Thursday, October 14, 2010

Renault DeZir concept

As the first concept under Laurens van den Acker's stewardship of Renault, the DeZir is the first of six 'stages' (read 'show cars') of reconnecting people with the brand. The DeZir, as the name suggests, is designed to make people 'fall in love'.

Van den Acker's brief to lead exterior designer Yann Jarsalle was simple: design a sensual car, based around the brand's new design language. In a rather obvious, but wholly understandable, move the result is a two-seat sports car with passionate lipstick red coachwork.

"To me, passion is the opposite of creating through lines," explains Jarsalle. "When I started sketching, I wasn't drawing lines, but merely reflections." Indeed, the DeZir, alongside the Jaguar C-X75 concept, marks a resurgence of design through volume. The result is a biomorphic, almost human quality to the voluptuousness of the DeZir's bodyside surfacing, where the search for seductiveness has been most successful.

The polished aluminum side blade (Audi R8 references are unavoidable) either precisely dissects or bludgeons its way through the leading rear fender surface depending on your perspective. Jarsalle sees it as offering a clear representation of the side surfacing, while its metallic finish is a clear visual identifier to its mechanical layout.

This panel's perforations are an unusual graphic treatment that, to some eyes, has the unfortunate appearance of a cheese grater. The recurrence of the perforated graphic in the car's DRG is more successful and offers a welcome derivation from more conventional LED use.

Its interior, accessed through asymmetrically-opening doors, continues the sensuous theme, with a stylized bench seat that appears to float above floor finished in a similar, quilted white (wipe-proof?!) material. The almost clinical aesthetic is literally blown apart by its IP, which splits open to reveal its driver interface and red lighting, which bubbles away beneath the surface of the driver's seat. With all the talk of sensuality, it's hard not to see the floating center console as a direct reference to the female form...

As a marker in the sand for Renault's new design direction, the DeZir offers a refreshingly unaggressive, very human take on the well-trodden sports car path. Its DRG is a direct indication of the next Clio's, while Jarsalle insists a Renault sports car is on the cards.


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