Pictures, News and reviews on the fantastic world of French Concept Cars from Renault, Peugeot and Citroen
Renault Concept Cars
The Zoe Zero emission (ZE) concept car is described by Renault as a compact Saloon car, although seems to have the appearance of a hatchback / coupe crossover. The concept car features a 73 horsepower electric motor that gives a range of 100 miles, with a weight of 1400kg and a length of just 4.1 metres – similar in size to the current Clio model. The concepts looks seem highly stylised and unlikely to reach production in the current form, but Renault has pledged to manufacture the Zoe with deliveries starting in summer 2012.
The Twizy ZE concept car is by far the smallest of the four Zero Emission vehicles launched by Renault at the Frankfurt show in 2009. It is a compact electric vehicle even smaller than a Smart Car that is designed for use in urban areas for the commuter. It is a 2 seater, and the ambition may be to register it as a “quadricycle” to allow people with only a motorcycle license to drive it.
Weighing in at only 420 kg, and with a length of just 2.3 metres, the Twizy concept car is incredibly compact and does without such niceties as side windows. It has a 20 horsepower electric motor which could give a theoretical range of 60 miles before recharging. It’s top speed of 46 mph means that it is not ideal for motorways, but for commuting around Europe’s larger cities and parking easily it could be ideal. Renault hopes to launch the production version in summer 2011.
The Kangoo Concept is the second of four ZE – Zero Emissions vehicles that the manufacturer is looking to put into production, with the Kangoo scheduled for launch in 2011 – how close it will be to this concept has yet to be seen, but stripping away some of the show car glitz, could see a Kangoo in both car and van form arriving looking not too dissimilar to this.
The Renault Kangoo concept features the same 95 horsepower electric motor as the Fluence, giving a range of approximately 100 miles, but with significantly cheaper ownership costs as the Kangoo is very much the budget van based people carrier in the current range. It could provide low cost transport for businesses who use smaller vans to transport good to clients.
Renault produced a string of ZE (Zero Emmissions) electric vehicles for the 2009 Motor Shows, shown at Frankfurt. The Fluence is the largest of the four, and the most conventional – a mid sized saloon car sitting somewhere between the Laguna and the Megane in the Renault range. It is fully electric featuring a 95bhp motor with a range of 100 miles from the battery pack and a kerb weight of 1600kg.
The Fluence has a few concept show car features such as the over the top lights and interior, but in terms of the style is very much production ready. Renault has announced it is looking to put the Fluence into production in summer 2011, with customers leasing the battery packs from manufacturers to help absorb the high initial costs of ownership.
Whilst Renault usually displays its new concept cars at Geneva, Paris, or any of the other large European Motor Shows, it showed its ambition to extend into other emerging markets with its Dacia brand at the Sao Paulo Auto Show in 2008. The Sand’up is Renaults first concept car to be designed purely in South America, and it is powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine that can also run on ethanol.
The Sand’Up takes the Sandero’s basic shell, adds a front end more typically seen on other Renault cars like the current Scenic (rather than the more curvaceous recent styling seen on other concepts like the Megane Coupe) and adds big wheel arches, see through glass doors, huge roof rails and an open rear end to give the car a rugged outdoor feel similar to a beach runabout.
The Renault Ondelios concept is the manufacturers interpretation of a high end crossover utility vehicle for the future. It offers up to 6 seats, with a body style somewhere in between conventional estate, people carrier and 4×4, and helps Renault address the thorny issue that most French manufacturers have in building executive cars – they don’t sell as they don’t have a German luxury badge on the nose. the Ondelios displays an alternate route the manufacturer could take to avoid competing head on with the likes of BMW etc.
The Renault features huge full body length gullwing doors giving a massive side opening making it easy for passengers to get in and out, it has a carbon fibre body to lower weight, and a diesel hybrid engine for better fuel economy with 2 electric motors – one at each axle.
Renault’s design director, Patric Le Quement said “We think of it as made from a single material, where the body and glazed areas merge into one. Ondelios is a glimpse of what the automobile might be in the medium term future.” unfortunately with expensive items like carbon fibre and gullwing doors, the Ondelios is never likely to get even remotely close to making production.
Renault showed off more advanced plans for its next Megane replacement at the Geneva Motorshow in 2008 with this – the Megane Coupe Concept car. The prototype follows on in styling terms from what we have seen with the Nepta and the Altica concepts, particularly in front end styling, with smooth curves defined by their flowing creases.
The Megane Coupe concept also has the gullwing style doors that separate the glass from the main door panels when lifting – which sows of a fantastic “twin wing” effect, that unfortunately would be both heavy and expensive to make, so will not see production. what we will see is the name though, with Renault set to follow other manufacturers like Vauxhall in launching the 3 door version of the popular hatchback as a “coupe” model, with more obviously sporting looks than the 5 door.
Renault Unveiled the new Nepta Concept Car at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, and it’s a stunner. A $ seater convertible with gullwing doors. This remarkable concept has gullwings that hinge both above the bonnet and rear trunk, meaning no conventional side doors, just a huge electrical motor hinged side opening that powers above the occupants heads.
When the gullwings are lifted you also get a glance of the stylised engine – in this case a 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine with 420 horsepower. The Rest of the design is similar to what we have seen from Renault recently – smooth curvaceous lines with nothing too outlandish – in fact if you were to significantly compact the front and rear overhangs – the car gives a brief glimpse of what the next Renault Megane cabriolet might look like, even if nothing like the Nepta will ever make production.
The Renault Altica Concept was first shown to the world at the 2006 Geneva Motorshow, and is the brands view of a sporting estate car, in the mould of the “Fastback” – a Coupe-Estate crossover car. the Altica has several standout features, such as the large butterfly style doors, the checkerboard rear glass which at a casual glance seems to be stickers but on closer inspection is actually glazed rear windows, a panoramic windscreen and glass roof.
According to Renault, the “Altica strikes a successful balance between flowing and sporty lines. This car is an original and futuristic vision of the sporty estate car, while its graphic identity is both bold and innovative.” the concept utilizes the manufacturers 2.0 litre diesel engine with 177 bhp, but other than that there is little that will actually make production – the car does however give a few hints towards the style of forthcoming models such as the replacement for the Megane.