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Renault DeZir electric concept car

The great-looking Renault DeZir electric concept car

This is the ‘mid-engined’ electric Renault DeZir concept car and it certainly shows that electric cars can be great-looking .

Better still, Renault says that it also lays the foundations for the styling cues of Renault’s forthcoming vehicles. Specifically, the company says that the front-end design previews the new front-end identity that is set to become a feature of all Renault models in the future.

The DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position to optimise weight distribution over the front and rear wheels. The vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the seats (in fact the prototype has just one benchseat) and provides the car with a range of 100 miles.

The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault’s forthcoming production electric cars, although its power and torque are uprated to 110kW and 226Nm. This results in a 0-62 mph acceleration time of just five seconds.

The battery can be charged by:
• a standard charge using a conventional household plug (fully charges the battery in eight hours)
• a fast charge using a 400V three-phase current (charges the battery to 80 per cent of its capacity in 20 minutes)
• a fast battery exchange thanks to Renault’s Quick Drop technology

The DeZir is designed to be as light as possible and so it has a Kevlar body, with a tubular steel frame similar to that used in the Mégane Trophy race car. It also has efficient aerodynamics with a drag coefficient of 0.25.

The two-seater coupé comes with gullwing doors which open in opposite directions; in one of the most over-the-top manufacturer’s press releases for a while, the Renault PR people say that this “symbolises a ying and yang-style amorous harmony.”

There’s no rear window, but instead the car has two rear-facing cameras.

The car will be on display at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.