A REFRESHING VIEW OF THE CITY CAR

| 2013-04-08 | 0 Comments

Twin’Z is the latest concept car in the programme which sets out to illustrate Renault’s new design strategy. The all-electric car with rear-wheel drive and a rear-mounted motor is a fun, modern, artistic take on the city car.Renault_TwinZ_5

Renault invited British designer Ross Lovegrove to add some design flourishes and the result is an arresting blend of technology and refinement. Ross Lovegrove was given a free hand to imagine a cabin that is truly occupant-friendly.

Renault_TwinZ_11For once, Renault has chosen not to reveal a new concept car at a motor show. Instead, its choice of location stands out as a symbol of its interest in the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, the centrepiece of the Design industry’s annual calendar, as well as evidence of the carmaker’s determination to reach out to an even wider audience by targeting those who are sensitive to Design.

Renault_TwinZ_7Twin’Z is an electric supermini. Thanks to its architecture, which features a rear-mounted motor and batteries located beneath the floor, it frees up exceptional cabin space and delivers high quality handling that makes it a delight to drive. Although only 3.62 metres in length, it’s proportions, high waistline and the way it sits squarely on its 18” wheels, suggest robustness, reassuring protection and quality.

Renault_TwinZ_6Its rear-wheel drive architecture enabled the wheels to be pushed out to the car’s extreme corners to provide it with a solid grounding and large platform. This also gave the car a unique signature and outstanding cabin space in relation to its compact footprint.

Renault_TwinZ_3Front and rear doors are hinged at the front and rear respectively and open electrically. The resulting absence of a central pillar allows the entire cabin to be revealed to the eye and frees up space to facilitate ingress. As an object, Twin’Z is both precious and high-tech, and this is apparent in the touch-sensitive buttons employed to open the electric doors. The conventional door mirrors have been replaced by an integrated video camera that has been aerodynamically ‘liquified’ within the body.

Renault_TwinZ_4The double floorpan has resulted in a high-up driving position, while the driver and passengers alike benefit from an excellent view of the road and surrounding environment. The four lightweight seats have been rendered as small as possible, providing support whilst being lightweight and dematerialised. Their green frames appear to grow naturally from the floor.

Renault_TwinZ_2There is no dashboard, which means that front occupants enjoy exceptional room, as do the rear passengers, thereby ensuring that all the occupants benefit from the same experience. Use of HMIs (Human Machine Interfaces) has been minimised, too, with the conventional dashboard making way for a single tablet with a touchscreen display that is mounted on a centrally-positioned post. Much like a home automation system, the tablet takes care of everything, from the vehicle’s systems (heater, seat adjustment, lights activation, control of the roof) to the GPS guidance system and in-car connectivity. A smartphone located in the driver’s line of sight display’s the vehicle’s speed, range-related information and the principal warning lights.

Renault_TwinZ_9The wheels and tyres have been designed as a single entity. The wheels themselves feature a glowing green finish and their design is based on intelligent growth structures inspired by nature. The solid central core splits into slender branches, which strike out towards the rim. The tyres, which were developed specifically by Michelin, continue this pattern to provide a unity between the two functions.

Renault_TwinZ_1Twin’Z’s all-LED lighting allows controlled light patterns to be obtained and emphasises the car’s lighting signature. The headlight assembly has been reduced to its graphic intent using the minimum of lines. The daytime running lights are technological gems which form a structure of strips redolent of an iris. A sequence of LEDs also extends from the grille to the rear bumper via the roof. A pattern of light originates from the Renault lozenge badge and flows towards the head lights before climbing up over the windscreen pillars, along the roofline and then back down to the rear bumper. This light path creates a magical effect which appears to bring Twin’Z alive. The rear clusters have made way for LED lighting incorporated into the glass. When the driver presses on the brake pedal, the burst of the brake lights climbs gradually towards the roof, for enhanced visibility and safety.

 

 

 

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Category: ELECTRIC CARS, NEWS