Renault Eolab Concept may cost no more than Clio DCi 90hp

Article by Andrew Christian, on October 27, 2014

Renault’s Eolab ultra fuel-efficient concept, once goes into production, could have a tag similar to the Clio DCi 90hp, chief competitive officer Thierry Bollore revealed to Automotive News Europe. Renault unveiled the Eolab at the Paris auto show earlier this month. Bollore said that production version of the Eolab would not cost more than the diesel-powered Clio DCi 90hp, which carries a price of EUR18,500 ($23,900) in France.

Carmakers in the European Union are building ultra-low emission cars to earn supercredits that could be used to offset higher emission levels of bigger model. According to Bollore, Renault did not expensive lightweight materials like carbon fiber for the 955-kg Eolab since it would be difficult and very costly for a customer fix a vehicle made from such material if it is broken.

He noted that the Eolab is made of aluminum since “everyone knows how to repair it.” Bollore added that some of the 110 innovations in the Eoblab will be used in future Renault cars. The Eolab uses lightweight steel, aluminum and other composites to make it lighter and more fuel efficient.

For instance, the roof is made from magnesium, making it weigh only 4kg. The concept also boasts of an aerodynamic efficiency that its 30 percent better than the Clio, thanks to aerodynamic design elements still not implement on production cars of this size.

These design elements include a variable ride height; a front bumper spoiler that lowers by 100mm at speeds of more than 70kph, limiting airflow beneath the car; rear-bumper flaps that opens at speeds above 70kph to help retain surface contact with air; and side panels that optimizes the airflow around the front wheel base.

According to Renault, these innovations have resulted to a fuel consumption figure of as low as 1 liter per 100km (282 UK mpg; 235 US mpg), and carbon dioxide as lower as are 22 grams per kilometer.

The Eolab is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain -- a 75hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, a clutch-less three-speed transmission with an integrated electric motor, and a 6.7 kWh battery. The concept could travel up to 60km under sole electric power.

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