Skip advert
Advertisement

New hot Renault ZOE RS electric car to replace Clio RS

A Renaultsport version of the electric Renault ZOE is in the pipeline and our exclusive images preview how it could look

A Renault Sport version of the ZOE electric hatch is being eyed up as an indirect replacement for the Clio RS, Auto Express can reveal. Bosses at the firm told us a successor to the hot Clio is no longer a viable business proposition, and that a hot ZOE is currently the favoured option within the company to plug the gap.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Renault previously flirted with the idea of a performance-based EV back in 2017 when it showed the ZOE e-sport concept. The running prototype featured technology learned from the French firm’s efforts in Formula E; a twin-motor set-up delivered 454bhp and a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds, but the concept was never intended to be put into production.

Renault ZOE e-sport concept review

However, Ali Kasai, Renault’s executive vice-president of product planning, told us that future Renault Sport models have to be in keeping with the brand’s electrification strategy.

“We need to be in line with the current trends; we have to invent the future sporty cars. This is the role of Renault Sport, to be innovative,” Kasai said. “ZOE, that concept, it is exactly what we were thinking and we still think. That car was appreciated by many people, they loved it, they want to buy it from the feedback we get.”

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The latest ZOE is powered by a 52kWh battery that drives a 132bhp electric motor on the front axle. A range of up to 245 miles is claimed. There are various ways in which Renault Sport could develop a more performance-focused model; the first would be to sacrifice some of the car’s range while adding a more powerful electric motor. Another avenue would be to fit an additional motor on the ZOE’s rear axle.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Opinion: "An electric hot hatch is something we should all look forward to"

Kasai added: “The question is what is the performance? What is the range of that car? How would it be on track? Renault Sport is a serious player, so if we do the car it has to have the performance. But if it can only do one lap of a track and then it has to go to a charging station, well that’s not what we want to do.”

One of the defining factors why Renault bosses are leaning towards a hot ZOE is the collapse in a business case for the Clio RS. Kasai said ever-tighter CO2 emissions targets made bringing the vehicle to market at an affordable price unachievable.

“Today a Clio RS would need very elaborate technology to reach lower CO2 levels. And by keeping the high performance necessary for such a vehicle, you would have to charge such a big premium that those customers would be mostly unable to afford it,” Kasai told us. “At the moment, even if we love sporty cars, as is our history, we can’t find the solution to that equation – it’s impossible.

“Also, looking at the competition, we don’t see many rivals.”

Click here for our list of the best electric cars currently on sale...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Best used electric cars 2024
Best used electric cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Best used electric cars 2024

Looking to join the electric car revolution but have a smaller budget? Here are our best used electric cars to buy
24 Jan 2024
Best used small cars 2024
Best used small cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Best used small cars 2024

Our guide to the best used small cars, covering the top second hand city cars and superminis
16 Jan 2024
Top 10 best learner driver cars 2024
Best cars for learner drivers - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best learner driver cars 2024

Easy to drive, affordable, and inexpensive to run, these are our top 10 used cars to learn in
4 Jan 2024
Best cheap company cars 2024
Best cheap company cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Best cheap company cars 2024

These are the best company cars for a limited budget
19 Dec 2023

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built
Porsche 911 S/T - front
Road tests

New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built

Porsche’s last hurrah for the 992.1 generation 911 is an epic driving machine with just the right dose of luxury
12 Jun 2024