French fancifulness: Renault Symbioz concept at Frankfurt 2017

Published: 12 September 2017

► Symbioz concept revealed at Frankfurt
► Shows Renault’s vision for the future
► Designed to drive itself into your home…

Renault is displaying what it reckons to be the future of mobility at the 2017 Frankfurt motor show in the form of the Symbioz concept car.

What makes the Renault Symbioz concept so futuristic?

It’s a concept car, so it’s all about showing off what the future could hold for Renault’s road cars from a styling point of view. But it also represents how the car can be intricately integrated into owners’ lives.

Design-wise, it looks like something from a sci-fi film with enormous alloy wheels, plenty of glass and a hefty amount of LED lights all around the car.

The inside is even more futuristic with big screens, simple, plush materials and very little else. The four armchair-style seats all swivel around to turn it into an on-the-move living room – it’s autonomous, of course.

Renault sees the Symbioz as a self-driving electric car that fits into your lifestyle more completely than ever before. That’s because it can theoretically drive itself into your modern, minimalistic house and interact with other systems.

Renault claims that while it’s sitting in your living room (because everyone in the future will have space for a car in their lounge) charging like a mobile phone would, it connects with homeware such as sound systems and be used as an extra room in itself. The gullwing doors open up to reveal an extra living space that can be moved around.

Of course, it can only be moved around if you’re living in a beautiful Scandinavian-style house that has wide open spaces and a lift up to the roof terrace, as per the one in the picture gallery.

What’s the name all about?

The Symbioz derives its name from the Ancient Greek word for symbiosis which means to live together, the car interacting with its surroundings and integrating into the drivers’ life. And it certainly does that, sitting at the other end of your living room while you cook. Imagine spilling Bolognese all over that lovely fabric on the seats, though.

The Z at the end of the name signifies that the car is a zero-emission electric car; not overly surprising for a concept car designed for 2030.

Is this what my next Renault road car will look like?

The Symbioz has many of the Renault design cues we’re already seeing on its cars, with big LED light units like on the new Megane and Koleos, albeit translated onto larger proportions. It’s quite a sizeable thing (it has to be if it’s going to act as a part-time living/dining area, after all).

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By Tom Goodlad

Bauer Automotive's continuity editor and CAR contributor