Renault ZOE e-sport hints at a possible electric hot hatch

Based on the platform of Renault‘s humble electric car, the ZOE e-sport two-seater concept sports a lightweight body structure made of carbon fibre with the car tipping the scales at just 1,400kg, including the battery (450kg). This minimal weight in addition to excellent aerodynamics, power close to 460bhp and torque of 640Nm, helps the car to accelerate from standstill to 62mph in 3.2 seconds.

The concept was displayed for the first time at the Geneva Motorshow where the connection to Formula E is immediately apparent thanks to a colour scheme inspired by the reigning champion Renault e.dams team’s 2016/2017 livery. The dominant colour is Satin Blue with flashes of yellow on the door mirror and the front and rear bumper beading. The bumpers, lip spoiler and headlight/air intake surrounds have a carbon fibre finish.

The 20-inch diamond-cut aluminium alloy Sport wheels have a two-tone finish in black and Shadow Chrome. These rims come with a central locking nut.  The overall design retains traditional Renault styling cues, plus elegant flourishes from higher-end high-performance models. The ZOE e-sport concept has extra-tinted windows. Its doors are opened by a simple tap on the ‘open’ zone incorporating tactile sensors.

The headlights carry over the C-shape that has become a hallmark of the latest Renault models. The prominent vertically mounted backlit Renault front and rear diamond logos echo the styling of the Renault TreZor concept car unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

Inside the cabin, the colours and materials express the car’s sporting intentions with a mix of black and blue hues on the Alcantara trimmed Recaro bucket seats, which are equipped with competition harnesses with a driving position that is ideal for track driving. A rectangular steering wheel gives drivers the broader field of vision enjoyed by Renault’s Formula E drivers.

Built for speed

The ZOE e-sport concept’s stiff, lightweight structure allows for high performance. The chassis features a tubular steel roll cage with protective Kevlar panels. It complies with FIA safety standards, allowing the ZOE e-sport concept to be used on race tracks. Outstanding aerodynamics are achieved with the aid of a front air dam, flat undercarriage, a Formula E-inspired diffuser and a large carbon fibre tailgate spoiler with a linear braking light.

Two motors deliver a total of 340kW – almost 460bhp. By comparison, rules laid down by motorsport’s governing body the FIA, limit Formula E single-seaters to 270bhp. The two motors are identical, with one at the front of the car, the other at the rear. To exploit all this power, the ZOE e-sport concept’s battery has a capacity of 40kWh, similiar to the revised Renault ZOE roadcar which nows comes with 41kwh of battery.

The four-wheel drive concept accelerates to 62mph (100kph) from rest in 3.2 seconds. Its maximum speed is capped at 130mph (210kph) and takes fewer than 10 seconds to achieve it. The high torque output of 640Nm (320Nm per motor) is available almost instantly. Electric motors deliver all their performance the moment they are activated, and it takes only a few tenths of a second for the ZOE e-sport concept’s motors to reach 4,300rpm. The acceleration is linear, uninterrupted by gear changes.

“The brief for the Renault ZOE e-sport concept couldn’t have been simpler: ‘Have fun!’. So we came up with something midway between a production model and a racing car… It’s perfect for lovers of extreme driving sensations!”

Stéphane Janin, Director, Concept Car Design

 

The Founder of driveEV. A driving and new technology fan enjoying learning all about the future of motoring. I drive a BMW i3.