When Renault unveiled the DeZir concept at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, no one really expected the sporty concept car to ever make it to production. With no real sports car in its lineup, we figured Renault would only be using the DeZir’s design as inspiration for other models and concepts, such as the Captur recently unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show. While that prediction still reigns true for the most part, Renaultsport has taken on the challenge of bringing a mid-engined sports car that is based off of the DeZir concept to the production line, and will do so as a stand alone badge.
As close to a production Dezir as we will ever see, the future sports car will be a roadster offered with a conventional engine. It will do away with the gullwing doors found on the concept, but will maintain Renault’s new front-end styling and will most likely be powered by a version of the Renaultsport Clio’s venerable 2.0-liter motor that delivers a total of 200 HP — although Renault could also offer the car with a hot diesel motor.
The decision to have RenaultSport branch out on its own instead of reviving the Alpine badge was based on the fact that the French manufacturer wouldn’t be able to "fulfill Alpine’s values in the model," so a revival was simply out of the question. Future plans for the extended branch will include derivative versions of the Mégane and quite possibly "two or three" unique models beyond their usual hot hatches.
Every year, auto makers from all over the world make a conscious effort in putting their best feet forward for the sake of letting everyone know that while their current crop of cars are important, they also put great effort in developing concept cars for future use.
Sure, some of the concepts that we see every year don’t make it past the testing and development stages, but what’s really important is that automakers are going to great lengths in determining whether parts of the concept - or the entire thing, for that matter - can be applied on their production vehicles.
Aesthetic styling aside, concept cars have become one of our favorite segments in the industry. Not only do these cars give us a glimpse of what styling direction a company is looking into adapting, but it also gives us an idea what developments are being made from a performance perspective.
For 2010, we narrowed down our four best concepts of the year, from a conservative French automaker all the way to a brand paying tribute to an iconic model - and drive system - with a concept successor that’s nothing short of breathtaking.