Ross Lovegrove x Renault  @ Salone Milan 2013

Ross Lovegrove x Renault @ Salone Milan 2013

renault-twinz electric car

For once, Renault has chosen not to reveal a new concept car at a motor show.

Instead, its choice of location stands out as a symbol of its interest in the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, the centrepiece of the Design industry’s annual calendar, as well as evidence of the car maker’s determination to reach out to an even wider audience by targeting those who are sensitive to Design.

The aim was to break down the boundaries between the world of an object whose calling is to be in movement – the automobile – and that of furniture.


Renault unveiled a striking blue concept car by Ross Lovegrove, the British furniture and product designer, at the Triennale in Milan for the 2103 Salone.

This concept car is the fruit of close collaboration between Renault and Lovegrove, and brings together two worlds where Design plays an important role: the world of furniture and that of the automobile.

Ross Lovegrove’s personal vision of the automobile takes its inspiration from the world of nature, and the result combines an unprecedented play on light and organic forms to make Twin’Z an endearing, almost living object.

With an interior of swirling fluorescent yellow bands, bright green alloys and colourful LED pattern detailing on the outside; this car has all the energy of a little nightclub on wheels.

The Twin’Z Concept, an all electric five door hatch, is expected to be the basis of their next version of three door production car Twingo due for release in 2014

Renault Ross Lovegrove


From Renault – Laurens van den Acker, Axel Breun and Raphaël Linari oversaw the Twin’Z project.

Ross Lovegrove’s approach drew Renault’s attention on three main accounts:

– The exterior design of his sensuous, poetic creations.

– His use of light and how it is projected.

– His light, simple style and his work on fibres and textiles.

Lovegrove (and his team) designed the entire interiors, chose the colors on inside and outside, bodywork details including bumpers, lights, grilles, LED roofscape, and wheels.

renault twinz


Some initial criticism …….  ” Twin’z”   is the name of the vehicle that according to Lovegrove seeks to explore  “the boundaries between art, design, technology and innovation”, but ultimately it is not a new vehicle concept at all, but a conventional car pimped up like a trendy sneaker, where all manner of fluid lines turn the good old streamlined design into mere decoration.”   ………..  Yes but that is what design also does !

For the production Twingo model in 2014 , many decorative elements will be discarded but the shape and technical solutions will remain.


Interior relief is highlighted with LED lighting. Renault Interior relief is highlighted with LED lighting.

Some Technical Specifications

:)  Twin’Z is an electric super min car

:)  Thanks to its architecture, which features a rear-mounted motor and batteries located beneath the floor, it frees up exceptional cabin space and delivers high quality handling that makes it a delight to drive.

:)  Just under 12 feet long, the car is similar to Renaul’s production electric, Zoe

“)  The concept car’s carbon-fiber body is covered with distinctive bold blue paint.

:)  Not just any blue, but International Klein Blue, the amped up hue registered by the French artist Yves Klein in 1960. “It echoes France’s cultural heritage while also mirroring the virtues of our planet. After all, isn’t the Earth blue when seen from space?”

:)  There is no dashboard as such, only a control screen, like a giant remote control.

:)  The interior shapes and seating are defined with LED lighting, taking on the appearance of a topographic map.

:)  A set of 18-inch aluminum wheels look like they’ve grown onto the car organically or represent some sort of evolutionary family tree. Michelin created special tires to match.

:)  Then there’s the mechanical: the rear drive Twin’Z, which is equipped with four lithium-ion battery packs, has a projected range just short of 100 miles.

:)  Its 50 kW motor produces 167 pound-feet of torque.

:)  It has a top speed of 125 kmh, range of 160 kms and a kerb weight of just 980 kgs.


This is the fifth concept vehicle since Vice President of Corporate Design, Laurens Van den Acker arrived at Renault. From the start, beginning with the Dezir concept, he called for a new design approach.

