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Renault gives full-electric Zoe a facelift

Boosted outputs, driving range highlight significant revisions to Renault Zoe EV

18 Jun 2019

UPDATED: 19/06/2019
 
RENAULT has given its full-electric Zoe city hatch a significant facelift, with fresh looks, an overhauled cabin, a more powerful electric motor and a larger lithium-ion battery the key highlights of the version destined for Australian showrooms next year.
 
Speaking to GoAuto, Renault Australia corporate communications manager Alison van den Dungen said pricing and specification for the new Zoe are yet to be finalised, although she did confirm that the model will exclusively make use of the new 100kW/245Nm electric motor and 52kWh lithium-ion battery.
 
The latter provides a claimed 390km of driving range on Europe’s recently introduced and more realistic WLTP combined cycle test. Comparatively, Zoe’s previous 41kWh unit could only muster 300km during ‘real world’ usage in summer conditions.
 
Charging has also improved, with Zoe now supporting 50kW DC fast chargers via its optional CCS (Combined Charging System) connector, while the 22kW AC chargers can be exclusively used with its standard Type 2 plug. Either way, the socket is located underneath Zoe’s front ‘Renault’ logo.
 
According to the French brand, Zoe’s 52kWh lithium-ion battery can be charged from zero to 100 per cent in nine hours and 25 minutes when using a 7kW AC wallbox, with about 306km of driving range added in the first eight hours of charging.
 
Alternatively, a 22kW AC charger will add 128km of range in one hour, while a 50kW DC charger is the fastest optional available, adding about 145km in as little as 30 minutes.
 
Performance-wise, Zoe has upped the ante with its new electric motor that is 32kW/20Nm more potent than the previous Australian-market version. As a result, it can now sprint from standstill to 100km/h in less than 10 seconds while on the way to its 140km/h top speed.
 
Zoe’s new B Mode enables one-pedal driving by increasing the aggressiveness of its regenerative braking, with Renault claiming enabling it “makes driving easier, especially in the city or in slow-moving traffic”, while improved brake-pedal feel is also promised.
 
While exterior changes are limited to a fresh front bumper, chrome grille trim, a more sculpted bonnet, redesigned alloy wheels and tweaked LED headlights and tail-lights, the facelift is much more noticeable inside.
 
Specifically, the addition of a 10.0-inch digital instrument cluster and a portrait touchscreen powered by Renault’s Easy Link infotainment system lead the way in the cabin. The latter can measure up to 9.3 inches in size and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
 
The dashboard’s design is also new, incorporating higher-quality finishes, including soft fabric inserts that match the upholstery used for the seats, while the fresh centre console features a redesigned gear selector.
 
The latter offers twice as much storage as before thanks to the switch from a traditional handbrake to an electric park brake, enabling the addition of two cupholders and wireless smartphone charging. LED ambient lighting and two rear USB ports have also been added.
 
Zoe’s suite of advanced driver-assist systems has also expanded, now including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, high-beam assist, front and rear parking sensors, and park assist.
 
Sales of Zoe have been low this year, with only two examples sold to the end of May – a 90.0 per cent decrease over the 20 deliveries made during the same period in 2018. In fact, only 48 units found homes in the model’s first full calendar year.
 
However, Ms van den Dungen told GoAuto that Renault Australia sold out of its last remaining Zoe stock in March, although a production slot has since become available, with new vehicles set to arrive in the coming weeks to satiate the “strong customer demand”, which is evidenced by the model's backlog of orders.
 
As reported, Zoe is currently available in two grades, with the entry-level Life priced from $47,490 before on-road costs, while the flagship Intens commands a $2000 premium.

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