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The Renault Zoe e-sport Concept is the hot electric hatch of your dreams
Formula E tech, two seats and 456bhp. Sign us up
If it hasn’t been said before, let’s say it now – never underestimate the ability of the French to make wonderfully insane cars from otherwise mundane hatchbacks. There was the Renault 5 Turbo, for instance, or the Peugeot 205 T16, or even the V6-powered Clio.
Now that we’re in the electric age, these are a thing of the past, right? Er, no. Meet the Renault Zoe e-sport concept.
It has not one, but two electric motors, good for a combined 456bhp and 472lb ft of torque. That means a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, which is pretty impressive, but it’s the 0-130mph dash in less than ten seconds that really has our attention.
But that’s only one (admittedly headline-grabbing) part of the story. The e-sport isn’t just a name chosen at random – it’s a bonafide electric sports car, with genuine racing tech.
There’s a tubular steel chassis to keep the e-sport strong, and lashings of carbon fibre and kevlar keep the weight down to 1400kg, even with 450kg of batteries on board.
And, to make sure none of the power is squandered by wheelspin, the e-sport concept is all-wheel-drive. Four different drive modes adjust the power delivery and distribution – we’re hoping that a 20:80 front to rear setup is available, for maximum drift.
To make sure that all this joyous power doesn’t end with an insurance claim and a story to tell down at the pub, the e-sport gets a much wider track, as well as dual wishbone suspension all around, controlled by four-way adjustable Ohlins dampers. Now, for those who don’t know how you can adjust a shock absorber four different ways, it has to do with two variables – high and low speed shocks – and how the damper responds to the compression and rebound stroke. Simple!
Renault also says there’s “suitably large brake discs”, but doesn’t enter into the discussion any further. So, they’re… um, probably really good. Surely.
Moving on to the styling, and you’ll notice that the familiar Renault Yellow gets only a passing mention on the e-sport, teamed with a hue known as ‘Satin Blue’. It’s the colour of the Renault Formula E car, which differs from the sky blue, deep navy and jet black worn by the F1 team over the years.
The e-sport’s 20-inch wheels use a race-style centre locking nut, for peak track day cred – or as much as you can muster in an electric supermini – and Renault says the windows are “extra-tinted”, which can only be a good thing.
The eagle-eyed among you may have spotted a lack of door handles on the e-sport. This isn’t a design oversight, though – there are apparently ‘open zones’ that respond to a “simple tap”. Handy.
You want one, right?