2010 Renault DeZir Concept
Often, concepts as flashy as the Renault DeZir disappear shortly after their auto-show appearances. But the DeZir, a sports coupe concept debuted at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, is not only headed for production, it's going to help anchor a new brand.
Autocar reported last week that Renault plans to spin its Renaultsport division into its own sub-brand. And the DeZir will be the first of two or three independent models that it offers.
Interestingly, the production DeZir is likely to be introduced as a convertible. It is also likely to lose the electric powertrain of the concept, in favor of a more practical gas or diesel powertrain. It is likely to remain a mid-engined, rear-driven coupe, though.
In its 2010 Paris iteration, the DeZir was powered by a 110 kW electric motor connected to a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery. Though modest in size, the motor was able to provide a five-second 0-to-62 mph time thanks to a 1,830-lb curb weight. Renault planted the DeZir on a lightweight, tubular-steel frame and used a Kevlar body to keep weight as low as possible.
While exotic materials worked in the concept, they'll likely be removed for less expensive parts in production. But with a more potent gas or diesel engine, the DeZir won't need to rely so heavily on a tiny curb weight to deliver sporty performance.
In addition to inspiring its own production model, the DeZir introduced new design language--language that Renault says is underpinned by the concepts of "simple, sensuous and warm". The language will be integrated across Renault's line as it introduces future models.
As for the Renaultsport brand, it will continue to produce limited-edition, high-performance versions of Renault vehicles in addition to offering its own low-volume models.