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Renault gives sneak peek of sporty DeZir electric concept car

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July 9, 2010

The Renault DeZir concept electric vehicle features gull-wing doors that open in opposite ...

The Renault DeZir concept electric vehicle features gull-wing doors that open in opposite directions

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Renault’s Z.E. range of electric vehicles turned a few heads at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show but the company’s new electric concept car, the DeZir, is more likely give passersby a case of whiplash. The DeZir is a two-seater coupé that Renault says stands out as an illustration of the company’s commitment to more emotional styling. With its sports car looks and ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in five seconds, or 0 to 50 km/h in just two seconds, it’s hard to disagree.

The DeZir is the first Renault project to have been led by Laurens van den Acker, the automobile designer responsible for such distinctive vehicles as the Mazda Nagare, Ryuga and Hakaze. In designing the car its designers have taken Renault’s notion of the "life cycle" that aims to build bonds with its customers at watershed moments in their lives – the first step of which involves falling in love. Marketing hogwash aside, the DeZir, with its sensuous styling and bright red finish is sure to elicit the same kind of passion that is usually associated with traditional sports cars.

Exterior styling

The DeZir’s shape features prominent wheel arches that accommodate 21-inch wheels, while the vehicle’s front end features a full-width air-intake which strikes out either side of a large, vertically-positioned Renault logo. The car’s headlights sit above air scoops situated at the outer extremities of the front air intake to form a front-end design that Renault says previews the new front-end identity that is poised to become a feature of all future Renault models.

The Renault DeZir concept electric vehicle

The headlights take the form of backlit prisms while the perforated "eyelids" are designed to add to the car’s high-tech feel. Rear lighting is provided by an illuminated strip that extends across the full width of the car with the Renault logo highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille.

In a unique design the DeZir’s left- and right-side gull-wing doors open in opposite directions – apparently to symbolize a “yin and yang-style amorous harmony.”

Interior

The interior of the car is dominated by white, although there are also echoes of the same red used for the exterior, with white leather upholstery and trimming for the dashboard, floor and one-piece, two-seater front benchseat, along with a red lacquered finish for the console and accessories.

The Renault DeZir concept electric vehicle interior

The central touchscreen display provides drivers with a real-time indication of their energy management via an interface that uses video-game style graphics. It also incorporates a smart navigation system that synchronizes journey information with the driver’s diary to manage tasks and itineraries.

Electric motor and battery

To optimize weight distribution over the front and rear wheels the DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position. The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault's production electric cars, although its power and torque have been uprated to 110kW (150ch) and 226Nm respectively to give the rear-wheel drive DeZir a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph).

The vertically-mounted 24kW/h lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the car with a range of 160km (99 miles). The battery is cooled by air channeled from the front to the back of the car as well as air that enters through the lateral scoops concealed behind the aluminum panels on either side of the body.

Three battery-charging methods can be employed:
  • a standard charge using a conventional household plug (fully charges the battery in eight hours).
  • a fast charge using a 400V three-phase current (charges the battery to 80 per cent of its capacity in 20 minutes).
  • a fast battery exchange using Renault's Quick Drop technology.

Employing 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. This energy can then be employed by the driver to provide a temporary power boost using a button located on the steering wheel.

Weight reduction and aerodynamics

To keep the vehicle’s weight to a minimum its body is made from Kevlar, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed for Renault’s Mégane Trophy race car. DeZir's suspension also shares certain features with that of Mégane Trophy – including a double wishbone arrangement – for increased handling precision. Full underbody faring and a rear diffuser help achieve a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25.

As vehicles such as the Venturi Fetish and Tesla Roadster have proven, electric vehicles need not be lacking in performance and style and Renault’s DeZir is another example of this. Renault hasn’t indicated whether it has plans to take the DeZir into production, but with the company already confirming plans to release two if its Z.E. range next year, with others to follow there’s every chance the DeZir could join them.

The public will get its first opportunity to see the DeZir at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. Gizmag will be there to get any extra details about the DeZir we can lay our hands on... so stay tuned.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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11 Comments

I see so many of these electric offering but have yet to see even one come out. I'm starting to wonder if we'll even see anything remotely close to these concepts that everyone is spitting out?

mrhuckfin
9th July, 2010 @ 04:19 am PDT

sexy ! love the looks, lets hope they market this little beauty

robinyatesuk2003
9th July, 2010 @ 07:46 am PDT

who would i have to kill to get one of these babies?

Facebook User
9th July, 2010 @ 08:09 am PDT

Some serious marketing hype here.

While a very nice EV, all production EV's recover braking energy. Only recently has F1 caught up with them.

Nor is it made of Kevlar. A great material especially for crash protection but not still in compression so need to be mixed with more, other composites.

The most important thing is the light weight and aerodynamics as they allow a smaller battery pack, EV drive for the same range, performance. More than other vehicles, EV's cost by the pound so by reducing weight by going with a composite body, makes it more affordable, profitable and fast. .

jerryd
9th July, 2010 @ 08:10 am PDT

Gorgeous and brilliant! Renault - build it and make it available in the U.S.

Suman M Subramanian
9th July, 2010 @ 08:35 am PDT

Great article, but I must take exception to your heading: Renault gives sneak peak of sporty DeZir electric concept car

The expression is "sneak PEEK" not "sneak PEAK"!

Grrr... if you can't spell it, don't use it!

- Thanks for picking this up. It's been fixed. Ed.

Michael Alkalay
9th July, 2010 @ 11:39 am PDT

remember all those concept cars from detriot all those decades back to the 50's? they are still not here. This is all about image and sex. There is seldom any reality involved. Bluntly said: "don't hold your breath!"

as for the Cd, I believe citroen bettered that one some 40 years ago. And they did not make you lie down in bed to drive it.

Yin and Yang doors? I hope they are not so gauche as to say his and hers. How utterly clever and cute. Design students 1, consumer nil.

waltinseattle
9th July, 2010 @ 12:18 pm PDT

vehicle looks great except for "red splashes" all over interior. reminds this ww2 vet of bullets thru our bodies,. likewise in car crashes. if i'm alive when these are "available" i just be a buyer for a "1/2 dozen". if grandkids are gainfully employed, etc

oldealchemist
10th July, 2010 @ 12:30 pm PDT

The pedant in me just needs to point out that they are scissor doors, not gull-wing doors. Thank you. That's what happens when you grow up drooling over Michael J Fox in Back to the Future, whilst your big brother drools over pictures of Lamborghinis...

Marianne Davey
12th July, 2010 @ 08:11 am PDT

by the way it will not give whip lash as they say, it is finally a fast and not slugish vehicle.. whiplash you can get if it were 0-60 mph in say under 3 seconds..!!!

but a 5 to 6 second car puts it in a sporty category.. finally!! remember if they bring it here for safety you have to make some type of noise to alert us U.S. pedestrians or we will sue when we jay walk and do not hear you coming since we do not look to cross!

Hecalder
14th July, 2010 @ 07:20 am PDT

Absurd open wheel wells, no boat tail, probably no belly pan, and an un-aerodynamic shape? Looks like a belly-flopper to me.

America must realize that our love of watching wheels spin is a bit like watching a washing machine or a dryer spinning. We need to realize that if we enclose all the wheel wells on our cars, add boat tails and belly pans, and lighten our cars, we can become a net exporter of oil.

TogetherinParis
11th August, 2010 @ 04:11 am PDT
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