Electric vehicles carry extra weight because of the built-in battery pack, but mass is usually very low in the car to keep the center of gravity close to the road. That goes for the Renault Megane E-Tech crossover, which recently did a moose test. It’s unclear if weight was a factor in the results, but it certainly shows a slightly unpredictable trend at higher speeds.
As usual, 77 km/h (48 mph) was the target speed for testing. It simulates a back-to-back emergency lane change maneuver as if you had to suddenly dodge a moose in your lane, swerve, then swerve back to avoid oncoming traffic. To Renault’s credit, the electric Megane E-Tech barely managed to get past the target speed. The driver cuts one cone at the start of the test and clears the rest. The crossover reaction in the initial round was classified as stable and almost neutral.
The fastest successful run was slightly slower, at 74 km/h (46 mph). At this speed, the driver cleared all cones and reported the same neutral feeling in the way the Megane responded to steering input, drifting slightly while still under control. Speeding it up, however, reveals some surprising and unexpected activity. One lap saw the driver slip very wide with little oversteer, failing to complete the test. Another attempt at 79 km/h (49 mph) showed the opposite, a healthy dose of understeer that caused another DNF.
Through it all, moderate body roll with a “filtered” steering feel is reported. This is also true for the slalom test, with a general feeling of security present behind the wheel despite its unpredictable nature at higher speeds. Tire grip can be a contributing factor; it wears the relatively narrow Goodyear EfficientGrip 215-45/20 tires in this particular configuration. Grip is particularly noted as being considerate through the slalom, although below the limit, crossover characteristics are reportedly smooth.
The Renault Megane E-Tech will debut in September 2021 for Europe in two configurations, offering either 130 or 218 hp. With a larger battery pack, it has an approximate range of 292 miles on a charge.
Check out the latest new vehicle debuts from Ford, Ferrari and more at Chatting About Cars podcast, available below.