Renault will launch new versions of its Kangoo and Trafic vans by the end of this year, along with the first Master van to feature a hydrogen fuel cell, to extend its battery electric range.
The new Kangoo will be offered in standard and Maxi models, with Renault dropping the Compact variant in favour of a new Express van for left-hand drive markets. With a robust new look, Kangoo will be powered by a choice of two petrol engines, delivering 100hp and 130hp, three diesel engines, offering 75hp, 95hp and 115hp and a revised Kangoo E-Tech Electric van, now boasting a 75kW motor and a 44kWh battery.
The E-Tech name replaces Z.E. for the compact Renault, to bring it in line with the firm’s EV and hybrid car models. That 44kWh battery will deliver up to 165 miles of range on the WLTP cycle. The new van comes with a rapid charging capability, with a 75kW charger capable of adding 80% of charge in just 42 minutes. A standard 7kW wallbox would take up to 7 hours to reach a full charge from empty.
All of the petrol and diesel-engined vans have a six-speed manual gearbox, while the more powerful Kangoos can also be specified with a seven-speed EDC double-clutch automatic. Service intervals for all models are set at 2 years/18,600 miles.
Perhaps the most noticeable new feature of Kangoo is the option of an ‘Open Sesame’ side door. Available on the shorter model only, with petrol/diesel power or in E-Tech form, the Open Sesame door removes the traditional B-pillar behind the passenger door. This allows you to open both the sliding side door and the passenger door to deliver unobstructed access to the load area. When combined with a folding mesh bulkhead, this provides a maximum load length of 3.05m and a door opening that is 1.45m wide. Unfortunately, it looks like this option will not be available on right-hand drive vans.
For vans without the wider door aperture, Renault is also offering an internal roof rack, known as Easy Inside rack, that extends through the bulkhead to allow internal carrying of ladders and other long items. The rack can handle up to 30kg. The standard van offers payloads of 600-800kg, while the Kangoo Maxi will be available with an increased payload option taking it to almost 1-tonne.
Renault will offer 12 new ADAS driver assistance systems on Kangoo, including Active Emergency Braking, Active Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning and Assistance, Adaptive cruise Control and an EasyPark hands-free parking system. The van will also be offered with Permanent Rear-View Assist, which uses a 7” screen and a rear-view camera to replace the traditional rear-view mirror.
The interior of the van is redesigned, with plenty of storage, including a glove box that opens as a pull-out drawer. There are up to three USB sockets to charge phones and other electronic items, along with a smartphone dock that can be placed to the left or
the right of the main dash. A choice
of infotainment systems runs from a DAB radio, through to Renault’s EasyLink infotainment system with an 8” screen.
Though not revealing all of the detail for the updated Trafic van yet, Renault has shown the people-carrying Combi and SpaceClass versions of its mid-weight. This includes a new, more upright grille like the latest Master, with LED lights and Renault’s C-shaped daytime light signature. The interior has a similar update, with increased storage capacity and the option of the 8” EasyLink screen.
Of more interest to van buyers, will be the option of a host of ADAS systems, including Active Emergency Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Blindspot Warning and Speed Warning with Traffic Sign Recognition. Though yet to be confirmed, Renault has also hinted at an electric version of Trafic before the end of the year.
The big news for heavy van buyers will be the launch of Master Hydrogen, later in 2021. The hydrogen fuel cell-equipped electric van will provide a much longer range for heavy van operators, for whom the current Master Z.E. falls short. Renault claims that the combination of batteries and hydrogen fuel cell will give the Master van a range in excess of 310 miles, with of course the possibility of a rapid re-fuel time if you have a hydrogen supply.
To make that part of the equation work too, Renault has formed a joint venture with Plug Power, to help customers with refuelling and recharging infrastructure. The Renault Plug Power business is aiming to capture 30% of the European hydrogen LCV market by 2030.