04/08/2017

Electric ZOE e-Sport re-writes EV rule book

How could they resist? After being wowed by it at March’s Geneva Motor Show the UK motoring media has finally got its hands on Renault Sport’s electric ZOE e-Sport concept and they love it.
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It’s important to re-emphasise that the car is just that – a concept. In other words a glimpse at what the future might just hold.

Clearly with the ZOE e-Sport, Renault Sport has created one of the most exciting visions of electric motoring, even if for now the car is more about fun than range.

Fitted with two motors from its title-winning Formula E car, four-wheel-drive and competition-spec handling it delivers shattering performance.

The Sun’s Rob Gill was clearly bowled over by its speed. “The Zoe e-Sport concept is just wild...” he wrote. “Two Formula E motors (one front, one rear) providing the equivalent of 460bhp. It bangs out 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, 130mph in less than ten. That’s McLaren and Ferrari-fast in a little Renault.”

 

Auto Express’s Steve Sutcliffe was quick to state that while the e-concept is not a production car in waiting it does offer a glimpse of what might be possible in years to come.

 

He reported: “In many respects, it’s a shame the e-Sport won’t go any further, because it flips the idea of an EV on its head. It’s one that has huge power and performance, stunning good looks and a highly amusing four-wheel-drive chassis.”

It wasn’t just the e-concept’s acceleration that stunned those who drove it. So, too, did its handling. Top Gear magazine’s Jack Rix, a fan of early Noughties Clio V6, said: “Like all good Renault hot-hatches this isn’t just grip and go, there are things happening in three dimensions.

“While the steering tells you what’s going on at the front axle, the back is up to something entirely different and all the while you’re pulling the strings with your wrists and feet. Mind suitably focused by the bill if I end up in a barrier, it’s utterly absorbing – hard work and quite fighty, yes – but rewarding nonetheless.”


CAR’s Matt Joy fancied the idea of the e-Sport leading to a sportier standard ZOE on the road, saying: “This is a race car/concept car hybrid and would demand an outrageous sticker price as a result. But what it does is float the idea of a hotter ZOE production car – something that still runs on pure electric but benefits from a little Renault Sport magic. If it captured even a tenth of the e-Sport’s personality it could be a potential superstar.”

Finally, Sutcliffe, writing for Auto Express’s sister title, performance car monthly evo, clearly enjoyed the “utterly beserk noise levels” inside the e-Sport’s which built as he asked more of its electric technology.

After then learning to tame it through the quick stuff, he wrote: “But what I also discover about the e-sport after I calm down in it a bit is that there is traction – and absolutely massive acceleration – the like of which no hot hatch has ever had before. The hit of torque that arrives when you press the throttle is a) enormous, but also b) instant.”