Renault and British designer Ross Lovegrove unveiled the Twin'Z, an all-electric cabon-fiber concept car at Milan's Triennale Design Museum last week. The electric motor on the Twin'Z is rear-mounted and the four 96-V lithium batteries are hidden in the floor of the car; according to Gizmag, "driving motivation to the rear wheels is done by 50kW (68hp) of power and 226 Nm of torque...[and] can achieve a top speed of 130 km/h (80.7 mph)." Reflective of Lovegrove's design language, the car's compact and organic form also draws from the French manufacturer's most emblematic models like the Renault 5 and Twingo.
The Twin'Z is designed for the city-driver in mind—the backseats are integrated into the floorplan and the dashboard is replaced by a smartphone connection to create more space in the cabin. Electric hinges on the front and back suicide doors eliminates the need for the central B-pillar allowing for further access for loading things and people in and out of the car.
The pedestal seats are a waterproof and flame-resistant 3D-woven textile wrapped around a frame for breathability and lightweight comfort. The contrasting topographical lines flowing through the interior cabin are meant to create the perception of more open space— a critical feature for city-bound drivers in compact cars.
One of the most exciting innovations Lovegrove introduced in the car is the embedded LED system flowing from windshield, embedded into the glass roof and continuing down the rear window to the tail lights. Besides serving an aesthetic purpose, bathing the passengers in the glow of lights, the LEDs also accentuate the brake light system and can be programmed to correspond with brake pressure. The LED styling makes the Twin'Z look like an iridescent beetle, it's blue hue inspired by French painter Yves Klein monochromatic "Blue Epoch."
The Twin'Z is the fifth concept car in Renault's Petal project, launched by Senior Vice President of Corporate Design, Laurens van den Acker. The project, which was launched in 2010, highlights benchmarks of human accomplishment—love, journey, family, work, play and wisdom. Lovegrove was asked to explore the implications of Play and is the first in the Petal project to be designed collaboratively with an outside designer.