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Renault Eolab Concept Gets 235 MPG, Looks Like a Mostly Normal Car

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/17/2014 Kelly Pleskot

What do you get when you combine a Greek god with cutting-edge hyper-efficient vehicle design? Apparently the Renault Eolab.

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No, the French automaker didn't run out of names or simply mix vowels, but instead it whimsically selected the name of its new hybrid concept based on Greek mythology. The name Eolab comes from the combination of Aeolous (the god of Wind) and Laboratory, and the car is expected to make a huge impact on the company's future. According to Renault, we can expect all the features on this concept to make their way to production cars by 2020.

Thanks to aerodynamic and powertrain work, the Renault Eolab comes in at around 882 pounds lighter than other B-segment hatchbacks like the Clio IV. Aeolous' work can be seen in the car's aerodynamic body, including its active rear spoiler and orange aerodynamic flaps on the rear bumper that open to direct airflow. Its Veloster -like three-door design (one door on the left, and two doors on the right) also reduces weight, and both of the doors are rear-hinged. Active wheels also improve efficiency, allowing for the rims to be covered whenever the vehicle senses the brakes do not need to be cooled. In total, the car has reduced drag by 30 percent compared to a comparable Clio hatch. System.Xml.XmlElement: Renault Eolab concept© Provided by MotorTrend Renault Eolab concept

Another key factor in the Eolab's low curb weight is its body shell, which mixes steel, aluminum, magnesium, and plastic composites. The car comes with thinner glass, lightweight seat frames, and compact seat cushions, which reduce bulk and also add more leg and knee room.

Under the hood, the Eolab utilizes a Z.E. Hybrid powertrain, which combines a 75-hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, a 6.7-kWh battery, and an electric motor housed in the clutch casing. The first two ratios of the automated-manual three-speed gearbox are mated to the electric motor, while the third ratio is linked to the combustion engine. This allows for nine different combinations for the electric and hybrid modes combined. Total output is 142 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque, and drivers can travel for 40 miles on electric power alone in this ultra-low-consumption vehicle, according to Renault. The car is estimated to achieve 282 mpg based on the European cycle ( roughly 235 mpg by U.S. measure ).

Inside, expect a clean-cut interior and plenty of technology. An 11-inch tablet touchscreen is suspended in the middle of the dashboard, and a new instrument panel allows drivers to adjust it in accordance with the selected steering wheel height. Drivers will also have access to plenty of charts and graphs that allow them to track their efficiency.

Renault says it plans to make around 100 technological advances in this new car. Despite all the changes, the company says it wants to keep the car affordable for mainstream buyers. The public will get its first look at the mythology-inspired car at the Paris auto show this October.

Source: Renault

Renault Eolab concept© Provided by MotorTrend Renault Eolab concept
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