Save the Planet, and Your Skin, With Renault’s Spa Car (Renault’s Zoe Z.E)

Renault’s Zoe Z.E
If there’s anything the French hate more than gas-guzzling Family Trucksters, it’s bad skin. It is therefore with much amusement but little surprise that we learned the interior Renault’s Zoe Z.E. electric car concept was designed with help from cosmetics manufacturer Biotherm.

Hinting at a production vehicle that officially debuts in 2012, we first saw the Zoe Z.E. at the Frankfurt auto show earlier this year. It’s hard to miss, since it’s a 13-foot-long bubble with 20-inch rims and gullwing doors. That exterior is coated in a thick polyurethane gel that protects it from minor scrapes and bruises — much like a good foundation masks crow’s feet and laugh lines.

Renault says the Zoe is ideal “for men and women who want to take care of the environment while taking care of themselves – even behind the wheel.” Since unsightly blemishes and wrinkles are as much an anathema to French sensibilities as Velveeta and Wonderbread, the automaker made the interior a spa-like experience.

According to Renault, the Zoe’s climate control system is worthy of installation in one of Paris’ finest spas. Air conditioning can really dry out skin, which is why Biotherm redesigned the Zoe’s AC to focus on keeping air cool and hydrated. If you get stuck behind a bus belching diesel fumes, the on-board toxicity sensor closes the car’s air vents before free radicals destroy your healthy complexion.

In addition to looking good, the Zoe can help you feel good. With an electric diffuser built into the climate control system, the car can emit “essential oils.” We had a Renault Medallion in the ’80s that emitted most of its essential oils from the rear main seal, but that’s a whole other story. The Zoe uses specially developed scent oils from Biotherm that, according to Renault, are “exclusive active substances adapted to the needs of the driver: dynamic in the morning, relaxing coming home from work, and awakening vigilance while driving at night.”

Spa features aside, the minicar can be charged in 4 to 8 hours from a conventional European outlet, 20 minutes at a “quick charge” station. If that doesn’t work, you can always swap the battery in less than 3 minutes. Additionally, solar cells that cover the roof provide a trickle charge on sunny days — the sort of days when any self-respecting Parisian would be wearing SPF 50 sunscreen.

Future Cars: Renault’s Zoe Z.E
Renault’s Zoe Z.E

Future Cars: Renault’s Zoe Z.E
Renault’s Zoe Z.E

Future Cars: Renault’s Zoe Z.E
Renault’s Zoe Z.E

Future Cars: Renault’s Zoe Z.E
Renault’s Zoe Z.E

Future Cars: Renault’s Zoe Z.E
Renault’s Zoe Z.E

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