After giving the pint-sized Zoe electric city car a 41-kWh battery for a 250-mile (400-km) range, Renault is showing the EV’s sporty side at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. Featuring a racy carbon fiber wide body, the E-Sport Concept proposes the idea of an all-electric small sports car with all-wheel-drive and massive 20-inch alloy wheels.
In a bid to shave off even more weight, the engineers have removed the Zoe’s rear seats and combined carbon fiber with Kevlar during the concept’s construction. The end result is an EV that tips the scales at 1,400 kilograms (3,086 pounds), including the 450-kg (992-lbs) battery pack. Thanks to a pair of electric motors, the little electric car delivers almost 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts) and an instant torque of 640 Newton-meters (472 pound-feet).
As you can imagine, stuffing so much electric muscle in a relatively light car transforms the E-Sport Concept into an absolute rocket. It needs a mere 3.2 seconds to get from 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) and hits the electronically top speed of 130 mph (210 kph) in less than 10 seconds.
With a double wishbone suspension, wider tracks, large brakes, and Öhlins four-way adjustable dampers, it’s a proper sports car. The go-faster theme continues inside the cabin — accessible by simply tapping on a designated area — where Renault has installed a pair of Recaro bucket seats with racing harness and controls inspired by those found inside a Formula E car.
Sadly, the E-Sport is strictly a concept for the moment as Renault isn’t saying anything about the prospects of doing a production model. Nevertheless, the Geneva showcar could provide a glimpse of an all-electric hot hatch destined to arrive in many years from now with plenty of power and without having to worry about range anxiety.
For now, Renault describes the E-Sport as being “something midway between a production model and a racing car.”
Gallery: 2017 Renault Zoe E-Sport Concept
ZOE E-SPORT CONCEPT: RENAULT’S ELECTRIC CAR RACES AHEAD
- Two-seater ZOE e-sport concept draws on technology developed for Formula E Championship.
- Twin electric motors provide 340kW (nearly 460bhp) and torque of 640Nm.
- ZOE e-sport concept powers from standing to 62mph in 3.2 seconds. 130mph is reached in under 10 seconds.
- Use of carbon fibre and kevlar allows weight of just 1,400kg, including battery (450kg).
- Lowered ride height, wider tracks and four wheel drive provide exceptional cornering ability.
- Double-wishbone suspension, 20-inch wheels, bigger brakes and Öhlins four-way adjustable dampers.
- Cockpit has Recaro bucket seats with racing harness and Formula E style controls.
- Four driving modes allow drivers to choose balance of performance and range.
- Renault is Europe’s leading EV manufacturer.
The Renault ZOE e-sport concept car revealed at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show showcases Renault’s commitment to the ongoing development of electric vehicles.
Based on the all-electric ZOE’s supermini platform, ZOE e-sport concept draws on Groupe Renault’s three years of success in the FIA Formula E Championship. This all-electric single-seater series, fought on challenging street circuits around the world, has proved a popular and accessible way for the public to enjoy high-performance electric racing.
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 the 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.
“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
“At Renault, we believe that electric cars are capable of addressing the needs of all types of customers, with the emphasis on driving enjoyment… The Renault ZOE e-sport concept is a stunning expression of this!” Éric Feunteun, Director, Electric Vehicle Programme
Renault launched a full range of EVs in 2012 and continues to stand out as the market leader today. The brand continues to explore every facet of electric motoring thanks to a programme spearheaded by the ZOE.
The Renault ZOE is an all-electric car that delivers a smooth, agile ride. Uniquely enjoyable to drive, it is built to the highest environmental standards.
The New Renault ZOE premiered at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and marks an important step in the development of mass-market electric vehicles. Its driving range is 250 miles (NEDC), equivalent to real-world range of around 186 miles in summer and 124 miles in winter. The New Z.E.40 battery takes the worry out of charging the car while opening up a wider spectrum of journey options. The New ZOE also comes with a new, improved suite of connected services to make electric motoring easier, including Z.E. Trip and Z.E. Pass.
Sporty styling with Renault’s hallmark French design
The ZOE e-sport concept’s 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 feature contrasting angles highlighted by 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 sport pedigree. Black 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.
Built for speed – and great handling
The ZOE e-sport concept’s stiff, lightweight structure allows for high performance, with superb grip and handling. Like the Renault e.dams Formula E single-seater, the bodywork is made from carbon fibre. 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.
Inside, the ZOE e-sport concept has two Recaro bucket seats equipped with competition harnesses and 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.
As in Formula E, the driver can adjust the powertrain settings and control energy consumption. The dash panel features three zones that permit management of the gearbox, driving mode (four options available) and brake distribution.
Energy efficiency from Renault Sport’s unique expertise
The ZOE e-sport concept’s powertrain is inspired by technologies developed by engineers at Renault Sport Racing and Renault e.dams.
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.
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.
The ZOE e-sport concept also benefits from Renault’s Formula E experience in terms of optimised power delivery to the wheels. Renault-developed power electronics govern battery energy accurately and dynamically to meet the driver’s needs at any time. Energy management is completely configurable and adjustable after each drive or during race weekends.
