Renault DeZir concept car
6th July, 2010
Renault's new concept car, DeZir, will be shown at this
year's Paris Motor Show. DeZir stands out as an illustration of the brand's commitment to more emotional
DeZir's lines and bright red finish express passion. Powered by an electric motor, DeZir is proof that
environmental concern and an enjoyment for cars are by no means incompatible. The DeZir project is the
first to have been led by Laurens van den Acker and marks the start of a sequence of concept cars that will
provide an insight into Renault Design's new vision for the future.
It also lays the foundations for the styling cues of Renault's forthcoming vehicles. The public will
get its first opportunity to see DeZir at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
DeZir: First evidence of Renault Design's new vision for the future
Under the leadership of Laurens van den Acker, Renault's Design Department has taken its inspiration
from the brand's new signature 'Drive the Change!' and explores Renault's styling roots to express the
company's powerful human dimension via a new strategy founded on the notion of the 'life cycle'.
This vision also builds on the bonds that are gradually forged between the brand and its customers at
watershed moments of their lives, such as when they fall in love, start to explore the world, begin to
work, take time to play, start a family and attain wisdom.
This approach coincides with the introduction of a new Renault design language that takes its
inspiration from the three keywords which communicate the brand's vision, namely 'simple', 'sensuous'
In keeping with this strategy, Renault's concept cars will progressively express this vision, paving
the way for a product plan based on a coherent and clear offer.
To implement this, Renault Design has revised its methodology, and a single team of designers will now
be responsible for each new concept car and for the ensuing production model it previews.
Falling in love
DeZir is the first project to be led by Laurens van den Acker and exemplifies the brand's new
philosophy with regard to design. It also marks the implementation of the strategy based on the notion of
'life cycle'. The first step involves falling in love, an experience that is perfectly illustrated by
DeZir's powerful, sensuous styling and bright red finish.
"DeZir is a statement of our new formal design language which conveys notions such as movement,
sensuality and emotion through ideal proportions, in much the same way as an object whose forms have been
honed by nature. The result is a warm, stimulating design that says 'Renault'," explains Axel Breun,
Renault's Director of Concept Car and Show Car Design.
Fluidity was an overriding theme from the initial preliminary sketches, and was expressed by a blend
of simple forms and generous volumes. "My early source of inspiration stemmed from the liquid
sensation, wave-like movement and contrasts in light associated with certain rippled surfaces,"
observes Yann Jarsalle, who was in charge of DeZir's exterior styling. "By directly laying out volumes
and not just joining together a number of surfaces by lines, I felt more in tune with the world of
sculpture than with that of architecture."
The result is a two-seater coupé which is both sculptural in spirit yet perfectly harmonious. DeZir's
shape features prominent wheel arches that accommodate 21-inch wheels, the design of which took its
inspiration from the notion of movement. Meanwhile, the sides feature a combination of flush and recessed
forms that play on contrasting light patterns.
Behind the beauty, an electric car
The 'Z' in the name DeZir is a direct reference to Renault's Z.E. signature, and several features of its
design are suggestive of two qualities readily associated with electric mobility, namely advanced
technology and light weight. Indeed, the recessed, linear styling of the front air intake and the entire
rear-end convey an impression of lightness in addition to efficiently channelling battery-cooling air from
the front to the rear.
To provide rhythm and balance to the overall package, this smooth, fluid skin contrasts with the ripple
effect seen on the aluminium side panels, roof and headlight 'eyelids'. The design of these features alludes
to the ripples which can form when a breeze blows over water, while the geometric pattern adds an
unmistakable high-tech feel.
The prevailing bright red colour of the body interacts with the graphical forms of the cross-drilled
aluminium side panels which equally exude a sense of light weight and technology.
The geometric forms of the glazed areas also contribute to DeZir's easy-to-read overall design and are
reminiscent of a fighter-plane cockpit or certain endurance racing prototypes. The absence of a rear window
is overcome by the fitment of two rear-facing cameras which provide the driver with a panoramic view of
what is happening behind the car.
The creative thinking behind the design of the front-end was aimed at recalling Renault's styling
heritage, while at the same time paving the way for the design trends of the brand's forthcoming models.
DeZir's front-end features a full-width air-intake which strikes out either side of a large, vertically
positioned Renault logo that proudly displays the car's brand pedigree. Meanwhile, the chrome finish of the
lozenge contrasts with the dark aspect of the grille to express the statement still further.
The air scoops situated at the outer extremities of the front air intake are a legacy of Renault's
formal styling language and form an integral part of the air intake's design, as do the headlights which
sit above these scoops.
The front-end design previews the new front-end identity that is poised to become a feature of all
Renault models in the future.
The headlights take the form of backlit prisms, which make them a highly graphic feature. The perforated
'eyelids' add to this high-tech feel and contribute to DeZir's specific lighting signature.
Rear lighting is provided by an illuminated, seemingly floating strip that extends across the full width
of the car. The Renault logo is highlighted by backlighting through the fins of the grille and consequently
appears to hover in the middle of this space.
