The DeZir electric concept car project is the first to have been led by Laurens van den Acker and marks the start of a sequence of concept cars that will provide an insight into Renault Design’s new vision for the future.
The “Z” in the name DeZir is a direct reference to Renault’s Z.E. signature for its forthcoming electric vehicles.
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 100 miles.
Battery cooling is ensured not only by the air channelled from the front to the back of the car, but also – and above all – by the flow of air that enters through the lateral scoops concealed behind the aluminum 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 110kW (150ch) and 226Nm respectively.
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 thanks to Renault’s Quick Drop technology
In order to optimize 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 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, as well as outstanding acceleration, with DeZir capable of accelerating from rest to 62mph in just five 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 recessed, linear styling of the front air intake and the entire rear-end convey an impression of lightness in addition to efficiently channelling battery-cooling air from the front to the rear.
To provide rhythm and balance to the overall package, this smooth, fluid skin contrasts with the ripple effect seen on the aluminum side panels, roof and headlight ‘eyelids’. The design of these features alludes to the ripples which can form when a breeze blows over water, while the geometric pattern adds an unmistakable high-tech feel. The prevailing bright red color of the body interacts with the graphical forms of the cross-drilled aluminum side panels which equally exude a sense of light weight and technology.
The geometric forms of the glazed areas also contribute to DeZir’s overall design and are reminiscent of a fighter-plane cockpit or certain endurance racing prototypes. The absence of a rear window is overcome by the fitment of two rear-facing cameras which provide the driver with a panoramic view of what is happening behind the car.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]