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Renault DeZir Concept Gets Green Light




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.

[Autocar]

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