Matt Kimberley profile picture Matt Kimberley a year ago 57
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Renault Doesn’t Want You To Know How Small Its New Big-Car Engine Is

When a press release solely focused on a new 1.3-litre engine omits the cubic capacity completely, you know it’s something the manufacturer doesn’t really want you to know

Remind me later
Renault - Renault Doesn’t Want You To Know How Small Its New Big-Car Engine Is - News

Renault has launched its newest engine in conjunction with Mercedes and Smart’s parent company, Daimler. And it doesn’t seem to want to tell you how small it is.

The engine, which will see action first in the Scenic and Grand Scenic, is just 1.3 litres in capacity. Those cars are not small, so the unit has its work cut out. In fairness the engineers behind it have managed to squeeze as much as 158bhp out of it, so outright shove isn’t really the issue for the two family cars.

Renault - Renault Doesn’t Want You To Know How Small Its New Big-Car Engine Is - News

Drop off boost with a car full of luggage and passengers and you can kiss your momentum goodbye. Hills will involve down-shifts, too. Such are the compromises that downsizing brings, even if the peak numbers are actually pretty impressive for the size of the engine.

Three power outputs will be offered, from 113bhp to 158bhp via a 138bhp half-way house. The most powerful version coughs up 192lb ft from 1750rpm, or slightly more if you choose the automatic gearbox.

Renault - Renault Doesn’t Want You To Know How Small Its New Big-Car Engine Is - News

We bet you never expected us to mention the Nissan GT-R in this story, but we’re about to. The new 1.3 unit borrows Bore Spray Coating from the Japanese sports car, reducing piston friction and optimising heat transfer across the block.

There’s a token reduction in carbon emissions versus the old engines – 7g/km on the five-seat Scenic and 11g/km on the seven-seat Grand Scenic. We’re yet to discover which Daimler models will use the same engine, but with figures like these it’s a feasible heart for the upcoming Mercedes A-Class…