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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

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Renault's Zoe EV zooms into Geneva

2012-03-07 10:29
One of Renault’s missions is zero-emissions mobility. To help it on its way the automaker has revealed its production Zoe at the 2012 Geneva auto show.

The company’s first pure electric car also has what Renault claims is a number of world firsts.

This is the first car, Renault says, to be equipped with Range OptimiZer that improves real-world driving range, depending on driving conditions; another 'first' is the Chameleon charger that allows charging at any level of power for between 30 minutes and nine hours.

It is also the first Renault to be fitted with Renault R-Link, a multimedia system with an 18cm touch-screen tablet, navigation and connected services.


The production version of the electric compact hatchback also shows off Renault’s new design language seen on the Twizy (which Wheels24 was lucky to drive in pre-production form) and the Twingo, while incorporating a number of features used in its cousin, Nissan's Leaf.

Its interior is said to reflect its modern “eco” character with its bright colour scheme and dashboard moulding made to resemble the blade of a wind turbine.

Renault Zoe

WHITE, CHROME AND BLUE: The Zoe's zen cabin is a study in tranquillity, particularly with its striking white finishes.

As for its electric vehicle credentials, the Zoe should be able to cover 210km although this would obviously vary based on driving conditions. Renault’s Range OptimiZer combines three facets – the latest regenerative braking, a heat pump and special Michelin low-resistance tyres – to help the car along.

The 15 and 16” tyres, developed along with Renault, are more energy-efficient and its rubber compound, tread design and sidewalls have been designed to deal with the Zoe’s high torque output.

The car is powered by a synchronous electric motor with a power output of 65kW and instantly (and silently) delivers its maximum torque of 220Nm.

For safer driving in urban areas, it's fitted with an alarm to warn pedestrians (and cyclists?) of the approaching vehicle at speeds up to 30km/h. The driver can choose from sounds or simply turn it off.

Renault Zoe

R-LINK: Renault's R-Link touch screen system makes accessing the Zoe's information, drive and navigation systems easy.

Another of the Zoe’s key features is its new multimedia system called Renault R-Link that allows drivers to control its functions – Renault claims more than 50 applications can be download directly to the car or the owner’s My Renault account – via an 18cm display, steering-mounted controls and speech recognition.

Other functions include an electric motoring and range management system showing energy consumption, a display of energy flows and pre-programming of battery charging.

The navigation system displays information such as the vehicle’s operating radius based on the battery’s remaining range and suggestions for the most energy efficient routes and the location on nearby battery charging stations.

Get the latest from the 2012 Geneva auto show


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