The Renault Memento is a concept study created by Nozomi Okazaki for his Strate College thesis project. While it may look a bit rudimentary with its lack of windscreen and completely open top, the two-passenger concept is notable for a few reasons: It interprets the future of the sports car as an intimate space and it does so while taking into account Renault’s history and values.
Working in collaboration with Renault’s design and management team Okazaki developed the project in roughly six months as part of his exterior design internship at the Technocentre near Paris, France. He created sketches, 3D renders and a 1:5 physical model. In doing so, he also effectively harnessed the company’s expressive details and mantra. But there’s a deeper story behind it too.
In the wake of the pandemic, many employees are now working from home, either on a part-time or a full-time basis. While this new arrangement has its benefits, Okazaki asserts that it also poses some issues.
“Many workers are commuting less in their cars or in public transportation and their house, which used to be the symbol of private time with the family, is now polluted by work,” Okazaki tells Form Trends. “The only way to escape that new routine and still have those precious times with loved ones is to get out and travel. This is where Renault can seize the opportunity to offer a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of traveling.”
One of the standout design elements of the concept is its reconfigurable interior. The car’s seating positions can accommodate three modes/scenarios depending on the user’s desires.
In the Explore mode, the focus is on relaxation. The passenger seat moves backward to heighten the feeling of space and enhance user comfort. In the Thrill mode, the seats align in tandem configuration for a heightened sensory experience during spirited drives and track sessions. The Rest mode was designed for quality time between two users. In this mode, the steering wheel retracts into the door panel and the seats move forward slightly angled towards one another.
The concept is simple, basic even, but that doesn’t render it devoid of emotion. The joie de vivre aspect of the vehicle is evident, from its roadster typology to its expressive colorway and intimate seating. The Memento references the Laguna Roadster concept and the Renault Spider’s joy of driving nature while acknowledging the tandem seating layout of the Twizy urban vehicle and the future-oriented ‘technofiber’ elastic cables first seen in the 2011 Renault Captur concept.
The Renault Memento concept is about enjoying the moment, the pleasure of driving, and most of all, the passion for life. It’s a very interesting, emotional, and sensory design – the perfect antithesis to the current SUV-filled landscape.
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