Scheduled for a market launch in 2012, the battery-powered Renault Zoe is one vehicle that flew under the radar at the Paris Motor Show and somehow managed to duck out of view as our cameras made their rounds. Though we didn't catch it live, Renault claims that the images it released are a 90 percent accurate representation of the production model. Good thing, since we're impressed with what we see.
The striking four-door concept comes in at 161 inches long, 70.4 inches wide and 60.6 inches high. Its compact dimensions, hatchback body style and rumored price in the neighborhood of £13,000 ($20,690 U.S. at the current exchange rate) should send the Zoe flying off dealer lots upon arrival. But, if those attributes don't generate sales, then Renault is quite confident that its performance will.
Powered by a 80-horsepower (60 kW) electric motor that cranks out 164 pound-feet of torque, the Zoe scoots to 60 miles per hour in eight seconds, tops out at 84 mph and runs up to 99 miles on a single charge. The Zoe's quick-charge capabilities means that a mere ten minutes of plugged-in time results in 37 miles of additional range. If you're still not convinced that the Zoe is a breakthrough electric vehicle, well, maybe its three-minute battery swap capabilities or perhaps its skin hydration, on-board air quality sensors or relaxing scent diffusers will convince you otherwise. Hit the jump to discover the Renault Zoe. Hat tip to David!
ZOE PREVIEW: THE RELAXING, ZERO-EMISSION EVERYDAY CAR
ZOE Preview provides a realistic glimpse of the forthcoming mass-market Renault electric car of the same name.
A Clio-sized car featuring Renault's new brand identity, including the new front-end signature.
ZOE Preview benefits fully from Renault's electric vehicle expertise:
- It combines specific electric vehicle features (fully-integrated battery, compact motor) with range management and optimisation aids.
- It packs everything expected of a B-segment car, including a roomy interior, a spacious boot, manoeuvrable handling in built-up areas, reassuring road holding when motoring out of town and, of course, attractive looks.
- A climate control system incorporating humidity level adjustment,
- A toxicity sensor for cleaner cabin air,
- An active relaxing or stimulating scent diffuser,
- Light therapy thanks to light emitted by the central display screen.
ZOE Preview is evidence that 'zero-emission' cars can combine sensuous, reassuring, sculpted styling with the promise of real driving enjoyment.
The forward position of its windscreen and the teardrop form of its rear end emphasise the impression of fluidity, while its specific electric-car architecture permit a blunt bonnet and an intake-free front-end which contribute to its compact footprint and efficient aerodynamics.
It stands at just 4.10 metres in length and is powered by a 60kW (80hp) motor with torque of 222Nm that enables it to zip silently through city traffic. ZOE Preview is also ideal for out-of-town journeys thanks to its 19-inch wheels and reassuring, profiled flanks.
 Zero emissions during road use, excluding wear parts
ZOE Preview's battery can be charged in one of three ways:
* Standard charge: This will be the most common method of charging. The Z.E. would be charged at home or at a publically-accessible charging point. A full charge will take between 3.5 and 8 hours, depending on model (Twizy, 3.5 hours and Kangoo Z.E., ZOE Preview and Fluence Z.E. between 6 and 8 hours). For charging at home there are two methods: either a connection via a Wall-Box (this protects the domestic circuit) or an EVSE (Electric Vehcile Supply Equipment) offered as an option. The recommended option is the Wall-Box with the advantages of ergonomics, speed, load optimisation and protection of both the domestic circuit and the vehicle.
* Fast charge: In emergency, when the customer needs to charge the battery quickly, they can connect via a public fast charge point. This will give 37 miles range in less than 10 minutes or 80% battery capacity in 30 minutes. Quickcharge will be available on ZOE Preview and, at a later date, on Fluence Z.E. and Kangoo Van Z.E..
* Quickdrop battery exchange stations: In some countries, Quickdrop battery exchange stations will be available. The customer will be able to change his depeleted battery for a fully-charged battery in just three minutes. This scheme is currently planned in Israel and Denmark, in partnership with Better Place.
A 'Spa Car' for the ultimate relaxing ride
ZOE Preview's equipment package is geared to ensuring the wellbeing of its occupants:
* Skin hydration: conventional air conditioning systems can have a dehydrating effect on skin during longer journeys, but ZOE Preview's smart climate control system automatically adjusts the humidity level inside the car to optimise the comfort of its occupants.
* Detox effect: a toxicity sensor monitors air quality and automatically closes the air vents if necessary. Harmful substances are trapped in the cabin filter to ensure that cabin air stays clean at all times.
* Stimulating or relaxing scent diffuser: an electric system actively releases different scents depending on the needs of the moment (e.g. a relaxing fragrance during the drive home from work or, on the contrary, a scent to stimulate driver vigilance when travelling at night).
This triple-effect system has been developed in association with Biotherm®, the skin biology brand of L'Oréal's Luxury Products Division.
* Audio ambience: special music has been selected in partnership with specialist agency Creative Diffusion, which is associated with Qwartz (International New Music Awards), to harmonise the audio and relaxing experience inside the car.
* Light therapy: the central screen exudes a light that stimulates the energy of occupants and further enhances the impression of wellbeing. This feature forms part of a joint-project with the world-renowned light therapy specialist, Philips.
Renault ZOE Preview - Technical Specification
Standard rims (inches) 7 J 19
Length (mm) 4,086
Width (mm) 1,788
Height (mm) 1,540
Wheelbase (mm) 2,575
Front track (mm) 1,578
Rear track (mm) 1,578
Front overhang (mm) 815
Rear overhang (mm) 696
Kerb weight (kg) 1,392
Specific Michelin tyres
Boot volume (dm3) (VDA) 292
Transmission Direct drive with reducer and forward/reverse inverter
Power EEC (kW/hp) 60/80
Torque EEC (Nm) 222
NEDC combined cycle range 100 miles
STEERING AND BRAKES
Power steering Electric, variable rate
Turning circle (between kerbs) (m) 10.35
Parking brake Electric
Aerodynamic coefficient (CdA) 0.29
Top speed 84 mph
0-62 mph (s) 8.1
(1) The Michelin tyres are specific to the car. They contribute to optimising the vehicle's range and TCU (Total Cost of Usage) and were developed specifically for ZOE within the framework of the joint-innovation contract signed by Renault and Michelin.