Electric, Motorshow, Motorsports, News, Hatchback, Hot Hatch

Renault unveils ZOE e-sport concept

A sporty Renault ZOE concept has been shown at the Geneva Motor Show, drawing on Groupe Renault’s three years in the FIA Formula E Championship.

The two-seater ZOE e-sport concept echoes the styling of the latest Renault single-seater race cars, and its colour scheme reflects the livery of Renault’s ‘e.dams’ team. The lightweight body structure is made of carbon fibre, and the car tips 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. Maximum speed is capped at 130mph and it takes under 10 seconds to achieve it. The high torque output is available almost instantly.

Finished in 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 come with a race-inspired central locking nut. The ZOE e-sport concept also has extra-tinted windows with the doors opened by a simple tap on the ‘open’ zone incorporating tactile sensors. The 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.

On the inside, the colours and materials express the car’s sport pedigree. Two Recaro bucket seats are equipped with competition harnesses in a driving position ideal for track driving. A rectangular steering wheel gives drivers the broader field of vision enjoyed by Renault’s Formula E drivers. Black trim is the dominant colour, with a few splashes of blue and – notably for the controls – aluminium. The seats, steering wheel and door panels are trimmed with overstitched Alcantara. As in Formula E, the driver can adjust the powertrain settings and control energy consumption. A dash panel features three zones that permit management of the gearbox, driving mode (four options available) and brake distribution.

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. And, as in Formula e, they feature high-capacity permanent magnet technology to maximise energy efficiency. To exploit all this power, the ZOE e-sport concept’s battery has a capacity of 40kWh.

Also as in Formula E, an air-and-water cooling system with a front-mounted radiator is used to make sure that the battery and control systems operate at the ideal temperature.

A stiff, lightweight structure allows for high performance, with ‘superb grip and handling’ says Renault. The chassis features a tubular steel roll cage with protective Kevlar panels and complies with FIA safety standards - allowing the ZOE e-sport concept to be used on race tracks.

The ‘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.