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2017-03-23

Renault showcases EV tech with Zoe e-Sport Concept




The sporty hatch makes the most of electric powertrain experience from the French firm

Renault brought a surprise model to the Geneva Motor Show in the shape of the Zoe e-Sport Concept. Based, albeit loosely, on the all-electric Zoe supermini the concept car draws on Renault's extensive EV expertise and technology developed in the Formula E championship.
With a large number of Zoe's and Twizy's on display, Renault is proud of its electric vehicle achievements, not least because the new Zoe has a quoted range of 250 miles (NEDC) - the furthest of any mainstream EV.
The Zoe e-Sport concept however focuses on performance, with an agressively styled body that looks a perfect fit for the next generation of hot hatches - electric ones.
According to the head of concept cars at Renault, the brief was simply to 'have fun'. With a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, it's safe to say that drivers are likely to have a smile on their face when they put their foot down.
A lightweight carbon fibre body will help with agility, as will the fact that almost a third of the car's mass is made up of the battery pack, which sits in the floor of the car, dropping the centre of gravity. This, along with a wider track, suggests that the Zoe e-Sport Concept will have the handling to match its performance.
Two electric motors provide a combined 340kW of power - almost 460hp - which is considerably more than Renault's Formula E car which produces 270hp. The motors sit one on each axle giving the car four wheel drive, and the Zoe e-Sport concept uses a 40kWh battery like the conventional supermini.
There are four driving modes available which allow the driver to access greater performance or increase the car's range. The balance between drive going to the front and rear wheels can be altered too.
Although a concept car, the Zoe e-Sport has been built to FIA safety specifications. With a roll cage and Recaro bucket seats with competition harnesses, the electric Renault would likely be homologated should Renault wish to build it.
If Renault does decide to take the Zoe e-Sport Concept racing, it would be a great basis for a one-make series - something that Renault has done for years with the likes of the Clio and Formula Renault 3.5 championships.
On top of that, Renault is likely to use the technology developed for the concept in future iterations of the Zoe, with EVs updated far more regularly than conventionally powered models.