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Renault To Produce DeZir Roadster Under New 'Renaultsport' Brand

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On: Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 8:56AM | By: Chris Weiss

Renault To Produce DeZir Roadster Under New 'Renaultsport' Brand

Generally speaking, I'm not that interested in Renault. Or Peugeot or Citroen, for that matter. Not because of some dumb, misguided disdain for the French, but simply because I know that I won't be able to buy one here in the States. Or see one on the road for that matter. So why get attached?

But the DeZir concept that launched at last year's Paris Motor Show was just too fetching to ignore. Smooth curves. Can't-miss red paint job, Electric powertrain and Kevlar body panels. It refused to be missed.

Even the bottom-line-minded execs at Renault couldn't ignore the DeZir's sex appeal for long. The company has confirmed production for a DeZir-inspired roadster. In fact, it's launching a whole sports sub-brand.

Renault will spin its Renaultsport division into its own brand, making the DeZir roadster its debut car—the perfect car to base a sports brand around, if you ask me. Renault plans to use the brand to build more exclusive, low-volume cars with a focus on performance.

According to Autocar, a Renault insider stated that a production DeZir is "highly probable." Indications are that it will be a convertible and will be quite expensive.

The DeZir concept was an ultralight coupe with a 110 kW electric motor and lithium-ion battery. Seated inside a 1,830-lb. car, that motor could push drivers to 62 mph in 5 seconds. The low curb weight was achieved with elements like spaceframe construction and lightweight Kevlar body panels.

While nothing is confirmed in terms of powertrain, the production DeZir is likely to drop the electric motor and li-ion pack in favor of a more traditional gas and/or diesel engine(s). Autocar speculates that the car might feature the 200-hp 2.0-liter mill from the Renaultsport Clio. The production model is likely to carryover the mid-engined, rear-drive layout of the concept.

The production model is also likely to drop expensive components seen in the concept, like the Kevlar body panels. Expect its curb weight to take a substantial leap. Hopefully it won't drop too much of the look though.

The Renaultsport brand is likely to get another unique model or two, in addition to continuing its role in offering high-performance, limited-edition versions of Renault models


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