The electronic settings offer four driving modes that adapt, depending on whether the driver wants performance or a longer range. They can also be tailored to suit different types of circuit and driving styles, adjusting the power delivery between the two motors to place greater emphasis on front- or rear-wheel drive.
Renault Sport Racing: #1 in the FIA Formula E Championship
In addition to its status as an expert in both electric road cars and electric motor racing, Groupe Renault is one of the driving forces behind the growth of the FIA Formula E Championship. It has been involved in the series as a technical and sporting partner since the competition’s inaugural season in 2014/2015.
Renault e.dams is the team with the highest number of titles in the FIA Formula E Championship, setting the standard in the discipline with two Team crowns, one Driver’s title, plus 10 race wins.
The Renault team is led by four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost and DAMS founder Jean-Paul Driot.
Its drivers for Season 3 are the defending champion Sébastien Buemi and Nicolas Prost, and the team is targeting further glory in 2017.
Renault e.dams benefits from the technical support of Renault Sport Racing, Renault’s motorsport department which has enjoyed successful campaigns in every form of motorsport.
The Renault Z.E.16 single-seater features a SPARK-Renault SRT_01E chassis and is powered by a Z.E.16 powerplant developed by Renault Sport Racing at its facility in Viry-Châtillon, near Paris. This powertrain is one of the grid’s most powerful and technically advanced units.
Race-inspired suspension ensures superb handling
The design and set-up of the ZOE e-sport concept’s chassis benefit greatly from the expert input of Renault Sport’ Racing’s specialists and their work on Groupe Renault’s most extreme performance cars.
Built by TORK Engineering, the tubular steel chassis is based on those used by Renault Sport cars competing in hill climbs and ice races.
The ZOE e-sport concept has a lowered ride height, wider track and four-wheel drive to guarantee maximum cornering stability. The double-wishbone suspension front and rear was developed for racing and maintains efficient axle geometry in all situations.
The Öhlins four-way adjustable dampers are another by-product of motorsport and can be adjusted to suit different circuit types or driving styles, like those selected for the Renault Mégane R.S. 275 Trophy-R.
The ZOE e-sport concept’s large, 20-inch wheels are able to transfer all the car’s significant power to the road. Fitted with 245/35 R20 tyres, they are an unusual sight on a racing circuit. Suitably large brake discs ensure competition-style stopping power.
Electric motors deliver instant acceleration
The ZOE e-sport 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 electric powertrain does not have the jolts or loud noise emitted by an internal combustion engine. Like those generated by a Formula E car, noise levels are limited to the sounds of the transmission and tyre scrub.
ZOE supermini offers unrivalled range
The ZOE supermini is now available with a high-energy-density Z.E. 40 battery, and this large storage capacity converts directly into an extended range of 250 miles (NEDC). This translates to a real-world range of 186 miles in summer and 124 miles in cold winter conditions.
When fitted with the Z.E. 40 battery, the ZOE boasts the longest driving range of any mass-market fully electric car, yet it is still the market’s most affordable electric car. Orders have risen by nearly 40 per cent in Europe since the new version was released in October 2016.
Since 2015, the ZOE has been fitted with an all-Renault motor that combines outstanding efficiency with optimal electronic battery management, which restricts the level of electricity consumption on the move without reducing power.
Driving a Renault electric vehicle is punchy, smooth and reassuring. The all-electric ZOE delivers all these sensations thanks the brand’s EV technology and to management of the delivery of power to the wheels, geared toward driving enjoyment. The ZOE takes a fresh approach to electric mobility by ensuring a dynamic, noise- and vibrations-free experience, with no gearshifts required, and it emits no carbon dioxide or other regulated pollutants during road use.
The ZOE delivers its full potential instantly in the form of crisp, jar-free pull-away and mid-range acceleration performance. High torque is available from very low revs. The R90 motor delivers peak torque of 225Nm in a fraction of a second, allowing the ZOE to accelerate from rest to 31mph (50kph) – the most frequently used range when motoring in built-up areas – in just four seconds.
Being able to pull away swiftly from traffic lights, along with slick manoeuvring in slow-moving traffic and safe overtaking are all facilitated by the ZOE’s immediate response.
The ZOE makes range anxiety a concern of the past. In addition to routine daily journeys, this extended range means the ZOE can also be used for longer trips
Renault’s leading position
Renault tops the electric vehicle sales charts in Europe in a consistently expanding market. Renault is still the only carmaker in the world to offer a commercially available comprehensive range of electric vehicles to cover a wide variety of uses.
- More than 100,000 Groupe Renault electric vehicles are already on the road.
- More than one electric vehicle in four sold in Europe in 2016 was a Renault.
- The ZOE was Europe’s top-selling electric car for the second year in a row.
- There’s an electric car for everyone, from the Twizy city car and ZOE supermini to the Kangoo Z.E. light commercial vehicle.
- At the 2017 Brussels Motor Show Renault announced that the Kangoo Z.E. Van will receive significant improvements to its range (168 miles NEDC) and charging system from the Summer of 2017 and a new Master Z.E. large van will be made available from late 2017.
- Groupe Renault was the first European carmaker to launch all-electric vehicles back in late 2012 and its strategy is to continue developing mass-market electric cars.