2010 Renault DeZir Concept
Just two more days to go until the official media day at the 2010 Paris Motor Show.
And even before that, there's a slew of announcements, reveals, receptions, parties, and other festivities, all focused around the first event on the global autumn auto-show calendar.
Following our roundup of the new green production models unveiled in Paris, here's our list of green-car concepts.
Paris will be heavy on all-electric concepts, on both four wheels and two. In fact, every single concept on which we have advance details uses a lithium-ion battery pack and nothing more to move the metal.
There'll likely be a few more unveilings, which we'll bring you as they happen. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on les voitures.
Now this is what a concept car should be! Low, sleek, sexy, bright red, and technically advanced too.
The stunning Renault DeZir concept shows that not all electric cars are sensible, upright hatchbacks. For our money, it might be even sexier than the 2010 Tesla Roadster 2.5 that will also be on display in Paris.
Using a 110-kilowatt electric motor--an upgraded version of the same one to be used in Renault's more sedate electric vehicles, including the Fluence ZE sedan and the Zoe ZE urban runabout--the DeZir will do 0 to 62 mph in just 5 seconds, with a top speed over 100 miles per hour.
We won't see the Renault DeZir in the States, at least under the Renault label. But rumors would have it that the DeZir could appear as a future Nissan or Infiniti model, extending the Nissan-Renault alliance battery electric technology into a segment that, for now, Tesla has all to itself.
Kia Pop electric-car concept, 2010 Paris Motor Show
If you're going to show tiny cars, especially electric ones, European and Asian auto shows are the place to do it. Kia's Pop concept is for an all-electric urban three-seater that measures about 10 feet long.
That's longer than the upcoming 2011 Scion iQ, and substantially longer than the two-seat 2010 Smart ForTwo that currently defines urban runabout.
Thus far, Kia hasn't released a lot of detail about the Pop. Photos show a single piece of glass serving as both windshield and roof, and the front bench seat holds a driver and passenger, a third rider positioned behind them in a single central seat.
The Pop Concept uses themes--including the glass roof and other styling cues--from Kia's previous concept, the sleek Kia Ray plug-in hybrid sedan concept shown at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show last February.
Audi e-tron Concept
This one we don't know much about, so we're running a photo of the previous smaller e-Tron electric sports-car concept (first revealed at the Detroit Auto Show last January), which is widely assumed to be based on the upcoming Audi R4 model.
That mid-engine sports coupe is expected to spawn the all-electric e-Tron variant shown as a concept in Detroit, and perhaps a second model too: a Spyder convertible. Gee, a two-seat, fast, all-electric convertible? Sounds kinda like Tesla to us ....
For more details on the upcoming Audi concept--if it does in fact debut at the Paris Motor Show at all--stay tuned. We'll bring you photos and specifications when we get them.
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Saab 9-3 ePower EV
It's debatable whether this is a concept car or not. Saab plans to build 70 identical electric cars in the first phase of a consumer trial, all of them electric conversions based on the current 9-3 SportCombi--what we call a "sport wagon".
Like so many test programs by major automakers, the Saab 9-3 ePower program puts electric vehicles in the hands of actual consumers so the manufacturer can accumulate data on how the cars are really driven, recharged, and otherwise treated in "real life" usage.
Saab points out that the station wagon's interior space is entirely preserved, with a 3.5-kWh lithium-ion battery pack stuffed into leftover space that used to contain the gas tank, exhaust system, and other components.
A 135-kilowatt electric motor drives the front wheels, and the 9-3 ePower is claimed to reach 62 mph from a standing start in 8.5 seconds, quick for an electric vehicle this large and heavy.
Given Saab's Swedish roots, the carmaker says it is confident their battery pack will provide full power at temperatures as low as -22 degrees Farenheit (-30 degrees Celsius), and deliver a real-world range of up to 125 miles.
2010 MINI Scooter E Concept
Ah, brand extensions. Where would carmakers be without 'em?
The latest consumer object to wear the increasingly dispersed MINI brand is this all-electric scooter concept, which owner BMW claims uses styling cues from the Mini (errrr, round headlights?) and wears the traditional British Racing Green color.
Like the Smart Escooter, the Mini Scooter E uses an electric motor contained inside the rear wheel hub. Unlike the Smart scooter, however, Mini hasn't yet released technical specifications or performance details of its electric two-wheeler.
We do know that it contains an integrated 16-foot charging cord connected to an onboard charger for its lithium-ion battery pack.
The electric scooter is the work of Project i, BMW's advanced-technology group that aims to design more sustainable vehicles, including the Mini E and BMW ActiveE fleets of all-electric test cars. The first volume production car from the group will be the 2014 BMW MegaCity, a carbon-fiber-bodied all-electric urban vehicle.
2010 Smart Escooter Concept
Earlier this year, the 2011 Smart Electric Drive was launched (in small numbers) into global markets. Now, Smart has expanded its notion of "urban mobility" from four-wheeled vehicles to two-wheeled ones.
The Smart Escooter uses a 4.5-k ilowatt (6-horsepower) electric motor inside the wheel hub, delivering 30 mph at most but a generous 62 miles of range. It includes a small photovoltaic solar cell array on the front panel, which might generate enough energy to ... illuminate the instruments? We're not sure.
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