Renault’s 282mpg concept car – must be the Eolab
This is the Renault Eolab which recently when on display at the Paris motor show earlier this month. The innovative concept car aims to match Volkswagen’s space-age XL1 for fuel economy and help save our congested cities from chronic air pollution.
The XL1 derived its name from the fact that it has the ability to travel 100 kilometres on one litre of fuel (equivalent to about 260mpg). Renault claims that the unfortunately named Eolab (named after a Greek God but which just so happens to also be a mistimed anagram of Ebola) gazumps this by achieving an incredible 282mpg whilst emitting just 22g/km of CO2.
The Eolab is a traditionally-styled B-segment hatchback about the size of the company’s own Clio. It is constructed from lightweight materials like magnesium and aluminium. Its carefully crafted aerodynamic shape hides the fact that it is powered by an updated version of Renault’s Z.E. (Zero Emission) hybrid petrol-electric powertrain. This mates Renault’s 1.0-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine to a 54bhp electric motor. On battery power alone, the Eolab’s PHEV powertrain will be able to offer about 37 miles of range.
However, the most amazing fact we can point out about the Eolab is that the super-efficient fuel consumption has been possible in no small part due to the fact that the Eolab weighs just 955kg. Yes – that is not a mis-print: 955kg. To put that into perspective, that is 400kg lighter than a typical Clio.
The French company is keen to point out that in total, there are around “100 new, realistic technological developments” contained in the Eolab which could find themselves incorporated into future Renault vehicles. Some of these are quite predictable, such as incorporating lighter body panels and adopting low-rolling-resistance tyres. But there are some other, more futuristic ideas too, such as the hubcaps that automatically transform into solid discs to reduce drag when cooling of the brakes is not needed, or the fact that the ride height automatically lowers at predefined speeds to improve aerodynamics. Even the rear passenger door on the driver’s side has been deleted in a bid to reduce weight.
As it stands, it is unlikely that the Eolab will ever make it into production - sadly. Renault describe their rather cool concept car as “an innovative showcase with an environmental core”.
The Eolab marks a significant change in strategic direction from the point the French car maker had originally taken by becoming an early champion of electric-only power. Perhaps as a result of seeing the success that companies such as McLaren and Toyota have had with hybrids, it has now decided to follow suit.
This is an abridged article especially prepared by First4Auto on behalf of EcoCars4Sale.