Renault’s next big thing? Electric Trezor concept revealed | CAR Magazine

Renault’s next big thing? Electric Trezor concept revealed

Published: 30 September 2016

► Trezor concept previews future Renaults’ styling
► Formula E-based powerplant provides the grunt
► High quality, tech-laden interior for Paris concept

Manufacturers frequently use concept cars to preview new styling themes, signpost statements of intent about a future product line or introduce technological advances. With its Trezor concept, Renault appears to have ticked all three boxes in one go.

Brace yourself for some designerspeak

Recent Renault concepts have given rise to showroom fodder with similar design cues – consider the nose section of the 2010 DeZir show car and look how it’s mirrored in today’s Clio.

The DeZir’s also important because it represented the ‘Love’ petal in Renault’s so-called ‘Life Flower’ design philosophy – the others being Explore, Family, Work, Play and Wisdom. Obviously.

Renault Trezor

With the Trezor, Renault’s revisiting that amorous aspect for the first time. While the coupe’s design reflects much of the latest traits of the French marque’s production metal – think the dominant diamond lozenge and C-shaped DRLs up front, the slender strip of tail light out back, it’s a more muscular, powerful expression than what we’ve become used to of late from la Regie.

Given its recent history it’s a safe bet that much of the look of this car could be on your driveway by 2018, but more likely gracing a crossover than a coupe based on Renault’s current brand thrust.

So should we not expect a rakish Renault coupe, then?

There’s no definite word on that, although Renault is about to re-enter the slinky sports car arena with its reborn Alpine sub-brand in 2017, but the Trezor hints at something altogether more purposeful and powerful.

You can forget the concept’s cantilevered, red-glazed canopy and the custom-fit luggage mounted ahead of the passenger compartment, but the active hexagonal bonnet vents don’t feel especially other worldly.

Renault Trezor

Renault’s main issue is that it’s not a brand Britons typically associate with high price tags – witness the Talisman- and Espace-shaped holes in UK showrooms.

The dilemma is the Trezor’s electric powerplant is derived from that used in the Formula E title-winning e.dams single seater, a series in which Renault’s enjoying infinitely more success than its lacklustre F1 campaign; it could be an intriguing brand halo for the ZE range which we know is going to be subjected to the Renaultsport treatment. It could be the performance if not the execution is more pertinent here.

The numbers certainly look attractive: 345bhp and 280lb ft of torque from zero revs are enough to see a sub-four-second 0-62mph time. In theory. All that momentum’s delivered to the rear wheels with a battery located both fore and aft to instil balance to the chassis.

Olde world meets new tech

Wood and leather instantly invokes a whiff of a traditional British motor car, but for the Trezor French cycle specialist Keim has been responsible for the minimalist timber cabin fittings, said to be of similar strength to modern composite materials.

Renault Trezor

More importantly, the craftsmanship and quality are pointers to what to expect of future Renault interiors – fingers crossed on that being a welcome diversion away from chthonic plastics.

That horizontally themed steering wheel is clearly a hat tip to the Formula E link again, rather than a nostalgic nod to the Allegro’s Quartic.

Nestled jewel-like in its hardwood surroundings is a curved touchscreen said not to require addition backlighting for its OLED display. Like apps on our smartphones the displays are customisable allowing the driver to swipe things they want to look at most nearer their line of sight.

Renault Trezor

Of course, this wouldn’t be a 2016 concept car without much 2020 autonomous car drum-banging, with Renault reiterating its intention of offering self-driving tech at a reasonable price by the start of the next decade.

Click here for more news from the 2016 Paris motor show

By Keith WR Jones

Former managing editor of the Bauer Automotive hub and car brochure library owner