Renault working on a roadster based on DeZir Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 22, 2011

A roadster based on the DeZir Concept will mark the start of Renault’s plans for its Renaultsport division to become a stand-alone brand with its own unique models. Renault will build on Renaultsport’s reputation for fine-handling hot hatches rather than revitalizing the classic Alpine badge. In an Autocar interview, Renault product manager Beatrice Foucher said that Renaultsport is “key to Renault’s strategy.”

She explained to Autocar that Renaultsport has loyal followers and is already considered by some owners to be a brand in its own right, something that Renault wants to develop even further. Renault will continue to work on derivative versions of the Mégane but it will also establish specific models only for Renaultsport (in small volumes).

Nevertheless, Foucher wanted to emphasize that no decision has been taken yet. She acknowledged that Renaultsport may possibly support “two or three” unique models beyond its breathed-on hatchbacks.

It’s likely that this lineup will begin with a version of the Dezir, which previewed Renault’s new front-end styling. The concept will have an influence on Renault’s entire next generation of models (such as the Clio that’s expected to debut at the 2012 Paris show).

However, one senior insider said it is now “highly probable” that a version of the sports car will enter production. The source also said that the car would be a convertible, but would be produced as a limited-run Renaultsport model. The source said that the car will be expensive but so far, a price tag of £30k has been rejected. Foucher was asked if a production Dezir would be offered as an EV.

Foucher replied that she dreams to be able to sell EV sports cars. According to Autocar, the production car is expected to keep the concept’s spaceframe construction and rear-drive, mid-engined layout, but features such as the lithium ion battery pack and Kevlar panels will make it too costly.

Renault has given a sneak preview of its latest release, the Renault DeZir, before the 2010 Motor Show in Paris opens. This concept car exemplifies the brand’s commitment to more emotional styling, which makes it stand out.

The sensuous lines as well as bright red finish of the Renault DeZir convey passion. Equipped with an electric motor, DeZir proves that love for cars and concern for the environment can go together. Laurens van den Acker spearheaded the Renault DeZir as his first project, which marks the beginning of a concept car series that will give insight into the vision of Renault Design for the future. In addition, it sets the basis for the upcoming Renault vehicles’ styling cues.

The public will have the chance to view the Renault DeZir for the first time at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

Renault DeZir: Proof of Renault Design’s Future Vision

Renault's Design Department, under Laurens van den Acker’s leadership, has been inspired by the brand’s new 'Drive the Change!' signature and explores the styling roots to convey Renault’s powerful human dimension by means of a fresh strategy based on the “life cycle” concept. In addition, the vision is founded on the relationship that is slowly built between the company and its customers at the turning points of their lives like when they begin to work, discover the world, fall in love, start a family, take time to have fun and acquire wisdom.

Such a move coincides with the start of a new Renault design language inspired by three keywords that express the brand’s vision: simple, sensuous and warm.

In line with this approach, the brand’s concept cars will gradually convey this vision to pave the way for a product plan founded on a clear and sound offer.

Renault has modified its methodology to implement this and a team of designers will be in charge of every new concept car, including the resulting production model it previews.

The first project to be headed by Laurens van den Acker is the Renault DeZir, which embodies the brand’s latest philosophy in terms of design. At the same time, it implements the strategy founded on the concept of “life cycle”. The first step entailing falling in love is an experience best shown by the sensuous, powerful styling of Renault DeZir, finished in bright red, a color usually associated with passion.

Renault DeZir makes a statement for the brand’s latest formal design language which expresses notions like emotion, sensuality and movement by means of ideal dimensions in a way similar to an object with forms shaped by nature. The outcome is a warm, inspiring design that is distinctly Renault, according to the brand’s Director of Concept Car & Show Car Design Axel Breun. Fluidity was the dominant theme right from the preliminary sketches and this was conveyed through the merging of simple forms and generous volumes. Yann Jarsalle who is responsible of the DeZir's exterior styling, says that he was inspired by the flowing sensation, wave-like motion and light contrasts of certain rippled surfaces. By using a direct lay out of volumes instead of lines to join a few surfaces together, Jarsalle felt more accustomed to the world of sculpture than architecture.

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