Renault is reportedly keen on the idea of adding hybrid technology to its range of RS sports models, in a bid to boost performance and economy.
Speaking with UK mag Autocar, RenaultSport’s Patrice Ratti said a hybrid hot hatch was more appealing than an all-electric model due to its lower weight and cost.
Ratti revealed that Renault’s Clio and Megane RS models have already been considered for the hybrid treatment, and Ratti personally is a fan of the technology.
“Today the problem of a fully-electric sports car is that you need a lot of batteries, but we’re also working on hybrid for sports cars,” Mr Ratti said.
“Hybridisation could help because of the CO2 [savings]. What’s also great with electric motors is the acceleration. We’re working on it, but we cannot go too expensive with technology.”
Ratti said the all-electric FIA Formula E series could play a key role in developing performance models with electric motors in the future, and that Renault’s involvement in the series was paying off.
Mr Ratti predicted that hybrid and electric technology would become increasingly available in performance models over the next 5-10 years, but that development could accelerate before then.
“In a few years’ time, I am sure we will have three or four times the [EV] range we have today,” Ratti said. “In electronics you never can tell; it could be even faster than we predict.”
For now, Renault’s Clio and Megane RS are both available in Australia, powered by turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engines.