Cars such as the Tesla Model S and NIO EP9 have proven to the world that fast road cars still will exist once electric vehicles outnumber their internal combustion-powered rivals. Now, though, Renault has proven fast EVs won’t just come in the form of $100,000-plus supercars.
Renault on Tuesday debuted the new 460-horsepower ZOE e-Sport Concept at the Geneva International Motor Show, according to a press release. The hot version of its all-electric subcompact three-door hatchback is the first example of Renault applying the knowledge it’s acquired from its participation in Formula E to one of its existing models.
Since FE’s inaugural season, Renault e.dams has been the team to beat due to its prior experience with road-going EVs. The company said the ZOE e-Sport is meant to bridge the gap between its electric single-seater and its current lineup of EVs, though it seems to lean more toward the race car — and not just because it shares the same paint scheme.
Not only does the e-Sport boast two electric motors that produce almost twice as much power as a FE racer, but it also weighs just 3,086 pounds, thanks to Renault’s use of carbon fiber bodywork. Combine that with slick tires, and it’s no surprise the e-Sport can reach 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, before hitting its 130 mph top speed less than 7 seconds later.
Inside, Renault fitted the e-Sport with a full FIA-spec roll cage and protective Kevlar panels, allowing it to be used at a track. That additional safety is important considering the hatch’s slick tires are forced into the pavement by the downforce that’s generated from its front splitter, flat underbody, race-inspired rear diffuser and a carbon fiber spoiler.
To ensure the ZOE e-Sport also can perform on the road, it has four-way adjustable Ohlins dampers, four driving modes and double wishbone suspension that Renault says maintains optimum camber “in all situations.”
While not every future hot hatch will be as extreme as the ZOE e-Sport Concept, Renault at least showed us it will be possible.
All photos via Renault