK because it won’t be engineered for right-hand drive.

UK Renaults will get the platform first on the new and expanded Mégane range, due to be introduced from 2015. The line-up will grow to include a new crossover, which is set to be closely related to the new CMF2-based Nissan Qashqai, due early next year.

Renault product planning chief Philippe Klein confirmed that the Mégane range still needed a conventional five-door model, but there was room to innovate within the class.

“The Mégane’s segment is significant worldwide and we’re staying there,” said Klein. “But we also need to come into new segments with new models that show we’re different. The crossover segment is growing and we want to be part of it.”

Renault design chief Laurens van den Acker dismissed suggestions that the new Mégane-based crossover would merely be an upscaled Captur. “People said the Captur would just be a big Clio, and we’ve proved otherwise,” he said. “We can give the new car a personality of its own.”

Van den Acker also hinted that the new Scenic would move more towards a flexible SUV while remaining an MPV in its next generation, but it was “my problem” to ensure that the new Mégane-based crossover and the Scenic didn’t overlap.

Another CMF2-based Renault that won’t make it to the UK is the next Laguna. Van den Acker admitted that “our track record is not the best” with the car, and completely rethinking a car like the Laguna was a “once-in-a-lifetime chance for a designer”.

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