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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Renault Concept DeZir debuts in Paris

DeZir is the first project to have been led by Laurens van den Acker and marks the beginning of a sequence of concept cars that will provide an insight into Renault’s new styling vision for the future. It also lays the foundations for the design cues of the brand’s forthcoming vehicles. The DeZir concept car illustrates the brand’s commitment to styling which illustrates the three keywords that communicate the brand’s vision, namely ’simple’, ’sensuous’ and ’warm’.

Indeed, DeZir’s sensuous lines and bright red finish are suggestive of the passion that cars have always inspired. Powered by an electric motor, this sports coupé combines respect for the environment with undeniable elegance.

Renault DeZir: the first illustration of Renault’s new styling vision for the future

Under the leadership of Laurens van den Acker, Renault Design took its inspiration from the brand's new signature 'Drive the Change!' to explore the brand's styling roots and convey a more emotional dimension.

Behind the beauty, an electric car

The 'Z' in the name DeZir is a direct reference to Renault's Z.E. signature, and several features of its design are suggestive of two qualities readily associated with electric mobility, namely advanced technology and light weight.

To provide rhythm and balance to the overall package, its smooth, fluid skin contrasts with the ripple effect employed for the aluminium side panels, roof and headlight 'eyelids'.

DeZir's front end features a full-width air-intake that strikes out either side of a large, vertically positioned Renault logo which proudly asserts the car's pedigree. Meanwhile, the chrome finish of the diamond contrasts with the dark aspect of the grille to express the statement still further.

The headlights take the form of backlit prisms, which make them a highly graphic feature. The frontend design provides a glimpse of the new front-end identity which is poised to become a feature of all Renault models in the future.

Rear lighting is provided by an illuminated, seemingly floating strip that extends across the full width of the car. The Renault logo is highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille and consequently appears to hover in the middle of this space.

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.

The interior styling takes its inspiration from the idea of an amorous encounter and is based on a coming together of opposites.

The cockpit-style driver's environment contrasts with the ethereal lightness of the dashboard and the sensuous feel of the white leather bench seat that seems to float on a red-hued bed of light which, once again, symbolises passion. This lighting gently pulses to a rhythm suggestive of a beating heart.

The dashboard visually mirrors the sensations felt at the wheel by means of a graphic display of data received from the accelerometer and speed sensors. The central touch screen display incorporates a smart navigation system that synchronises journey information with the driver's diary in order to optimise task management and itineraries.

Special software provides drivers with a real-time indication of their energy management ability via a fun interface incorporated in the dashboard that uses video-game style graphics.

An electric beauty

Renault 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 24kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides the car with a range of 160km.

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 110kW (150hp) and 226Nm respectively.

In order to optimise range and dynamic performance, Renault Design's technical teams have kept DeZir's weight to a minimum: its body is made from Kevlar®, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed for the Mégane Trophy race car.

DeZir's suspension also shares certain features with that of Mégane Trophy – including a double wishbone arrangement – to deliver a particularly high standard of handling precision.

DeZir's aerodynamics have been carefully honed, too, thanks to full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser. The result of this work is a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, plus outstanding acceleration, with

DeZir capable of accelerating from rest to 50kph in a mere two seconds.

DeZir's energy efficiency package also includes the recovery of braking 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. As is the case in F1, this energy can then be employed by the driver to provide a temporary power boost thanks to a button located on the steering wheel.

Renault DeZir . Technical Specification

Standard rims (inches) 21
Length (mm) 4,225
Width (mm) 1,968
Height (mm) 1,163
Height with doors open (mm) 2,256
Width with doors open (mm) 2,682
Ground clearance (laden) (mm) 110
Wheelbase (mm) 2,582
Front track (mm) 1,600
Rear track (mm) 1,705
Kerb weight (kg) 830
Tyres 245/35 R 21

Type Electric
Maximum power EEC (kW/hp) 110/150
Maximum torque EEC(Nm) 226

Type Lithium-ion
Range(km) 160

Ventilated brake discs - diameter (mm) 356 (front and rear)
Callipers Six pistons (front and rear)
Power steering Electric, variable rate

Transmission Direct drive with reducer and
forward/reverse inverter
Drive Rear-wheel drive, with active electric
Chassis Tubular steel frame

Aerodynamic coefficient (CdA) 0.25
Top speed (kph) 180
Standstill-100kph (s) 5
Standstill-50kph (s) 2

DeZir was developed in association with G. Studio (body), DuPont (Kevlar® body), Michelin (tyres) and IRCAM (acoustics).


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