Four passenger EOLAB can travel 100 km (62 mi) per liter of fuel,while emitting just 22 g/km of CO2
10/16/14 5:00 am chumakdenis 1
A new Renault concept vehicle will debut at next month’s Paris Motor Show with an arsenal of astonishing facts and figures.But before we begin,I would recommend to watch short ad below.
Ok...here we go.
The EOLAB concept is the French carmaker’s vision of how a realistic and affordable hatchback will appear within 10 years, and features almost 100 technological innovations aimed at reducing fuel consumption, largely through weight saving and aerodynamics.
Capable of achieving the same landmark fuel economy as Volkswagen’s engineers recently realized with the XL1 - namely one liter of fuel burnt for 62 miles travelled, or 282 mpg in Europe - the EOLAB emits just 22 g/km of carbon dioxide.
To achieve these figures it uses a one-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor powered by a lithium ion battery pack. The latter is capable of providing 41 miles of zero-emission driving range or assisting the engine in hybrid mode.
“Today, most of the market’s hybrid vehicles are higher segment cars with a price tag of more than €40,000. The solutions showcased by EOLAB are much more economical and enable hybrid technology to be used for smaller cars and on a much bigger scale. Our objective is to produce a car with two power sources for the price of one,” says Jean-Pierre Fouquet, ZE Hybrid Innovation Project Leader
Reduced overall weight and awesome design of the concept
Renault has managed to reduce the overall weight of the concept to just 955 kg - roughly a third lighter than cars of a comparable size on the road today.
To achieve this the EOLAB has asymmetric doors, a 4.5 kg magnesium roof, thinner windscreen glass that saves 2.6 kg, thinner interior plastic trim containing air bubbles, aluminium running gear, a center-exit exhaust, and redesigned brakes that save 12.5 kg yet suffer no loss in retardation power.
In total, 130 kg was saved in bodywork, 90 kg in trim and equipment, 70 kg in suspension, 60 kg in the car’s powertrain, and 20 kg in electric equipment. The battery adds 145 kg, although the car’s modest kerbweight and streamlined body means that only a small 6.7 kWh unit is required.
The EOLAB also has active air suspension that can adjust its ride height as much as 25 mm. At higher speeds the car reverts to its lowest setting to limit the amount of air passing underneath it contributing to drag. At the same time, a spoiler that extents 10 cm towards the road at speeds above 44 mph restricts airflow further.
While Renault’s designers wanted fully covered alloy wheels at all time, this isn’t possible because of the need to cool the brakes. As a clever compromise, the rims are fitted with temperature sensors that cover the wheels when the brakes don’t need cooling but open up when they do. The car’s overall drag coefficient is 0.235, which is remarkably low for a family hatchback.
Those wheels are shod with 145 mm-wide tyres that are narrower than even the ones found on the BMW i3. A custom tread pattern and optimized casing from supplier Michelin have resulted in incredibly low rolling resistance but very little loss in overall grip.
Two versions of EOLAB
Renault will debut two versions of the EOLAB in Paris, and for good reason. “A technology demonstrator is rarely attractive. And a concept car is rarely realistic. That’s why we decided to develop two vehicles as part of this project,” says Patrick Lecharpy, one of the company’s research and development chiefs.
“The concept car emphasizes the visual aspects of the demonstrator and seeks to take design solutions a bit further under the final authority of the design department, while the prototype design came under the authority of the engineering department. The aim was for technology and desirability to go hand in hand, to avoid a result that would be high-tech but cold.”
Renault’s holistic attitude to vehicle efficiency is representative of a wider trend in the automotive industry. BMW has already evidenced plans for sustainable lightweight design with the carbon fiber i3 and i8 cars, while Tesla’s upcoming Gigafactory will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources.
Should the technology within the EOLAB concept make it into production in the near future, however, and at the affordable level that Renault is claiming, a direct rival would likely be found in PSA Peugeot Citroen’s Hybrid Air technology,which uses compressed air to aid a gasoline engine.