Renault Kangoo ZE Concept previews next-generation small van

  • All-electric show car hints at future Renault small van
  • Muscular looks influenced by Renault cars set to stand out among vans
  • On sale in 2020, will also form basis of new Nissan NV250 van

Alongside revised versions of the Master large van and Trafic medium van, Renault has whipped the covers off a new Kangoo ZE Concept – which previews the French firm’s next generation of small van.

As the ZE part of the name suggests, this is an all-electric van – ZE standing for Zero Emissions, and the label applied to all of Renault’s electric vehicles – but that doesn’t mean there won’t be diesel (and possibly petrol) versions of the next Kangoo as well.

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

The Renault Kangoo ZE Concept looks good…

It does look good. As well as giving the Kangoo ZE Concept the latest Renault light commercial vehicle (LCV) family face – as seen on the 2019 Trafic and 2019 Master – Renault has also chosen to give this small van body work that echoes its passenger car design language.

Renault Kangoo ZE Concept - front view, driving through city

This reveals itself in the ‘sculpted sides, rounded shoulders and pronounced wheel arches’; should this ‘muscular’ look make it into production, the next Kangoo will certainly stand out against the somewhat soft and flabby looking competition from the latest Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner, Vauxhall Combo and Toyota Proace City quartet.

What’s more, the wider rear track that fills these wheel arches promises to make the Kangoo more practical – by increasing the distance between the wheels inside the van’s load area.

Renault Kangoo ZE Concept - rear view, parked in city, charging

Much of the exterior is also deliberately smoothed, to give the Kangoo ZE Concept a modern appearance.

Are there any features of the Kangoo ZE Concept that definitely won’t make production?

Well, the exterior lighting is rather fancy, with illuminated panels in the side and a line that runs right round the back of the van, practically from front door to front door.

The transparent grille treatment is also unlikely to see production.

Any details about the next electric Kangoo’s drivetrain?

Not at this stage. The current Kangoo ZE already has nearly the best driving range of any electric van (only beaten by its cousin, the Nissan e-NV200), and since Renault will be keen to hold on to its status as leading European electric van maker, we strongly expect this to remain the case in the future.

Renault Kangoo ZE Concept - side view, in city

A little more power from the electric motor would be nice, too. The existing R60 only produces the equivalent of 60hp, which can make it feel rather pedestrian, especially when confronted with a decent hill.

Will the next Renault Kangoo form the basis of any other vans?

The present Kangoo also underpins the Mercedes-Benz Citan. At this stage, Renault isn’t prepared to say whether this relationship is likely to continue. We believe it probably will, as Mercedes would otherwise need to find another partner to help it build a small van.

The Nissan NV200 isn’t closely related to the Kangoo at the moment, but the next-generation models are both set to be built in the same Renault factory in France, so it seems very likely the NV250 – as the new Nissan will be called – will share the new Kangoo’s DNA.

When does the new Renault Kangoo go on sale?

We’ve been told to expect the next generation of Renault Kangoo no earlier than 2020.

Understandably, pricing is still to be confirmed.

Also read:

>> Renault Master 2019 – full details of revised large van

>> Renault Trafic 2019 – full details of revised medium van

>> Renault Kangoo ZE review

>> Renault EZ-Flex concept – a futuristic electric van for the city