As there are no limits on what a concept car can include or do, we at Transport Evolved are usually very cautious about covering them as this freedom can lead to, at least in the electric car world, unrealistic range predictions and outlandish ‘futuristic’ designs.
But Renault may have outdone all the competition at the Delhi Auto Expo by introducing the KWID Concept, a compact five-seater with an unusual seating layout. Renault have placed the driver centrally up front and flanked them by seating for two passengers. The final two seats are set in a second row behind the driver.
The KWID focuses on comfort and technology having been designed to meet the needs of Indian drivers who demand at least five seats for family journeys and multimedia integration. The interior of the car may come as a bit of a shock to anyone expecting the usual automotive style. The KWID’s interior has been designed to invoke the image of a cocoon or bird’s nest which, it is hoped, the potential buyer will associate with safety and comfort.
The best part of the KWID concept though? The Flying Companion that comes with the car. A quadcopter stored in the rear portion of the roof that can be sent off to scan the road ahead for potential issues or just used to get on-the-move images of the car or scenery.
The Flying Companion can be set to automatic or manually controlled from the touchscreen in the car.
Serge Mouangue, Brand Manager and Innovative Cooperative Laboratory Manager, said, ‘Customers in new markets are much younger. Their expectations are different and customers are basically gamers. They tend to take a closer interest in technology and want to enjoy themselves. This concept car meets those needs in a variety of ways, but mainly thanks to the Flying Companion which makes driving both safe and fun. This is the very first time in the long automotive history we can drive on earth with an eye in the sky. It’s an amazing feature!’
The KWID is ZE ready meaning if it does make it into production it has been designed to take on Renault’s electric drivetrain – using the technology in use today this would produce a range or around 60 – 70 real-world miles and, if the Caméléon charger is used, recharging that offers the flexibility to charge from most AC sources. At the moment it is powered by a 1.2 litre turbocharged petrol engine but no information on fuel economy has been provided. Interestingly, contrary to how the car looks, it is two-wheel drive.
What do you think of the KWID concept? Can you think of a novel use for the Flying Companion? Let us know below.
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