Renault has unveiled the Morphoz, a shapeshifting concept designed to act as both a city car and a long-range cruiser – as well as providing a foretaste of its forthcoming Kadjar-sized electric crossover.
The Morphoz is intended as an urban family car for 2027, with its modular design allowing one vehicle to serve multiple functions. But more significantly, underneath that conceptual tech, the car is built on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s new CMF-EV platform, which will be used for Renault’s first electric crossover, due later this year.
Gilles Normand, Renault’s senior vice-president of electric vehicles, said elements of the Morphoz’s design will be used in the forthcoming production crossover and further models will be built on the platform.
Normand told Autocar: “Morphoz is a concept, but what has been expressed by the styling department in some areas is a reinterpretation of what they intend for future production models.
“Let’s say you can’t take it for face value, but it’s definitely the direction where we’re going. Some of the features, such as the configuration and roominess, are going to be of major value for cars based on this platform.”
The adaptable CMF-EV skateboard chassis pushes the wheels to the corners, with Renault saying the ‘streamlined’ design of the underfloor batteries enables it to sit lower to the ground. It is designed to adopt differing motor and battery set-ups and the packaging benefit of the smaller motors enables greater interior space.
The Morphoz is the latest Renault concept in recent years to preview future technology, but whereas previous models have looked further ahead to fully autonomous cars, this concept is intended as a near-future vision.
In City form, it uses a 40kWh battery that offers around 249 miles of range, which, Renault believes, is enough for around 90% of daily usage. For longer journeys, the Morphoz can be switched to Travel mode, with special extensions – using technology similar to a plane wing – that stretch it at the A-pillar and the rear. This increases the length from 4400mm to 4800mm and the wheelbase from 2730mm to 2930mm and it offers more passenger space and luggage capacity.
In both modes, the Morphoz is 2000mm wide and 1550mm tall and sits on 22in tyres. An additional 50kWh battery can be installed at a special station and the total 90kWh capacity extends the range to 435 miles. Power is delivered through the front wheels via a single motor, with recharging possible through both static and dynamic induction.
Although it is a concept, the variation in size and range between the Morphoz’s two modes gives some indication of the flexibility of the CMF-EV platform. It also showcases how buyers could reduce their carbon footprints by not ordering cars with bigger batteries by default.