With groundbreaking design inside and out, Renault’s new electric concept gives us a glimpse of a beautifully autonomous future
French car giant Renault was suffering creative stasis when new design director Laurens van den Acker was appointed in 2009. Reimagining the entire visual language for a car company is a Herculean task, but he managed it and the Trezor ushers in phase two. An advanced carbon-fibre chassis underpins its swooping bodywork, but the real kicker is the Trezor’s all-electric powertrain. Renault has been one of the prime movers in the groundbreaking Formula E race series since its inception in 2014, and the company is also Europe’s bestselling electric vehicle manufacturer. So the Trezor’s 260kW, 350hp motor is battle-hardened and because electric power units deliver all their torque from a standstill, it will rocket to 62mph in less than four seconds.
The Trezor’s exterior channels some of the most influential car designs of all time: Jaguar’s XKSS and Pininfarina’s 1970 Modulo, among others. Its body is covered in tiny little hexagons that change form as they flow into the car’s curves. There are no A-pillars, so the screen wraps around in an uninterrupted flow, like the visor on a helmet.
Yet wood is also a major structural element; there’s a naturally finished wooden frame under the vast bonnet that houses sumptuous leather luggage. The occupants access the cabin via a massive single-piece canopy, which hinges forward on flawlessly engineered struts. Inside, the analogue and digital face-off continues, and though the Trezor’s lipstick-red cabin has a reconfigurable OLED instrument panel, saddle leather and plump carpet are old-school luxury signifiers.
“I think it’s a beautiful object,” Van den Acker says. “We’re a popular brand, and we need to make cars that are easy to like.”
They need to make this.