The Zoe is the sort of whimsical concept that makes the Geneva Motor Show so much fun. The diminutive city car is based on the precept that, on average, cars carry only 1.4 people per trip, but that consumers are nonetheless put off by the perceived limitations of two-seat cars. Thus the hatchback Zoe is a three-seater, with the rear seat area split between a single seat and an expanded cargo space. "No one currently offers a three-seater," says Patrick le Quement, Renault's design director. "It seems like a formula that could work." The rear chair is separated from the cargo area by a sweeping curve of a divider which looks like that of a Victorian-era courting bench.
The Zoe's interior is awash in light from glass roof panels that flip up whenever the doors are opened, and Renault stresses that all seats offer the same level of comfort, with the rear passenger enjoying a built-in footrest and a seat that Renault likens to a comfy armchair. The driver's-side door swings open on hinges, while the passenger-side door slides. A T-shaped junction between the rear part of the roof and the windshield header assures structural rigidity even with the lack of a B-pillar. The curved glass roof panels, which le Quement says would be easy enough to do for production, have LED star lights embedded in them. The left rear quarter-window can be opened via the keyless remote for easy loading of cargo into the trunk space. The 11.3-foot-long Zoe is powered by a 100-hp, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine. "The Zoe is one of my three favorite concept cars that Renault has done," says le Quement.