There's the same PHEV package here that Renault uses in the compact Captur crossover, namely a 1.6-litre petrol engine mated to two electric motors and a multi-mode clutch-less transmission that Renault says offers "excellent efficiency and barely noticeable gear changes". The system puts out 160hp (around 20hp more than the equivalent plug-in package that Kia offers) and features a 9.8kWh, 400V battery that allows a range of about 30 miles; plus the ability to travel at up to 84mph, on electric power alone. After a stop, the transmission uses electric motor power to restart the car silently, and with immediate acceleration. When passing a vehicle or merging onto the highway, it combines the combustion and electric-powered engines to increase the available power and offer better acceleration.
The Megane E-TECH Plug-in features specific 'Multi-Sense' drive settings - there are three. 'Pure', activated by a special button on the dashboard, is the full-electric setting, selectable provided there is enough power. The second option, 'MySense', optimises the hybrid mode for lower running costs. Its "E-Save" feature helps to save battery power (at least 40 per cent) so that it can switch to full-electric mode when required for driving in city centres, for example. Finally, 'Sport' mode allows drivers to take advantage of maximum performance by combining the power of the engine and the two electric motors. With this engaged, 62mph from rest takes 9.8s en route to 111mph.