The Paris Motor Show madness is still going on, as the show is still open until October 17, at the Paris Expo and some of the models presented here are still generating a lot of buzz. Renault, being a French car maker, made everything possible to surprise everyone at their stand and one of their highlights is the Renault DeZir concept, an impressive two-seater all-electric concept car.
Beside the electric drivetrain, the most important fact about this concept car is that it’s the first project developed under the leadership of Renault’s new head of design, Laurens van den Acker and, even though it will probably never make it into production, it previews the design philosophy Renault will adopt, a philosophy which adapts to the car maker’s new motto “Drive the Change!”
And we have to admit, it looks amazing, Renault managing to create a mix of emotional, aggressive and elegant aspects. The fluid exterior lines, the red paint combined with the aluminum side panels, the gullwing/scissors doors, the big Renault logo on the front grille highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille, the headlights’ backlit prisms look, are just a few elements which make the Renault DeZir a splendid appearance in Paris.
As for the interior, well, we’ll just show you a part of the press release, because it looks like Renault put a lot of passion in it: “The interior design also suggests lightness. The forms are soft and light, and the predominant colour is white, although there are also echoes of the same passion red used for the exterior. The materials employed for the interior, like the senses they awaken, are precious, with white leather upholstery and trimming for the seats, dashboard and floor, along with a red lacquered finish for the console and accessories.
The one-piece, two-seater front benchseat provides cocoon-like comfort and comprises a number of interlocking elements trimmed in white leather, with a quilted pattern on the passenger’s side, and a contrasting uniform finish on the driver’s side, as if to suggest an inexorable attraction between the two.”
As for the propulsion, the DeZir concept is powered by a mid-rear mounted electric motor which delivers 110 kW (150 hp) and 226 Nm (167 lb-ft) peak torque, while the vertically-mounted 24 kWh lithium-ion battery offers a driving range of 160 km (100 miles). In order to compensate for the motor and battery’s extra weight, Renault focused a lot on weight reduction, a lot of technologies being borrowed from the Renault Megane Trophy race car, including tubular steel frame and double wishbone suspension.
The full underbody fairing and the rear diffuser are just a few of the many aerodynamic features which allow the DeZir to have a drag coefficient (Cd) of only 0.25. Also, Renault equipped the DeZir with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), a technology also used on Formula 1 cars, which recovers kinetic energy when the car decelerates, stores it in the battery and the driver can use this energy for a temporary power boost, by pressing a button on the steering wheel.
With all these technologies, the DeZir concept accelerates from 0 to 50 km/h (31 mph) in 2 seconds, from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds and reaches a top speed of 180 km/h (111 mph).