The Renault Eolab concept, which will debut at the Paris motor show, is claimed to be “much more than just a styling exercise or a mere shop window”.
Renault confidently states the concept car features 100 pieces of technology that could be realistically incorporated into production vehicles over the next 10 or so years.
Unlike the similarly efficient Volkswagen XL1, the Eolab is a Clio-size car with seating for four people. As with the Hyundai Veloster the Eolab has asymmetrically laid out doors, with two doors on the passenger’s side and just one larger door on the driver’s side of the car.
To help the Eolab achieve its 1.0 litre per 100 kilometres target, Renault crafted an aerodynamic exterior with a coefficient of drag of 0.235, which is around 30 per cent more efficient than a comparable Clio.
Like other aerodynamic concept cars, the Eolab replaces wing mirrors with slimline camera pods. There’s also an active front spoiler, Michelin tyres that are only 145mm wide, active wheel covers that open up only when the brakes are running hot, a flat undercarriage, and active aero flaps located in the corners of the rear bumper.
Under the slippery skin, the Eolab houses a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain. At its heart is a 57kW/95Nm 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a 50kW/200Nm electric motor. The electric motor lives within the three-speed clutchless gearbox and is fed by a 6.7kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
The Eolab is capable of electric-only motoring for up to 60km and, depending on the driving mode selected, the electric motor is capable of solely propelling the car at speeds up to 120km/h. No word, yet, on how long the battery pack takes to charge from a standard wall outlet.
The Eolab tips the scales at 955kg, which according to Renault is around 400kg less than a hypothetical hybrid Clio and 20 per cent lighter than an unnamed benchmark vehicle, which we can probably safely assume to be the 1140kg Toyota Prius C.
Rather than ignore cost and employ carbonfibre, Renault has opted to use a mix of high strength steel (body frame), aluminium (subframes), magnesium (roof) and thermoplastics (bonnet and boot) for the Eolab’s body.
Renault also slimmed down the Eolab’s windows, which are 1.5mm thinner than normal at just 3mm thick. All up around 110kg was saved by engineering the Eolab’s dashboard, air vents, headlining, thin shell seats and other components with weight in mind.