If you love seeing what zany ideas French automakers come up with, you’ll be happy to see both Citroen and Renault have new concept cars waiting in the wings.
Let’s start with Renault’s little ditty, which it calls the Twin’z. The car made its debut at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano show in Modena, and was designed in collaboration with Welsh industrial designer Ross Lovegrove. Lovegrove’s team contributed finishing details for the Twin’z’s exterior, along with the entire interior.
Outside, the Twin’z is clean, fluidic, and a touch retro, thanks to a few cues – including the front fascia graphic and rear hatch -- pulled in from the iconic Renault 5. 18-inch multispoke wheels are wrapped in custom tires with sidewall patterns that echo the wheels themselves, while a sequence of LEDs spans the length of the glass roof, and ultimately function as tail lamps as they stretch into the hatch.
Lovegrove says the Twin’z’s soft form and blue hue are meant to evoque looking at Earth from space, but his interior resembles a hallucinogenic nightmare. The suicide doors and lack of a traditional dashboard helps invite people into the cabin, but the repetitive rings of yellow light may just sear your retinas. If not, you’ll get to control the car’s subsystems through a touchscreen tablet interface, which replaces conventional physical controls.
The Twin’z is, in fact, an electric vehicle. A 50 kW electric motor drives the rear wheels, and is powered by four lithium-ion battery packs spaced evenly below the floor. Renault says the concept has a top speed of 81 mph, a range of 100 miles, and a curb weight of 2160 lbs. The Twin’z uses a tube-frame chassis, carbon fiber bodywork, and – amazingly – Ohlins adjustable dampers at all four corners.
Will that sort of advanced hardware make it into a future volume B-segment Renault any time soon? Not likely, but do expect the next-generation Twingo subcompact to bear more than a passing resemblance to the Twin’z’ – at least, from the outside, anyway.
We also expect Citroen’s new concept car to influence future production vehicles, especially within its premiere DS portfolio. The DSX Wild Rubis, which will debut at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, should give us a hint at what Citroen’s new crossover – designed to rival the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 – should look like. This teaser video allegedly does just that, but reveals precious little, apart from a tall stance, jewel-like headlamps, and a muscular hood.
Source: Citroen, Renault