2010 Paris Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Renault will debut its DeZir concept coupe at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
- DeZir is a two-seater with gullwing doors that open in opposite directions.
- The red and white electric car is the first product of Renault's new design boss.
PARIS — If Renault's new design boss, Laurens van den Acker, wanted to make a powerful statement, his team's first effort — the DeZir concept — appears to be a dazzling success.
Slated to make its public debut this fall at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, the DeZir is a two-seat coupe with gullwing doors that open in opposite directions, a red-and-white color scheme and an electric motor that drives the rear wheels.
The French automaker says the fluid shape of the DeZir "lays the foundations for the styling cues of Renault's forthcoming vehicles" and that the vehicle's debut "marks the start of a sequence of concept cars that will provide an insight into Renault Design's new vision for the future."
The company said its new design language draws inspiration from three keywords: simple, sensuous and warm. It didn't fully explain the DeZir name (apparently it's supposed to be pronounced like "desire," which is, in fact, "desir" in French), other than to say the Z refers to Renault's Z.E. nomenclature for its zero-emissions vehicles.
To keep weight down, the DeZir's body is made of Kevlar, with cross-drilled aluminum side panels. Curb weight is only 1,830 pounds.
The car is built on a tubular steel frame, with double-wishbone suspension, similar to the setup used for the Megane Trophy racecar. The DeZir rides on 245/35R21 tires and features a full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser to help cut aerodynamic drag.
The car's mid/rear-mounted electric motor makes 148 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque. It draws its energy from a 24kW/h lithium-ion battery that provides a range of 100 miles. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph takes less than 5.0 seconds, and top speed is 112 mph.
The battery is cooled via air intakes in the nose and side panels. It can be recharged from standard household current in about 8 hours or quick-charged to 80 percent of its capacity in 20 minutes. The DeZir also employs a kinetic-energy-recovery system, similar to KERS in Formula 1, that provides a brief power boost at the touch of a button.
Among the concept's design elements is an oversize representation of the Renault logo that is backlit and seems to float in the middle of the front end. Two rear-facing cameras help offset the lack of a rear window.
In contrast to the car's hot-red exterior, the cockpit is trimmed in white leather and red lacquer, with a unique one-piece/two-person bench seat.
Edmunds.com says: Might have been more appropriate to unveil this one on Valentine's Day. — Paul Lienert, Correspondent