Racing fans in the UK have been clamoring for the British Grand Prix to move from Silverstone into London proper for years, and that's almost what they'll get in June 2015 when the nascent Formula E series will race around their streets. It'll essentially amount to a full-scale Scalextric track, but though Renault will power all the cars (for the first season at least), the French automaker – which has been betting big on electric vehicles – isn't waiting around that long.

In the video below, Renault claims to have set up an actual full-scale Scalextric track around the streets of the British capital, modified a pair of Zoe electric city cars and airlifted a couple of supposed contest winners by helicopter to control the cars remotely. Is the footage real? That's doubtful. But does that make it any less fun to watch? Have a look, and then cast your vote right here.



Show full PR text
SCALEXTRIC LIKE NEVER BEFORE AS FULL SCALE ELECTRIC RENAULT ZOES RACE AROUND LONDON STREET CIRCUIT

Following two sensational videos in 2013 featuring customers getting more than they bargained for during a Clio test-drive, Renault has turned its attention to the recently launched ZOE electric supermini with the release of a brand new film. However, as with the Clio videos which have now attracted over five million views on YouTube, all is not quite as it may seem.

Electric vehicles are no strangers to motorsport – either in full-size racing, as Renault will show with its partners in 2014 with the FIA Formula E championship, or in miniature in the form of the ever-popular skirting-board scarring Scalextric models. Drawing inspiration from these two ends of the spectrum, Renault's team hatched an idea to take things one step further and race two full-size ZOEs on a Scalextric track. And where better for the challenge to take place than against the iconic background of central London?

Instead of the usual plethora of exotic supercars, sports and rally cars used in the famous pocket racer formula, viewers will see Renault revamping the underpinnings of its electric supermini to meet the challenge. Compact, stylish, not to mention swift, with instant torque and a 0-31 mph time of only four seconds, its flagship electric vehicle lends itself perfectly to urban racing. It's even perfectly weight distributed, thanks to its batteries housed directly under its core, doing away with the need for even Scalextric's trick Magnatraction™ system.

Among the alterations shown in the film was a reworked undercarriage, including the fitting of specially-designed braids, keeping ZOE on the track, as well as an aerial to enable the car to be remotely operated from the sky.

In the three-minute long film, viewers get to see the track being prepared at night, set for race action early the next morning. At dawn, two lucky online competition winners take flight in a specially chartered helicopter for the occasion to pilot their real-life ZOEs, obviously, complete with their own "throttles".

The race sees the white and black ZOEs do battle along a 1.9-mile specially created track. Taking in several landmarks along the way, it starts at the London Eye on Southbank, it takes in Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, onto Embankment and The Strand, back over the River Thames, this time across Waterloo Bridge, then the BFI London IMAX cinema in the lead-up to the finishing straight alongside the River Thames.

Commenting on its latest bold marketing initiative, Renault UK Marketing Director, Phil York, said, "We really wanted to create something attention-grabbing for our electric vehicle range. Given our passion for motorsport, particularly in Formula 1, and the benefits of electric models in urban areas, racing our flagship model around the streets of the English capital was a perfect scenario. ZOE is eye-catching, cheap to charge, London Congestion Charge exempt, as well as free from emissions and pollutants in use."

Larger and more practical than the average Scalextric car, after the UK Government Plug-in Car Grant deduction, the chic Renault ZOE costs from an affordable £13,995 on-the-road, plus battery hire. The latest information on its full electric vehicle range, including ZOE, is available at http://www.renault.co.uk/cars/electric-vehicles

The creative for Renault's latest production was undertaken by Scorch London and planned by MG OMD, with supporting assets from Publicis. The video went live on YouTube today at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DITjqRmZ7JA


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Obviously fake and yes of course it matters. The truth is quite important even though right wingers fail to recognize that. What Renault should do instead of BS ad campaigns is lower the price of the otherwise nice Zoe to a reasonable level. One that reflects that actual cost and not a punishment price by idiots. A good start would be to keep the current price and forget the bullshit battery lease. That would be a lot closer to fair and would no doubt increase sales quite a bit.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      The Wasp
      • 1 Year Ago
      That was terrible. However, I'd love to see the idea recreated for real with some Ford Raptors in the desert, like the old Super Off Road arcade game.
      D then E
      • 1 Year Ago
      I call BS. That looks to be all CG.
      Paul M
      • 1 Year Ago
      Total and complete hoax: - The windows were blacked out so you couldn't see the drivers (who had "input" from the controllers in the helicopter to inform them roughly how fast or slow they should be driving to simulate being controlled from above). - The end shot with the cars coming off the track onto regular pavement would be impossible if they had a guide fin welded underneath. - The still-frame shot at the top of the article shows the white car being significantly off-center, which would be impossible with a slot car. I'm sure there's more, but I don't feel like wasting my time with another viewing.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Paul M
        How about the fact of a deserted London? No people, other than a handful of Renault people in white coats?
      mickey.bay
      • 1 Year Ago
      This actually happened, they wouldn't let us anywhere near the track, also, they did the lap more than once, they've not shown the whole thing here
      PiCASSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Fake... but interesting concept.
      Jaybird248
      • 1 Year Ago
      Like the authorities would let them do this in the busiest part of one of the world's busiest cities...NOT,
        mickey.bay
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jaybird248
        yeah they did, it was filmed way back when the Olympics was on, so the roads were already loads clearer
      Alfa Pete
      • 1 Year Ago
      1. Where are all the people on the streets? 2. What happened to the track at the start/finish line at the end of the "race"? 3. Fun nonetheless.
      Mitt
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even the concept is stolen from the 2012 swedish national lottery commercial. http://youtu.be/-yEwHPmh88A
    • Load More Comments