Forget what you know about the Scenic because this is an entirely different approach to the long-running name. For starters, it's no longer a minivan as Renault will be transforming the MPV into a crossover. Secondly, the gas engine is gone since this is an electric concept. There's more to it than that considering it also has a range extender, but not an ICE like on the BMW i3 Rex, Chevrolet Volt / Opel Ampera, or the Fisker Karma.
The edgy crossover's unusual powertrain borrows the 215-horsepower electric motor of the Megane E-Tech from which it has also inherited the smaller 40-kWh battery. It adds an underfloor-mounted 16-kW fuel cell into the mix that juices up the battery while on the go. Renault explains that by going down this road, it can install a battery that is twice as light while offering the same range.
Speaking of weight, the Scenic Vision tips the scales at 1,700 kilograms (3,747 pounds), which makes it heavier than the Megane E-Tech. Why? Because the crossover is much bigger, stretching at 4,490 millimeters (176.7 inches) long, 1,900 mm (74.8 in) wide, and 1,590 mm (62.6 in) tall. That makes it 291 mm (11.4 in) longer, 132 mm (5.2 in) wider, and 85 mm (3.3 in) taller, with the wheelbase elongated by a substantial 150 mm (5.9 in).
A production version will follow in 2024 on the same CMF-EV platform that has underpinned the aforementioned Megane E-Tech as well as its sister model, the Nissan Ariya. However, don't expect the hydrogen range extender at launch since it's more along the lines of a "vision" rather than a near-production setup.
The company with the diamond logo does estimate fuel cell has a future and a hydrogen vehicle will be able to cover as much as 500 miles (800 kilometers) by the end of the decade without stopping for a five-minute refill.
There's more to the Scenic Vision than its peculiar powertrain and angular styling as Renault highlights its eco-friendly construction. It incorporates more than 70 percent recycled materials while being 95-percent recyclable (including the battery) at the end of its life cycle. Compared to a traditional battery-powered EV, the concept has a 75 percent smaller carbon footprint.
The eco-focused construction is more than just marketing fluff as the fuel cell tank is manufactured from carbon fiber from recycled paper waste. There's no leather inside the futuristic cabin since Renault replaced it with recycled low carbon polyester. Nearly a third of the plastic used comes from a sustainable source, while the paint's black pigments are the byproduct of processing particles captured in the atmosphere.
The "Scenic" will be on a hiatus until 2024 when the concept will morph into a production version. Renault just killed the five-seat minivan while the three-row Grand Scenic will bow out later this year.