Mr. Van den Acker has offered the human life cycle, depicted in a flower, as a model of Renault design. The project, which was launched in 2010, highlights benchmarks of human accomplishment—love, journey, family, work, play and wisdom.

– After DeZir, which, in 2010, embodied the experience of ‘love at first sight’ which is behind so many memorable stories…

– After Captur, which stood for exploring the world as a couple…

– After R-Space, which symbolised the founding of a family…

– And after Frendzy, which represented the world of work…

…now is the time for ‘Play’, which is personified by Twin’Z and symbolised by the colour blue.

Lovegrove was asked to explore the implications of Play and is the first in the Petal project to be designed collaboratively with an outside designer

anker and lovegrove

Laurens Van den Acker with Ross Lovegrove

“The aim was to break down the boundaries between the world of an object whose calling is to be in movement – the automobile – and that of furniture.”  …….  Mr. Van den Acker ( Renault Project director )

Mr. Van den Acker said that Lovegrove’s approach ran contrary to what people might expect, which allowed him, figuratively of course, to invigorate inanimate objects.

There are numerous bridges between the work of Ross Lovegrove – which combines beauty and intelligence thanks to an approach inspired by the living, natural world – and the strategy we have been working on for three years now at Renault.”

About Laurens Van den Acker

laurens van den acker

Senior Vice President, Corporate Design

Born on September 5, 1965

Laurens van den Acker studied at the University of Technology in Delft (Netherlands), where he obtained a Master of Engineering at the Faculty of Industrial Design.

He began his career in 1990 as a designer at Design System srl in Turin (Italy).

In 1993, he moved to Audi as an Exterior Designer in the Ingolstadt Design Center in Germany.

He then joined in 1996, SHR Perceptual Management in Newbury Park (USA) as a Senior Designer.

In 1998, he was hired by the Ford Motor Cie in the USA and was appointed Chief Designer of the Brand Imaging Group in Irvine, California.

In 2003, he was put in charge of the Ford Escape Platform as its Chief Designer in the Dearborn Design Center in Michigan (USA).

His next position, in 2005, was Chief Designer of Strategic Design.

Since 2006, he has been the General Manager of Mazda Design in Hiroshima in Japan where he has been in charge of Corporate Design.

He joined Renault on May 15, 2009 and entered the Management committee on January 2010



Full Project Profile

Technical Characteristics

Length: 3,627mm
Width: 1,705mm
Height: 1,506mm
Wheelbase: 2495mm
Weight: 980kg
Top speed: 81 mph
Range: 100 miles
Rear-mounted 50kW (68hp) synchronous electric motor with rotor coil
Maximum torque: 226Nm
Four lithium-ion battery packs spaced evenly beneath the floor
Voltage: 96V
Drive: rear-wheel drive
Transmission: direct drive with reducer gear and forward/reverse invertor
Specific Michelin tyres: 205/40 R18
Ross Lovegrove-designed 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels
Front suspension: MacPherson-type arrangement
Rear suspension: double wishbones
Adjustable Ohlins dampers
Chassis: tubular frame
Carbon fibre bodywork


Studio Design Estival: production and assembly
SAMSUNG: Human Machine Interface (under Renault’s management
Michelin: Tyres
IRCAM: Sound
Resipoly Chrislor Groupe Colas: Floor covering
Proiect Team

Renault Team

Laurens van den Acker Senior Vice-President, Corporate Design
Anthony Lo Vice-President, Exterior Design
Axel Breun Concept Car Design Director
Philippe Ponceau Project Manager
Raphaël Linari Exterior Designer
Nathalie Granger Designer, Colours and Trims
Minh Au Truong Technician, concept-car
Philippe Alves Workshop Manager, Digital and Physical Modelling
Antoine Boulay Manager, Digital Images and Films
Vincent Ciccone HMI Architect
Gerard Picard Director, ESTIVAL Design Studio

Lovegrove Studio Team

Ross Lovegrove Designer
Matt Longbottom Designer
Christoph Hermann Architect

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