Paris preview: Renault DeZir

July 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

A Paris Motor Show preview already: this is rather like seeing Christmas cards in the shops in September. Renault’s giving a glance at its future design direction with this racy red one, its first concept vehicle by Laurens van den Acker, and besides being the first expression of a touchy-feely strategy developed to chime with key events in a person’s adult life (falling in love, exploring the world, that sort of thing), the DeZir does also showcase a new iteration of the Renault-Nissan electric drivetrain.

Power’s been uprated to 150bhp and torque to 226Nm, and the 24kWhr lithium-ion battery 9mounted behind the seats) gives a range of 100 miles. A full charge takes eight hours, an 80% capacity fast-charge 20 minutes, or it can go through the fast-drop battery-exchange system Renault has been developing with the Better Place consortium.

Weight has been kept down by the use of a Kevlar bodyshell  and a tubular steel frame similar to that of the Megane Trophy race car, aerodynamic touches include full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser (giving a drag cooefficient of just 0.25, as well as acceleration 0-62mph in five seconds), and F1-style KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) tech is deployed to provide energy for extra intermittent power boosts.

Expect the DeZir’s touchscreen display, with interactive info on the car’s state of charge and energy management, to feature in upcoming production EVs. This show car also previews Renault’s use of an ‘audio signature’ in its EVs, a specially-developed sound in place of engine noise which is  meant to reflect the car’s ‘personality’.

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