The Renault Zoe, Europe’s best-selling electric vehicle in 2017, will now be available with a range-topping 80 kW powerplant.

The French half of the Renault-Nissan Alliance is continuing to invest heavily in electric vehicle solutions for the masses, with its pretty-if-visually-orthodox small car leading the charge. Sorry...

Like the Nissan Leaf, the Renaut Zoe is an electric car that has been designed as such from the ground up. Besides emitting zero tailpipe emissions and possessing a charcoal filter that prevents grubby fumes from infiltrating your clean haven, it drives well, seats four, has a big boot (338 litres) and with the government plug-in grant factored in costs as little as £14,245. The reason why the Renault Zoe can be so cheap is because the batteries are leased, rather than bought, for the equivalent cost of a monthly gym membership.

Known internally as R110, the new electric motor develops the same 165lb ft of torque from a nominal 250rpm as its predecessor, the R90, but is also 12kW more powerful (the equivalent of 16bhp) with no increase in battery weight or volume.  


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This, says Renault, will allow stronger, still-gearless acceleration, although the 0-62mph sprint time hasn’t yet been quoted (the R90 achieves this sprint in 13.5 seconds). However, Renault has said the car is nearly two seconds quicker when accelerating from 50-70mph, which is the sort of performance you need when joining a motorway or French autoroute.

Renault boss Elisabeth Delval said: 'In addition to be able to enjoy the pleasure of driving a Zoe, drivers will also benefit from the longest range available from a mass-market electric vehicle.' Again, figures are yet to be released but given the current Zoe Z.E. 40 will manage 250 miles on the now discredited New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) – a real-world estimate of 124 miles in winter is more realistic – we’re expecting further distance between juice-ups.

These improvements join other Zoe model range updates, including optional purple paint and interior trim known as Aconite, plus the inclusion of Android Auto. This will allow drivers to mirror the major content from their smartphone onto the car’s screen, and is compatible with apps such as Waze, Spotify, Audible and Skype Messenger.

Order books for the most powerful Renault Zoe with new R110 motor will be open in Spring 2018, and we’re expecting this battery technology to move into the entire Renault Alliance folio, including the commercial Kangoo Z.E., Master Z.E. and Daimler’s Smart car models.

Gallery: 2017 Renault Zoe