The Renault ZOE E-Sport Concept is proof manufacturer’s don’t see electric cars as boring. With two electric motors, the four-wheel-drive E-Sport Concept can race from 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and only weighs 1,400kg thanks to carbon fibre bodywork.
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. 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, 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
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.
The ZOE e-sport concept’s stiff, lightweight structure allows for high performance, with superb grip and handling. 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.
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.
The ZOE e-sport concept accelerates to 62mph from rest in 3.2 seconds. Its maximum speed is capped at 130mph and takes fewer than 10 seconds to achieve it. 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.