Video: Renault’s Formula E-Powered Hatchback

As part of the push to popularize electric sports cars, Renault’s doing what it can to blend city-friendly cars with a formidable amount of power. The Renault ZOE is light, tiny, and economical, but generally very dull from a performance standpoint. What happens if you fit two Formula E motors to the nimble machine and give an eager driver 460 horsepower to play with?

Though this ZOE e-Sport is a concept car and not for sale to the public, it does show that the electric car is never going to wow the audience at large without the option of a hot hatch. The Buck Rogers styling and claimed performance figures of 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 125, which is reached in just 10 seconds, should silence the scoffers. This thing sounds frighteningly fast.

Photo credit: Renault

The tube-frame chassis, designed by TORK, offsets some of the battery weight and provides the rigidity needed to put that power down. The whole package weighing in at a respectable 3,200 pounds. It’s suspended by Ohlins dampers, and uses a clever transmission with four settings to offer a strong compromise between usability and performance.

The space-age cockpit looks stunning—whether the production version can retain it is doubtful. Photo credit: Renault

It’s a design exercise that hasn’t quite given us a clear look at where performance-oriented, large-volume hatchbacks are headed, but we’re waiting impatiently to see. The combination of a short wheelbase and the electric torque and response offered could be a potent cocktail.

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About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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