New performance hatch will be based on the Zoe concept which is slated to go to market in 2012. Renault promises there won't be much of a compromise on driving range for the higher output model.

Renault is planning an electric hot hatch based on the Zoe concept (pictured here), according to British magazine Autocar.

The French automaker is on track to produce a performance-oriented electric car by as early as 2013.

The electric drivetrain would be derived from sister brand Nissan's Leaf EV model, but tuned to a higher level of output - around 134bhp (100 kW) and more than 200 lb-ft (271 Nm) of torque, Autocar reports.

"We have a higher-powered version of the car [Zoe] in mind for slightly later in its life cycle," said Matthieu Tenenbaum in the Autocar story, deputy director of Renault's EV development program.

The Renault Zoe electric hatch is due for launch in 2012. It will come with a 60 kW (79 bhp / 80 PS) electric motor with 222 Nm of torque and has a range of around 160 km or 100 miles.

Renault will roll out the hotter variant later on, perhaps in 2013, and promises there won't be much compromise in driving range on the higher output model.

"We considered offering two versions of the car from the beginning, but thought it would over-complicate the buying process for early adopters," Tenenbaum told Autocar.

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