Renault - Zoe
The small, upper-range urban car
Zoé: little in size, big in driving pleasure
Renault has chosen the 2005 Geneva Show to take the wraps off its latest concept car, Zoé, a diminutive upper-range urban vehicle which places the accent on genuine motoring pleasure. In response to the public’s demand for compact, appealing, dynamic models, Zoé features a blend of clear-cut lines and rounded forms. Meanwhile, its luxurious, functional interior puts its innovative asymmetry to maximum effect to reveal a true three-seat layout and voluminous boot. Another Zoé innovation is its ‘Pass’ system which will automatically adjust interior ambience to match individual driver tastes. One click will modify the choice of music, settings and overall atmosphere...
Renault has given Zoé its own vision of a small, dynamic, upper-range city car. A modern-day expression of luxury in a compact format, Zoé “appeals through its mature, sensuous curves, its characterful frontal styling and hypnotic demeanour. Zoé is charm personified,” says Renault’s Patrick le Quément, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design.
A small, compact, functional city car
“Zoé is a vehicle designed for city life. It has been shown that cars carry only 1.4 people on average, but two seat interiors are perceived as a constraint. Zoé is therefore a genuine three-seater complete with a boot located behind the driver’s seat, all built into a compact architecture.” Patrick le Quément
A mere 3.45m in length, Zoé is both practical and functional with innovative opening panels thought through for urban use, including kinematics engineered to facilitate access and loading, especially in situations where space is at a premium.
The hatch is raised by a twin opening system, with the rear window and tailgate sliding into each other to keep overall height to a minimum when open while at the same time providing easy access. A further practical feature concerns the rear left quarterlight which can be lowered so small items can be placed on the rear parcel shelf or in the boot.
The motorized passenger door features a two-hinge, three-axis opening system that offers extremely easy access. The travel of the door itself can be selected according to whether access to both the front and rear seats, or just the front seat is required. In this way, the space taken up by the door when open is kept to a strict minimum. Meanwhile, the glazed lateral part of the roof lifts up the instant one of the doors is opened.
Zoé’s interior is exceptionally spacious for such a small vehicle. Its modular three-seat layout makes a number of combinations possible. A starfish-like switch located on the side of the driver’s seat makes it possible to arrange the cabin layout in one of three pre-set arrangements to optimize the way interior space is used.
Special attention has been paid to ergonomics and comfort. The rear of the front right seat features a built-in footrest, while the rear seat can be likened more to a comfy armchair in which the passenger can literally snuggle up. No preference has been given to any one occupant since all three seats offer the same level of comfort, while the cabin comes with numerous discreet storage bins that allow valuables to be concealed.
The replacement of the ‘fourth seat’ by space for baggage allows the luggage of three people to fit comfortably inside the boot.
The sliding front passenger seat and reclining seat back combine to form a platform for the transport of bulky loads.
Elegant, dynamic exterior design
Zoé’s soft lines have an unmistakable charm, while its flowing lines and the curves of its glass panels take their cue from aeronautic design with curved pillars flanking a vast, panoramic windscreen. The two glass sunroofs carry over to the rear in the form of the rear window, the ‘shallow V’-shaped line of which is a hallmark of Renault’s visual identity.
Developed in association with Valeo, the headlamps feature high performance light emitting diodes (LED) which produce an unprecedented sparkle effect. The frosted glass rear lights ensure a particularly soft tone, while the clear glass indicator housings reveal a deeply hued flash. The rear light clusters themselves take the form of crystal spheres complete with transparent, LED-lit rings that contribute to the overall futuristic feel.
The combination of Zoé’s short, steeply-raked bonnet and its Ribera Red body colour highlights the car’s highly dynamic stance, a sensation reinforced by its long wheelbase, short overhangs and wide track. The impression of power and sprightliness is further strengthened by the air inlets on the bonnet which take the form of concentric half circles.
A sprightly engine for genuine pleasure at the wheel
Zoé’s short but distinctively penned bonnet conceals a small Renault petrol engine, a new 1.2-litre turbocharged unit that delivers 73kW and maximum torque of 145Nm. Its first-class efficiency enables it to combine attitude with respect for the environment, while its low fuel consumption ensures remarkably low CO2 emission figures (under 140g/km).
Poetic luxury inside
Patrick le Quément believes that Zoé is in total keeping with the spirit of Renault’s previous concept cars: “Its interior is simple and its layout is easy to remember. Zoé is a further illustration of our ‘Touch Design’ concept which first appeared on Talisman in 2001 before finding its way onto production models.”
The entire cabin focuses not only on an intuitive understanding of its forms but also on ergonomics and simplicity. The thin seats take the form of outspread leaves and are extremely comfortable, while the harmonious dashboard is uncluttered. The centre console houses a variety of controls, including the transmission mode selector, command of the multifunction screen located at the centre of the dash panel, the seat-adjustment joystick and the central LCD screen located within the speedometer dial.
Zoé’s interior ambiance oozes a blend of luxury and technology. The combination of beige ‘kei-light’ leather upholstery and velvety grey paintwork ensures a soft, comfortable, cocoon-like chic. The cabin itself is particularly bright thanks to the two glass roof panels inlaid with LEDs that reproduce a starry canopy when travelling at night. The carpet takes up the same graphic theme as the roof lining with the lines of a printed circuit linking some of the world’s great metropolises… the breeding ground of new trends. The spilled handbag which illustrates the boot mat and the floating impression of the rear parcel shelf made from ‘cloudlike’ materials add a touch of fantasy.
A ‘Pass’ for intermodality Zoé comes with a nomadic ‘Pass’ which enables personal preferences to be memorized with a view to reproducing individual ambiences by selecting favourite music and pre-set seat, driving control and rear-view mirror settings.