Frankfurt Auto Show: Renault Twizy ZE Concept

Just as planned, the French manufacturer took the wraps off its four electric concepts at this year’s Frankfurt Auto Show. The smallest concept displayed in Renault’s booth is the Twizy ZE, which can apparently accommodate two passengers, though many would have thought it will be a one-seater.

Featuring a four wheel chassis, the all-electric concept offers its occupants, seating one behind the other, a zero emissions way of transportation. And, according to its manufacturer, the small bodywork is quite safe, too.

According to Renault, a deformable structure protects occupants in the event of a frontal impact while lateral reinforcement bars provide protection in the case of an impact from the side. The retention systems include a four-point harness for the front seat and a three-point seatbelt at the rear, plus a driver airbag and two lateral airbags.

The small car that looks more like a smart fortwo of the future is powered by a 15kW electric motor that outputs 70 Nm of torque, and with an acceleration performance compared to that of a 125cc motorbike reaching a top speed of 75 km/h. The mobility range can reach 100 km on a single charge.

Measuring just 2.30m in length and 1.13m wide, the Twizy ZE “represents a highly practical solution to the problem of urban mobility.” Access to the rear seat is easy, as the seatback is attached to the roof of the vehicle, allowing the lower part of the seat to pivot. Moreover, the rear seat can even be adjusted to suit the passenger's height.

The body colour wheel fairings are not spherical but octagonal, and cover the tyres entirely. As funny as it may sound, the front and rear ends of Renault Twizy ZE Concept are equipped with a luminous matrix display, consisting in honeycomb-shaped diodes that can also produce 'smileys' which change expression as a function of the message the driver wishes to communicate.

Renault plans to introduce this mobile toy as a production vehicle from 2011, but we will allow ourselves to be a bit skeptic on this one.

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