The Geneva Motor Show in March this year should have served as a stage on which numerous car manufacturers would present their newcomers. The Renault Morphoz Concept was one of those newcomers, an extendable and fully electric SUV that Renault would have liked to see a large audience around. The futuristic-looking concept car was much more than just a strikingly designed attention-getter!
A quick look back. The Morphoz Concept, which Renault presented earlier this year, was interspersed with eye-catching design elements. The electric SUV was two cars in one. Almost literally. The study model had a City and a Travel mode, which influenced the concept of the car’s dimensions. In City mode, the Morphoz was 4.4 meters long, and the wheelbase was 2.73 meters. Whoever put the car in the Travel mode was treated to a special scene. The muzzle of the Morphoz Concept, together with the front part of the platform, slid 20 centimeters forward, increasing the wheelbase to 2.93 meters. As the rear of the car also came out further in this Travel mode, the luggage space increased, bringing the total car length to 4.80 meters. Although this harmonica trick is a typical gimmick for a concept, it was based on a very relevant principle.
The Morphoz Concept functioned as a signboard for a completely new modular platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. This platform is called CMF-EV, and the Morphoz’s extension trick served purely to illustrate that this new electrical base in various formats will have a place under various models of the alliance.
One of the things confirmed to AutoWeek was that a Renault electric SUV with Morphoz looks would be available in a few years. A very important newcomer planned for around 2022. If we look at Renault’s current range of electric models, we will see the Twizy, Zoe, the Z.E-versions of the Kangoo, and Master and soon the Twingo. An electric SUV shines through absence. So this new electric SUV is very welcome, and you can be sure that it won’t remain just one model.
Due to the lack of a space-consuming internal combustion engine and transmission, EVs are generally more spacious than comparable cars with conventional powertrains, the as-yet-unnamed newcomers to the CMF-EV platform promise to be particularly spacious. The modular base is characterized by its relatively long wheelbase, wheels placed far at the corners, and a flat floor. Renault can accommodate a large number of components, including air conditioning hardware, in the nose of the EVs. This, of course, benefits the interior space again. Because the platform is completely focused on cars with a battery pack on board, the batteries can easily be concealed in the rear part of the floor, according to Renault. The EVs in the pipeline promise to have a fairly low silhouette, which has a positive effect on air resistance and the center of gravity, and thus on the driving characteristics.
The 4.5-meter-long electric SUV from Renault will be a front-wheel-drive in its base. The platform is suitable for installing electric motors at both the front and rear of the car, a four-wheel-drive variant will undoubtedly also present itself.
The crystal WLTP globe predicts that the Kadjar-size electric SUV should be able to travel some 400 kilometers on a battery charge, depending on the size of the battery pack. We’re aiming for a set of batteries with a capacity of at least 40 kWh, although the Morphoz already proved that the CMA-EV platform could accommodate a 90 kWh electric heart. For the basic version, count on around 130 hp of electrical muscle power.
Just assume that Renault’s electric SUV will have lots of brothers and sisters. And there’s no doubt that newcomers from Nissan and Mitsubishi will use the same modular base!