The gull-wing doors are a feature that reveal a refined interior. The left- and right-hand doors open in
The interior design also suggests lightness. "Love is a sentiment that lifts you; gives you wings,"
says Stéphane Maïore, who was in charge of DeZir's interior styling. "Inside DeZir, you feel like you're
floating on a cloud," adds Stéphanie Petit, Colours and Materials Designer.
The forms are soft and light, while the predominant colour is white, although there are also echoes of
the same passion red used for the exterior. The materials employed for the interior, like the senses
they awaken, are precious, with white leather upholstery and trimming for the seats, dashboard and
floor, along with a red lacquered finish for the console and accessories.
The one-piece, two-seater front benchseat provides cocoon-like comfort. To emphasise the sensation of a
shared passion and lightness, it comprises a number of interlocking elements trimmed in white leather, with
a quilted pattern on the passenger's side, and a contrasting uniform finish on the driver's side, as if to
suggest an inexorable attraction between the two.
The embroidered pattern on the leather is based on a graphical representation of the Renault logo and is
an example of refined of couture a la française. This technique also provides an indication of the coming
trend for future production models.
The interior styling takes its inspiration from the idea of a coming together of opposites:
- the cockpit-style driver's environment contrasts with the ethereal lightness of the dashboard and the
feel of the white leather bench seat,
- the driver's door features a bright red lacquered finish, while the panel of the passenger-side door
is trimmed in white leather,
- the dashboard, too, features contrasting finishes, with one part trimmed in white leather and another
which exudes a more high-tech feel, with a grained effect that recalls the finish of certain exterior
- the white benchseat seems to float on a red-hued bed of light. This lighting gently pulses to a rhythm
that suggests a beating heart.
But couples also seek to protect one another, and the forms of the interior are suggestive of this
notion of protection:
- the centre console seems to present the transmission-mode selection lever to the driver, ensuring
that it is within easy reach,
- the housing of the transmission-mode selection lever reveals luminous petals which indicate the
- the steering column is shrouded in a red housing that extends up to the steering wheel hub itself.
An electric beauty
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 24 kW/h lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat
and provides the car with a range of 160 km.
Battery cooling is ensured not only by the air channelled from the front to the back of the car, but also
– and above all – by the flow of air that enters through the lateral scoops concealed behind the aluminium
panels on either side of the body.
The basic motor is the same as the unit used for Renault's production electric cars, although an evolution
has enabled its power and torque to be uprated to 110 kW (150ch) and 226 Nm respectively.
Three battery-charging methods can be employed:
- 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
- a fast battery exchange thanks to Renault's Quick Drop technology.
In order to optimise range and dynamic performance, Renault Design's technical teams have kept DeZir's
weight to a minimum: its body is made from Kevlar, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed
for Mégane Trophy race car.
DeZir's suspension also shares certain features with that of Mégane Trophy – including a double wishbone
arrangement – to deliver a particularly high standard of handling precision.
DeZir's aerodynamics have been carefully honed, too, thanks to full underbody fairing and a rear
diffuser. The result of this work is a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, as well as outstanding acceleration,
with DeZir capable of accelerating from rest to 100 km/h in five seconds, and from standstill to 50 km/h in
just two seconds.
DeZir's energy efficiency package also includes the recovery of deceleration energy. The technology it
employs is based on the same principles as the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) seen in Formula 1. When
the car decelerates, kinetic energy is recovered and stored in the battery. In the case of DeZir, this energy
can then be employed by the driver to provide a temporary power boost at the moment he or she chooses, using
a button located on the steering wheel.
Driving pleasure is further enhanced by the design of the driver interface. The dashboard visually mirrors
the sensations felt at the wheel by means of a graphic display of data received from the accelerometer and
The central touchscreen display incorporates a smart navigation system that synchronises journey
information with the driver's diary in order to optimise task management and itineraries. Software
incorporated in the dashboard provides drivers with a real-time indication of their energy management
ability via a fun interface that uses video-game style graphics.
A DeZir for music
Within the framework of the provision of an audio signature for the brand's upcoming electric vehicles,
Renault has been working closely with the highly-regarded IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination
Acoustique/Musique, founded by Pierre Boulez in 1969) to define the sound that best reflects DeZir's
Length 4,225 mm
Width 1,968 mm
Height 1,163 mm
Height, with doors open 2,256 mm
Width, with doors open 2,682 mm
Ground clearance 110 mm
Wheelbase 2,582 mm
Front track 1,600 mm
Rear track 1,705 mm
Motor Electric synchronous motor with rotor coil
Power 110 kW / 150 hp
Maximum torque 226 Nm
Top speed 180 km/h
Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h 5 seconds
Acceleration from standstill to 50 km/h 2 seconds
Battery Lithium-ion (24 kW/h)
Range 160 km
Direct, drive, with reducer and forward/reverse inverter
Drive Electric with active differential
Chassis Tubular steel frame
Wheels and tyres 245/35 R 21
Diameter of ventilated brake discs 356 mm (front and rear)
Callipers 6 pistons (front and rear)
Cd (drag coefficient) 0.25
Kerb weight 830 kg