You’ve got to hand to the French. You may well think they’re a bunch of Gitane-smoking, Merlot-sipping socialists who’d rather sit in cafes discussing Voltaire over a coffee and a croissant than do any work but, you have to admit, they sure know how to design a car. Case in point – the Renault Trezor, revealed at the Paris Motor Show this week.
The Trezor is a quite remarkable-looking machine and a signal that Renault is going to remain at the cutting edge of automotive design and technology for years to come.
Like many concepts these days, the Trezor is all-electric. However, its high output powertrain is not something straight from the drawing board but is instead derived from Renault’s potent Formula E race cars. The Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS) technology comes from Formula E too and the powertrain churns out 350hp and 380Nm giving it a 0-100km/h time under four seconds. All this, and a drag-coefficient of a wafer-like 0.22, should help the car to reach an as yet unspecified, grin-inducing, top speed.
Inside, as you would expect, there is all sorts of funky business going on. There’s epic amounts of red leather and wood for a start. As for the tech, there’s a futuristic dashboard design which uses ultra high definition displays with a touch-screen that can be personalised, and there’s a spot to store your smartphone from which the car will pick up all its important info and apps and display them on the multimedia display. Other tech includes three driving modes - neutral, sport and the now ubiquitous autonomous - and the whole vehicle, when started up, is scanned electronically to ensure everything is functioning properly. Nice.
Getting in and out of the Trezor looks like a bit of fun too thanks to a one-piece roof that lifts up allowing the driver and adventurous passenger to clamber in. That design has been around for a while (take a look at this Holden Hurricane concept from 1969) but it doesn’t get much of a run these days, and though it might sound tricky for anyone with dodgy knees or a creaky back, at just 1metre tall the Trezor doesn’t offer that much of a hurdle.
Of course, it’s unlikely the Trezor will ever reach our roads in its current form but it’s pretty thrilling to think that this is the direction we are heading. Vive la France!