Yes, the axe is being sharpened. Renault’s design boss has admitted the French firm can’t “develop a complete line of EVs [electric vehicles] and keep all our existing cars”.
Laurens van den Acker, director of Renault Group Design, told Autocar everything in the automotive industry “is being questioned” at the moment.
“As we make the shift from ICE [internal combustion engines] to EVs, something has to give. We don’t have money to develop a complete line of EVs and keep all our existing cars. So which cars do we keep and which cars do we axe?” he asked.
In mid-May 2020, a report out of Europe claimed Renault planned to kill off three nameplates as part of a cost-cutting drive. According to that report, the Scénic, Espace and Talisman were all facing the axe.
Interestingly, Van den Acker suggested Renault Sport products would eventually be electrified, too. He said although the range was “doing very well”, “these cars are challenged by [emissions legislation in Europe], so even RS models will have to be electrified”.
“We have to find a way to trick you into believing an EV is light when it isn’t. Technologies such as torque vectoring can help make a car feel light when it’s actually two tonnes. I’m hoping technology will be able to give us a fantastic driving experience,” he said.