“At first glance, Eolab concept expresses the concept of aerodynamics,” explains Axel Breun, Renault’s design director of concept cars. “Above all, it must be a desirable, flowing, sensual object, heralding the design trends that we can expect to see in the near future.”
Even when it is subject to strict design constraints in pursuit of very low consumption, concept cars must still capture the imagination.
The concept is therefore aerodynamic and appealing, compact but spacious, high-tech but not utopian. Yet some of the design features of Eolab concept prefigure trends that could find their way onto production models, Renault says.
The four person interior is accessed via two doors on the passenger side and a single door on the driver’s, a requirement to minimize weight and increase passenger safety.
Made to resemble a cocoon, with slim, lightweight seating created by OEM supplier Faurecia mounted on central rails, the curved and floating elements combine to create an overall sense of space and lightness. This is further amplified by the contrasting colorways and the horizontal aluminum panel that extends out of the car to support the rearview camera, which also conceals an indirect air circulation system negating the protrusion of airvents.
The consistency of the design is exemplified with the pixelated pattern of the seats, IP and side panels echoing that of the front bumper, while the contrast stitching is the same fluorescent orange color as the exterior bodywork.
A new HMI system was designed to involve the driver in experience of driving an the environmentally-friendly car. The system is split into two areas: a height adjustable curved OLED instrument panel — that moves in accordance with the height of the steering wheel — and an 11-inch touchscreen multimedia display in the center.
Acting much like a tablet, the central interface display can be positioned vertically or horizontally. It’s screen is divided into display areas, with an image sourced from the rearview camera at the top and all of the multimedia system’s controls at the bottom. The multimedia tablet also includes a real-time display of the main factors influencing fuel consumption to help drivers drive more economically and a visualization feature should the user wish to see the Eolab’s technological features activated when the car is standing still.
The fact that Renault’s designers were closely involved with the Eolab project from its inception is clearly obvious. They pushed the parameters to perfect the car’s design and paid significant attention to detail in order to optimize aerodynamics and weight. With its sloping roof and slender rear end, the concept car astounding frugality is well masked. We look forward to seeing it in person in Paris.