Renault is currently working on hybrid technologies that it may feature in passenger vehicles by 2020, French newspaper Les Echos reported, quoting Marc Bodin, director of powertrain strategy at the carmaker. Bodin told Les Echos that they are studying the gradual introduction of hybrids in their range by the end of the decade.
A spokesman for Renault told Automotive News Europe that the carmaker’s hybrid development work is still in the "exploratory stage," adding that there is still no decision about whether the company will launch a hybrid car model. The spokesman remarked that the carmaker is working on a wide range of hybrid technologies, including a full hybrid drivetrain.
He added that Renault is also developing hybrid technologies for its low-cost Dacia division. He remarked that since they want to make their technologies accessible, an affordable hybrid alternative for Dacia could be in the works if Renault decides to launch hybrid cars.
Renault is also developing hybrid technologies with alliance partner Nissan, which is planning to bring in its first hybrid models in Europe by 2014, according to Les Echos.
The daily said that the production version of the Initiale Paris concept could be the first Renault passenger vehicle to receive a hybrid drivetrain. Initiale Paris was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and provides a glimpse of the replacement for the Espace minivan.
The spokesman remarked that Renault's focus on electric vehicles remains unchanged even if it is working on hybrid engines.
With a length of 4.85 meters, the Renault Initiale Paris is truly a large prestigious concept car that offers a whole new level of interior space. It features a body styling that conveys the vitality of a saloon through its glaring grille and muscular shoulders. Its body styling also exudes the character of a sports utility vehicle, especially through its sculptured wings and its large 22-inch wheels. In addition, the body styling of the Renault Initiale Paris concept communicates the light and space of a multi-purpose vehicle, particularly its glazed surface and groundbreaking roof.
The secret to the contemporary and flowing body styling of the concept car can be traced to the worlds of architecture and aeronautics, two fields that usually optimizes robustness and lightness. For instance, the side windows are shaped like a feather. Designed like an aircraft tail fin, the rear quarter light of the Renault Initiale Paris accommodates motorized aerodynamic screens that could be deployed like the flaps of a tail fin.
A strong graphic design found on several parts of the Renault Initiale Paris help highlight the harmony between robustness and lightness. This graphic makes use of an assembly of diamond shapes, just like that of a beehive, and can be found on the exterior of the grille, the sides and on the wheels. This graphic could also be found on the floor section where the rear-hinged doors of the concept open.