A lightweight hybrid with refined aerodynamics
Renault recently released details about the Eolab, the French automaker's plug-in hybrid prototype that can achieve ultra-low fuel consumption.
The designers of the car concentrated on three main areas; reducing weight, honing the aerodynamics and utilizing the “Z.E. Hybrid” gas/electric technology that enables zero emissions for everyday use and attaining a combined cycle consumption of 100 kilometers per liter; a fuel economy figure that has the emissions equivalent of 22g of CO2 per kilometer. The car was developed as a potential answer to France's goal of making cars run at 50km/l by 2020.
The French automaker stated that exterior design of the car is built to cut through the air. The body shell is constructed out of a mix of steel, aluminum and composites, giving the Eolab a curb weight of only 400kg. The magnesium roof of the car only tips the scale at 4kg, saving precious weight that Renault wanted to have. At the front, the car features sleek headlights that are accompanied by a red hued grill design, a front spoiler and aerodynamic air guides that lets air pass through the lower section of the car. The side profile of the Eolab is dominated by curvaceous lines, muscular arches and a sloped roofline. In addition,the Eolab also has a streamlined underbody and short overhangs from both ends. The wheel caps of each wheel are aerodynamically designed that helps the car cut through the air with ease. At the rear, the taillights integrated on the tailgate while a spoiler sits on the roof of the Eolab.
Renault did not publish any official figures and specifications of the Eolab but the weight saving method also seeped in to the car's engine, battery, wheels and brakes among others, allowing the car to use more valuable materials. The tires were provided by Michelin while the braking system was developed by Continental. The Z.E. Hybrid Technology allows the car to travel up to 60km with zero emissions and can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h. In due time, Renault's Z.E. Hybrid tech will be available in the company's future electric vehicle range.
Renault's Eolab prototype will make its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show next month.