DeZir electric concept car hints at fresh direction at Renault

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    Renault has provided a sneak preview of its new concept car, the electric-powered DeZir – yes, that’s ‘desire’ when translated from design speak – ahead of this year’s Paris Motor Show. 

    The French manufacturer says the two-seater coupé is an illustration of the brand’s commitment to more emotional styling, adding that the DeZir provides some design clues on the vehicles to trot out of the Renault stable over the next few years.

    The carmaker says its design language takes its inspiration from three keywords – ‘simple, sensuous and warm’.

    Looking at the skin of the vehicle, Renault notes that the front-end design of the DeZir previews the new front-end identity that is poised to become a feature on all the French manufacturer’s future models.

    The absence of a rear window is overcome by two rear-facing cameras which provide the driver with a panoramic view of what is happening behind the car.

    The gull-wing left- and right-hand doors open in opposite directions, symbolising a Yin-Yang style harmony.

    The one-piece, two-seater front bench-seat aims to provide cocoon-like comfort. 

    The DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position to optimise weight distribution over the front and rear wheels.

    The vertically mounted 24-kW/h lithium-ion battery is located behind the bench seat and provides the car with a range of 160 km before recharging is required. 

    Battery cooling is ensured by the air channelled from the front to the back of the car, as well as 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 upgraded to 110 kW and 226 Newton metre respectively. 

    In order to optimise range and dynamic performance, Renault’s technical teams have kept the DeZir’s weight to a minimum: its body is made from Kevlar – think bulletproof vests – while also using a tubular steel frame.

    The DeZir is capable of accelerating from zero to 100 km/h in five seconds.

    The DeZir’s energy efficiency package also includes the recovery of deceleration energy. 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.

    While Renault is gearing up to show the DeZir at the Paris Motor Show, Renault South Africa keeps on celebrating much improved sales after facing a tough decline some two to three years ago.

    The company has recorded a 91% jump in sales of passenger cars for the first six months of 2010, compared with the same period last year.

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