The Renault Trezor concept is a two-passenger electric coupé that embodies the next phase of the design philosophy introduced by design director Laurens van den Acker in the 2010 DeZir concept. The DeZir concept’s expressive design, complete with full, curvaceous and emotional surfacing, embodied the renewal of Renault’s brand identity and later went on to inspire production products like the Renault Clio, which launched in 2012.
Now the cycle is beginning again.
With its low and wide proportions, red glazing and contrasting front to rear surfacing, the Renault Trezor concept represents the start of the next stage of the design cycle, which will likely again feature six models that represent the brand’s ideology, as well as it maturity and commitment to cater to the needs of future drivers.
“This concept car is the fruit of a freedom of expression and prepares the way for the trends we are likely to see in our upcoming vehicles,” says Renault design director Laurens van den Acker.
Inspired by the design elements found in the current Renault range, the 4700mm long, 2180mm wide and 1080mm tall Trezor concept’s design language is founded on simplicity, warmth and sensuality, and features innovative carbon bodywork with contrasting surface treatment that was created using parametric design.
The smooth and shiny front bodywork is meant to express the car’s sensual character while the hexagonal panels at the rear are a symbol of the car’s more masculine, sporting temperament and a nod to the technology within.
The hexagonal shapes are repeated on the hood, which features active hexagon-shaped vents to draw in air to cool two batteries, and in the fiber-optic taillamps at the rear of the car. The rope-like fiber assembly integrates a red laser to increase the intensity of the light and create a distinctive visual.
The interior is accessed via a single canopy that opens upwards and forward, revealing a blend of old world craftsmanship, fashion design and technology. To enter, occupants straddle the red leather on the bodyside and simply climb in. Van den Acker likens it to getting on a horse, but it’s also a throwback to classic racing cars, which were largely devoid of doors.
With traditional materials such as wood and leather – all finished in a modern red tone – contrasting the curved display in front of the driver, the interior plays to the user’s emotions. The soft, rounded contours of each individual element enhance the feeling of comfort and relaxation, while the leather straps of the bespoke luggage nestled into the front of the car give it a bespoke, personalized feel that is akin to that of fashion brands.
Made from superimposed thin strips of ash and upholstered in soft red leather, the Renault Trezor concept’s dashboard is the fruit of a partnership with the French firm KEIM-cycles, which is renowned for its custom wooden, high-performance cycle frames. The finished piece is said to be as strong and light as modern composite materials but more organic and warm.
The Trezor concept also acknowledges the paradigm shift taking place in the industry. The car not only looks futuristic, but also features an array of technology and connectivity features within the cabin that will eventually make their way into the brand’s production vehicles.
The cabin’s modern appointments are underlined by a thin, curved touchscreen display, which can be reconfigured to taste. Consisting of three screens — behind the rectangular steering wheel in front and on either side of the driver replacing conventional stalk controls. Users simply enter the vehicle and the car displays all of the information from their smart device onto the screens for a seamless connected experience.
Besides the connectivity features in the cabin, the car also highlights environmentally efficient tech such as an all-electric powertrain, a slippery 0.22 Cd aerodynamic form and the team made a conscious effort to reduce weight. Two batteries — one placed in the front and another in the rear of the car – are also placed strategically to optimize weight distribution.
Though as a whole the Trezor concept is a pure flight of fancy brought to us by the innovative minds of Renault Design, the vehicle also reflects the maturity of the company. Following completion of the renewal of its entire model line-up between 2012 and 2016, the Renault brand today stands out as Europe’s youngest range and is appealing to a younger demographic of buyers once again.
That’s the Holy Grail for the car industry.
The Renault Trezor concept is the embodiment of the next phase of the company’s design progression: it is a multifaceted vehicle in which to discover and explore along with your partner, an emotional concept that plays into people’s romantic notion of the automobile, and a vehicle that can cater to the needs of future drivers, even if they don’t want to drive. And it’s one hell of a design statement.
Watch the video above for more details and an interview with Renault design director Laurens van den Acker himself.
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