Overview: Renault Dezir

The Dezir concept is Renault’s first project to be led by the Company’s new design chief Laurens van den Acker, and there is — perhaps inevitably, with a new chief designer — much talk of a ‘new design language’. Renault has also made it clear that each successive concept car will preview a production model, although the timescale for a new electric sportster is unknown at this stage.

The Dezir’s front end features a full-width air intake for cooling the battery-pack; rear-end styling is dominated by the air outlet grille. The metallic-finish B-pillars — pinched from the Audi R8 — also carry air intakes. Apparently the Dezir’s front-end styling previews the ‘face’ of forthcoming Renault production models: this will be interesting.

The headlights take the form of backlit prisms. Rear lighting is provided by an illuminated strip that extends across the full width of the car. The Renault logo is highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille and allegedly ‘appears to hover in the middle of this space’. The left- and right-hand doors open in opposite directions: this apparently ‘symbolises a ying and yang-style amorous harmony’. Mmm.

The interior of the Dezir features something we though we’d never see again: a one-piece, two-seater bench seat.

Powertrain

The Dezir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a rear-mid position. The motor is the same as the unit used for Renault’s production electric cars, although development has raised its power and torque outputs to 150PS and 226Nm. Renault quotes a standing-start acceleration time to 100km/h of five seconds.

The vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery is fitted behind the bench seat, and provides the car with a range of 100 miles.

Battery cooling is provided to some extent by the air channelled from the front to the back of the car, but principally by air from the lateral scoops at the bottom of the aluminium panels on either side of the body.

As we have seen with other Renault electric vehicles, there are three ways of keeping the car charged.

  • Charging from a conventional household plug: charges the battery in eight hours;
  • A fast charge using a 400V three-phase supply: charges the battery to 80 per cent. of its capacity in 20 minutes;
  • A fast battery exchange at a Quick Drop station.

Body & running-gear

Weight has been kept to a minimum. The Dezir’s body is made from Kevlar, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed for the Mégane Trophy race car. The Dezir’s suspension also shares certain features with that of Mégane Trophy, including its double-wishbone arrangement.

The Dezir deploys full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser. The result is a drag coefficient of Cd 0.25.

Predictably, kinetic energy recovery is used to boost the battery. Conversely, a button on the steering-wheel allows the driver to deploy an unspecified amount of ‘extra’ power for a short period.

Renault Dezir
Motor: type
— power (PS)
— torque (Nm)
Synchronous
150
226
Maximum speed 112
0-100km/h 5
Transmission Single speed reduction gear
Driven wheels Rear
Battery: type
— capacity
Li-ion
24kWh
Vehicle range 100 miles
Kerb mass * 830
PS/t 180
Nm/t 272
Length 4225
Width 1986
Height 1163
Wheelbase 2582
Track: front
Track: rear
1600
1705
Tyres 245/35x21"
Cd 0.25
* DIN. EU kerb mass = DIN + 75kg.
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