RENNES, France -- Renault says the Eolab concept that it will unveil at next month's Paris auto show previews fuel-saving technologies that will appear gradually on its production cars before 2020.
The Eolab's fuel consumption is as low as 1 liter per 100km (282 UK mpg; 235 U.S. mpg), Renault said. Its lowest CO2 emissions are 22 grams per kilometer. The Renault concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain that has a 75hp 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine, a 6.7 kWh battery and a clutchless three-speed transmission with an integrated electric motor. The powertrain has a 60km range under electric power only.
The Eolab's fuel economy is beaten by the Volkswagen XL1, which has a plug-in diesel-hybrid powertrain, an aerodynamically shaped body and lightweight materials to limit fuel consumption to 0.9 liters of diesel per 100km. The low-volume XL1, which is built in Osnabrueck, Germany, is the culmination of VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech's aim to build for everyday use a "1-liter" car, so called because it uses one liter of fuel per 100km.
The Eolab’s fuel economy is perhaps more impressive than the XL1’s because the Eolab is a four-door subcompact while the XL1 only has room for two.
To achieve low fuel-use figures, Renault designers focused on minimizing weight and refining aerodynamics. The Eolab uses lightweight steel, aluminum and other composites. The magnesium roof only weighs 4kg, Renault said.
Its aerodynamic efficiency has been improved 30 percent compared with the Clio, helped by design elements such as a front bumper spoiler that lowers by 100mm at speeds of more than 70kph to restrict airflow beneath the car. The rear-bumper flaps also open at speeds above 70kph to help retain surface contact with air that would otherwise slow the car down by more quickly reflecting off the exterior.
Side panels further reduce air resistance by optimizing the airflow around the front wheel base.
Renault said the Eolab was the result of a co-development effort with suppliers including Saint-Gobain, Faurecia, Michelin and Continental. The Eolab was developed to help meet an industry goal set by the French government for the launch of cars by 2020 that use 2 liters of fuel per 100km or less.