2019 Renault Zoe: EV gets 135 PS, 390 km WLTP range

Seven years on from its unveiling back in 2012, the Renault Zoe has received its biggest overhaul yet, keeping abreast with the advancing electric opposition. But while the French carmaker insists it’s an all-new model, in reality this is more of a thorough facelift – albeit with a substantial reengineering under the skin.

As you can see, the curvaceous body remains pretty much unchanged, with much of the visual tweaks appearing at the front of the car. The headlights, which flow into the grille and the large diamond logo, are larger – a design that was previewed by the e-Sport Concept from 2017 – and feature full-LED lighting as standard, incorporating Renault’s signature C-shaped daytime running light graphic.

The bonnet has also been subtly reprofiled with two additional strakes, while the front bumper has been made more aggressive, gaining a downturned central air intake and separate inlets surrounding the chromed-trimmed fog lights. The clear tail lights are also full LED and feature linear light strips.

Bigger changes can be found on the inside, where you’ll find a redesigned dashboard with soft-touch materials to match the seat upholstery. Front and centre of this dashboard is a new standard-fit 10-inch portrait-format touchscreen paired to a new version of Renault’s Easy Link infotainment system. There’s also a larger full-colour instrument display.

2019 Renault Zoe: EV gets 135 PS, 390 km WLTP range

There’s also a revised centre console sporting twice as much storage space and a new electronic gearlever and parking brake, along with a wireless smartphone charger, twin USB ports at the front and rear and redesigned climate controls with chrome dials and an acoustic glass windscreen for improved refinement. A new upholstery option is also being offered, made from 100% recycled fabric.

Despite the same old, same old body, Renault says that it has performed a significant redesign of the underlying platform, tweaking the chassis and making space for a new electric motor and battery. As the name suggests, the R135 motor produces 100 kW (135 PS) and 245 Nm of torque, 20 kW (25 PS) and 20 Nm more than the R110 motor that was introduced last year, and which still remains on sale.

The new powertrain is significantly more muscular than the one that came before, dropping the zero-to-100 km/h sprint time below the 10 second mark; it also gets from 80 to 120 km/h in 7.1 seconds, 2.2 seconds faster than the R110. The top speed has also been increased by five kilometres per hour, to 140 km/h.

2019 Renault Zoe: EV gets 135 PS, 390 km WLTP range

Despite the extra power, there’s now increased range thanks to the Z.E. 50 battery. The 52 kWh lithium-ion unit delivers 390 km range on the WLTP cycle, an increase of 190 km from last year’s model and a far cry from the original Zoe’s 150 km. The charging socket at the front of the car, hidden beneath the diamond logo, also features a new Combined Charging System (CCS) port that supports 50 kW of DC charging.

Renault claims that the Zoe can be fully charged through a 7 kW wallbox in nine hours and 25 minutes, and can recover around 150 km of range through a 50 kW DC fast charging station in just 30 minutes. The new Zoe also gets a new B mode with increased kinetic energy recovery that slows the car down significantly upon lifting off the throttle, allowing for one-pedal driving.

The wholesale rejuvenation of the Zoe also allows for the fitment of a range of new safety features, including autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, auto high beam and an Easy Park Assist system.