Remember the Renault Zoe e-Sport Concept from two years back, the 462-hp all-wheel drive electric hot hatch in matte electric blue paint? Well, according to the automaker’s EV chief Gilles Normand, that project is not quite dead yet.
“The e-Sport was more to test the water, to show that you can make EVs are not boring,” Normand told Top Gear at the Frankfurt motor show. “It was a communication tool that hit its purpose very well. The reaction was very strong. People were telling me – we are interested, can you do something like this?”
Normand said his team has yet to come to a conclusion, but added that the idea did click in his head considering the positive public reception. He added that rival car brands have already identified similar windows of business for the same high-performance electric segment.
Going by Renault Sport’s history of introducing very extreme, limited-edition hot hatches, the publication suggested that the company already has the capability and know-how to deliver some e-Sport models onto the road today.
“Exactly,” Normand responded. “We are working always with Renault Sport and they are connected with the Formula 1 team getting all the technologies. The bridges in our company are very open. Renault Sport represents the ultimate performance car, so how you are able to deliver this with an EV, especially with the current battery chemistry, is the issue.”
Normand explained that the company is working on next-generation solid-state batteries, which it hopes will answer questions regarding durability and affordability in extreme electric vehicles. “Technically we are starting to have some ideas but we have not yet been able to find a good optimum point between all these challenges at a reasonable price proposal,” he noted.
To recap, the Zoe e-Sport is powered by two electric motors, one mounted on each axle, for a total of 462 hp and 640 Nm of torque. It has a 450-kg battery onboard (the chemical composition is unknown as yet), which helps the motors propel this 1,400-kg car from zero to 100 km/h in 3.2 seconds before maxing out at 209 km/h. Impressive figures, right?
It’s tipped to sit on a revised chassis structure, which sees fitment of double-wishbone suspension for all four corners, complete with four-way adjustable Ohlins dampers. The concept rides on 20-inch alloys with centre-locking wheel hubs, shod with 245/35 profile tyres. Other parts include beefier brakes, a flat floor and huge aerodynamic parts such as the rear spoiler, front intake and rear diffuser.
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