|The electric concept car DeZir features gull-wing doors that open in opposite directions symbolizing “a yin and yang-style amorous harmony”, according to Renault. Click to enlarge.|
Renault has provided a preview of its new concept electric car, DeZir, ahead of this year’s Paris Motor Show. The “Z” in the name DeZir is a direct reference to Renault’s Z.E. signature for its forthcoming electric vehicles, and several features of its design are suggestive of two qualities readily associated with electric mobility—advanced technology and light weight—Renault says.
DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position to optimize weight distribution over the front and rear wheels. The vertically-mounted 24 kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the two-seater with a range of 160 km (99 miles).
Battery cooling is ensured not only by the air channelled from the front to the back of the car, but also primarily by the flow of air that enters through the lateral scoops concealed behind the aluminium panels on either side of the body.
The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault’s production electric cars, although an evolution has enabled its power and torque to be uprated to 110 kW (148 hp) and 226 N·m (167 lb-ft) respectively.
Three battery-charging methods can be employed:
- Standard charge using a conventional household plug (fully charges the battery in eight hours).
- Fast charge using a 400V three-phase current (charges the battery to 80 per cent of its capacity in 20 minutes).
- Fast battery exchange with Renault’s Quick Drop technology.
A full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser contribute to a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, as well as acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in five seconds, and from standstill to 50 km/h in just two seconds.
DeZir’s energy efficiency package also includes the recovery of deceleration energy. The technology it employs is based on the same principles as the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) seen in Formula 1. When the car decelerates, kinetic energy is recovered and stored in the battery. In the case of DeZir, this energy can then be employed by the driver to provide a temporary power boost at the moment he or she chooses, using a button located on the steering wheel.
The DeZir project is the first to have been led by Laurens van den Acker—previously the global head of design for Mazda—and marks the start of a sequence of concept cars that will provide an insight into Renault Design’s new vision for the future. It also lays the foundations for the styling cues of Renault’s forthcoming vehicles.
As an example, DeZir’s front-end design previews the new front-end identity that is poised to become a feature of all Renault models in the future.