Special Coverage

Paris
Auto Show

PARIS – Renault SA’s concept car for the Paris auto show, the Ondelios, is a diesel hybrid, as are the concepts coming from rival French brands Peugeot and Citroen.

The Ondelios is a 6-seat tourer that expresses Renault’s ambitions for a luxury reputation, but the technical hints it offers for increased fuel efficiency would apply to anything in the range.

Among the concepts that reduce drag coefficient of the 189.0-in. (480.0-cm) long car to 0.29:

  • Smooth sidewalls on the Michelin tires mounted on 23-in. rims.
  • Tire treads that minimize deformation of the contact patch.
  • Wheel hubs shaped to control airflow.
  • Air extractors around the taillights.
  • Steeply raked windshield.

The car has a large rear overhang squeezing to a sharp vertical cutoff that limits turbulence.

The powertrain proposes a mild-hybrid configuration with two 20-kW electric motors. Both are used to regain braking energy and provide acceleration.

Additionally, the rear motor drives the rear wheels when the electronic controls sense a loss of traction up front, and the front motor is used for stop-start operation.

Renault envisions a lithium-ion battery, weighing 110 lbs. (50 kg) and holding 4 kWh to support the hybrid system, and a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The diesel is a 2.0L 4-cyl. making 205 hp. Carbon-dioxide emissions are rated at 120 g/km, the equivalent of 52 mpg (4.5 L/100 km).

Both Peugeot and Citroen also will unveil diesel-hybrid concepts at the Paris show, although neither brand has released powertrain details.

The Peugeot RC also is a grand tourer, with maximum power of 313 hp between the electric and diesel engine. CO2 emissions average 109 g/km, and zero when in full electric mode.

The Citroen Hypnos is a cross/utility vehicle with maximum power of 200 hp, with CO2 emissions of 120 g/km.

An Ondelios technology that may one day see serial production is the fabrication of structural parts from a mixture of flax fibers with resin, which increases recyclable content and the sustainable aspect of manufacturing. Several French universities and research agencies are developing flax fibers for industrial use.

Samsung Group cooperated with Renault on using the driver’s cell phone as the hands-free car key that also alerts the vehicle to prepare the driver’s preferred seat, steering wheel and mirror settings, as well as music choices.

The business-class seats with foot rests, butterfly doors hinged in the roof and extensive use of camera displays on the instrument panel are show-car ideas.