Courb is a relatively new car manufacturer which presented its first concept, the C-ZE, in 2009. The C-ZEN is a French acronym for “C’est Zero Emission Nocive,” which means no harmful emissions. Back then, the company didn’t say if it had plans to develop a production version, but after only two years, it made the announcement that its C-ZE received a few updates and is ready to be launched in showrooms.
The production version of the compact electric vehicle was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and is powered by a 15kW electric motor, paired with a pack of Valence lithium-iron-magnesium-phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) battery packs.
With its compact dimensions and the ultra efficient drivetrain, the Courb C-ZE was developed to appeal to young buyers who are searching for a small city car for daily or occasional transportation.
The Courb C-ZE will be launched on the market soon with a starting price of 25,000 euros. Besides its compact speedster, the company is also working on an electric utility pickup which will be offered at 18,000 euros.
Hit the jump for more information on the Courb C-ZE.
Since the Courb C-Zero was built to appeal to young drivers, it features a pretty sporty design language. Unlike other boring EVs, the Courb Xero actually looks good and we especially like the flared fenders which enhance its bold appearance.
The headlamps, as well as the taillights, pop out from the fenders, giving the car a pretty unique appearance. Since we are talking about an electric vehicle, there is no front grille, but instead of the grille, you get a U-shaped design element painted in a different color than the body. This element accentuates the sharp lines of the nose and copes great with the bumper and headlights.
On each side of the hood, there are two thick strips which extend low into the bumper and also meet with the A pillars, forming a long contour line which traverses the entire roof, follows the line of the rear pillars, and finally stops when it intersects with the high waistline.
Both front and rear wheel arches seem to be attached to the body rather than being a part of it. They are also part of the same block, as they are united by a thick side skirt, making the vehicle look like a dune buggy.
Despite the compact exterior dimensions, the interior is pretty spacious, offering decent amounts of head- and leg-room.
Seated inside Courb’s first EV, you are met by a rugged dashboard which doesn’t make a good first impression. Fortunately, a closer look reveals that the company has used good materials and the fit and finish is also much better than expected.
Courb tried to make its cockpit look more upscale by throwing three big LCD screens into the mix. Two are placed into the center stack, while the other one is planted behind the steering wheel and acts as a digital instrument panel.
Fortunately, the unusual instrument panel is fairly easy to read even during driving and makes the cabin seem more modern.
The steering wheel isn’t something to rave about, but it features a decent design and it’s not intrusive.
While the rudimentary-looking dash and the basic steering wheel won’t impress any exigent driver, the sporty leather seats will certainly win their hearts. They are well cushioned, supportive, comfortable, and also look great, so what more can you ask?
Engine and Technology
The first version of the C-ZEN was presented in 2009 and was powered by a 12 KW electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack which combine to offer a range of 160km with the maximum speed being rated at 95km/h.
The new model however, received a series of upgrades and now it’s fitted with a 115 kW electric motor. Furthermore, the new Valence sourced lithium phosphate (LiFeMgPO4) batteries are significantly better than the old ones, being able to offer a range of 250 km. Top speed was also slightly increased to 110 kmph.
Leaving behind its high price tag, the new Courb C-Zen has a lot to love. We like its bold exterior design which is both sporty and rugged, and we also find the cabin pretty comfortable, even if it’s not as good looking as expected.
Not to mention the good performance offered by the electric motor and the generous range delivered by Valence’s new high tech batteries.
In the end, we’ll have to admit that, on paper, the car looks pretty good. However, the true verdict can be given only after it officially debuts.