Renault is looking to add electric assistance to its next Clio light car, according to reports out of Europe.
Dubbed a ‘mild hybrid’, the new-to-Clio drivetrain would utilise a petrol or diesel engine for most of the heavy lifting, but with the intervention assistance of an electric motor to lower CO2 emissions.
The system could be similar, or identical, to that of the new Renault Scenic, which debuted at the recent Geneva Motor Show.
The Scenic will be available in Europe with a range of diesel engines producing 70kW, 81kW, 96kW, and 118kW, along with a pair of petrol options making 85kW and 96kW. But also, with the 81kW diesel, with a “Hybrid Assist” option.
This hybrid assistance is unlike the hybrid set-up used by Toyota in its Prius, for example, where the internal combustion engine is always running (except at very low speeds) with energy assistance provided by the hybrid system.
“We want to add electrification that’s affordable - it means we give the customer just enough to deliver low CO2,” Renault’s Bruno Ancelin said, speaking with the UK’s Auto Express.
“We’ll consider the [Scenic hybrid] tech for other cars. It’s not the only initiative to reduce fuel consumption, but [the Clio] won’t be a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.”
Alongside the hybrid tech, aerodynamic improvements could also be used to aid the lowering of emissions in the next-generation Clio, while also keeping price tags down.
Ancelin said adopting all facets of hybrid tech on small cars would make purchase prices prohibitive, but an ‘all-out’ approach to hybrid and PHEV technology was appropriate for larger models.
“Weight reduction is always cheaper compared to a PHEV, as battery price is the biggest barrier,” Ancelin said. “But we’ll probably need that [PHEV] in the upper segments, depending on future diesel regulations.”
This isn’t the first time Renault has considered hybrid technology for the Clio, with RenaultSport also considering hybrid versions of the Clio and Megane RS models for added performance.
MORE: Renault Megane Sport Wagon To Arrive Next Year
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