What is it?
Renault’s ever-green Scenic compact MPV is getting the option of a brand new, downsized, diesel engine, the Energy dCi 130.
With stringent EU ‘fleet’ Co2 requirements bearing down on carmakers (not least the need to hit an average of just 95g/km by 2020) engine capacities are heading in just one direction: downwards.
Renault’s brand-new Energy dCi 130 diesel motor is a perfect example of this trend. An all-new 16-valve unit, it will replace the company’s current, 8-valve, 1.9-litre diesel engine, appearing first in the Scenic range, before being fitted to the Megane.
The company says the Energy dCi unit ‘is the world’s most powerful engine of its size’ offering 128bhp and 236lb ft of torque at 1750rpm, though 80 percent of the twist action is on tap from 1500rpm. Average Co2 output is 30g/km lower than the 1.9-litre diesel.
Work on the new engine started back in 2006 from a clean sheet and features a completely new block (using a ‘square’ short-stroke design), which will form the basis of other, future, downsized engines. A 230m Euro investment, Renault says this engine was tested for a lifecycle of 186,000 miles or 20 years of driving.
The unit includes a number of fuel-saving features including a new stop-start system, regenerative braking, a variable displacement oil pump, a double water jacket in the head (which improves cooling efficiency, allowing the use of a smaller water pump) and low-friction, F1-derived, UFLEX piston rings.
To give an idea of how much reducing consumption is an incremental task, the Energy dCi’s stop-start system reduces CO2 output by just three per cent and the new oil pump by just one per cent.
What’s it like?
The Scenic is the first Renault model to get the new engine and, arguably, its age (the Scenic III is a heavy make of the 2003 Scenic II) means the motor is not shown in its best light. Despite the claims made for the refinement, I found the Energy dCi unit was notably dieselly at tickover and at low speed with wide throttle openings.