Renault’s plan to release an electric performance hatchback remains on course, and it could produce fruit as early as 2013.
The ‘electric Gordini’, uncovered by Autocar in April 2009, will be a higher-powered version of the Zoe supermini, seen in concept form at Paris.
Using Nissan’s higher-output electric powertrain, as used in the Leaf, it could get as much as 134bhp and more than 200lb ft of torque.
“We have a higher-powered version of the car [Zoe] in mind for slightly later in its life cycle,” said the deputy director of Renault’s EV programme, Matthieu Tenenbaum.
At its 2012 launch, the Zoe will be equipped with a 79bhp electric powertrain shared with the Kangoo ZE. Although the ‘hot’ EV will offer higher performance, it won’t suffer a lower officially rated range: “There would be little penalty in range when measured on the standard European driving cycle.”
Renault will spread out the launch of the standard and hot Zoe models, just as it might with hot and standard IC-engined models. “We considered offering two versions of the car from the beginning, but thought it would over-complicate the buying process for early adopters,” said Tenenbaum.