Renault seems to be headed in that direction, too

We all remember the Zoe RS all-electric concept from the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, right? It caught our attention because it not only featured 460 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, it also showed that it was capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. In other words, people immediately clamored Renault to build a production version of the concept. Now it appears that it’s exactly what Renault has been planning all along.

Speaking with Autocar, Renault Sport chief Patrice Ratti confirmed that his performance division has already developed a prototype of the all-electric concept that made its debut in Geneva back in March 2017. Ratti didn’t dive into any specifics about the car, but he did say that developed has progressed far enough that such a car is now feasible, something that “wasn’t the case a few years ago.” Still, Ratti’s optimism comes with a few caveats, particularly in the development of the batteries that will likely power the supermini hot hatch, not to mention the goal of ensuring that the car can uphold Renault Sport’s noted credentials in handling and drivability. These are some of the biggest issues that will be addressed if Renault really wants to send the Zoe RS to production. The good news is that there appears to be an optimistic and determined climate in Boulogne to make sure that it happens.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Good move by Renault to not rush into this

A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality High Resolution Exterior
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A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality High Resolution Exterior
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The Renault Zoe RS may be the talk of the town these days, but it’s far from being the only beast in the proverbial ball that’s itching to get unleashed.

In a market as popular as the hot hatch segment, it seems weird to think of it as being on the precipice of transition, but that’s where it actually s now that electric powertrains have become feasible to use in this particular automotive configuration. The Renault Zoe RS may be the talk of the town these days, but it’s far from being the only beast in the proverbial ball that’s itching to get unleashed. Volkswagen has the Golf GTE on the horizon. There’s even talk of Honda developing an electric version of the Civic Type in the future. And don’t think companies like Ford, Mini, Opel, and Audi aren’t getting in the mix, too.

A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality High Resolution Exterior
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The potential to be the leader in a market that has yet to be tapped is one of the stakes that’s being dangled to these automakers. In the case of Renault, it’s a smart move not to rush into the development of the electric Zoe RS because of this. If it does decide to prioritize being the first over being the best, it’s going to risk long-term status over short-term gains. That’s what Patrice Ratti was alluding to when he put the brakes on the excitement of seeing a production version of the Zoe RS Concept that stole the show at Geneva. Ratti indicated that a prototype had already been built, but followed that up by saying “studies have begun” in the on-going development of the production car. That tells you that Renault isn’t rushing into building a production version of the Zoe RS anytime soon. It’s a smart move considering how much the company still has to learn in terms of adapting the new electric powertrain on a hot hatch.

I am confident that we’re going to see a proliferation of electric hot hatches in the market soon.

I am confident that we’re going to see a proliferation of electric hot hatches in the market soon, with the Renault Zoe RS being one of them. But I’m not going to actively call for that day to come sooner than necessary because companies like Renault will have to put out the best possible products before it can achieve true long-term success in the segment. That tells you how competitive this segment is, as it should be considering that hot hatches have never been irrelevant for an extended period of time.

References

A Hot Hatch Renauls Zoe RS Has Us Hoping It Becomes A Reality High Resolution Exterior
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Read more about the Renault Zoe RS concept.

Source: Autocar

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