Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove
for Renault


Milan 2013: following a teaser movie, British designer Ross Lovegrove unveils his concept car for French car brand Renault at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan (+ slideshow).

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

Lovegrove added colourful LED patterns over the glass roof and down the windshield edges of the carbon fibre Twin'Z electric city car, after Renault invited the British designer to provide finishing details to the bodywork.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

"Passengers are hooded in a technological envelope that bathes them in a light which responds to the energy and pulse of Twin’Z," says Ross Lovegrove. "This roofscape heightens the sensation of space and blends seamlessly into the rear window."

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

The smaller two of four headlights glow through radial fibrous spokes, a motif also used for the bright green wheel alloys. Swirling lines adorn the tyres, which were developed by manufacturer Michelin.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

Lovegrove also designed the interior of the four-seat vehicle and added fluorescent yellow bands to emphasise the contours of the design. "The interior is not broken up into separate elements and all passengers feel very much part of the travelling experience," he says. "The rear seat backs have been integrated into the floorpan to create space and a new, informal aesthetic."

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

Instead of a dashboard, statistics such as speed and range are displayed on a smartphone that sits where a gearstick would usually be. Four electric doors open without handles like pairs of shutters on each side, alleviating the central pillars found on most cars.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

The car's colour was inspired by French painter Yves Klein, whose signature blue hue was also the muse for a collection of pleated garments we featured last week. "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?" says Lovegrove.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

Other recently designed concept cars include Audi's vehicles that drive and park themselves and Pininfarina's car that has no windshield.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

The car is on show at the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, Viale Alemagna 6. Elsewhere in the city, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec have designed an installation of spinning cork platforms for BMW i.  Check out our map of events taking place in Milan this week.

See all our stories about designs by Ross Lovegrove »
See all our stories about car design »
See all our coverage of Milan 2013 »

Here's some additional information from Renault:

Twin'z Concept-Car - a refreshing view of the city-car, blending technology and refinement

Renault and British designer Ross Lovegrove today took the wraps off Twin’Z. This concept car is the fruit of their close collaboration and brings together two worlds where Design plays an important role : the world of furniture and that of the automobile.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

As the 'Play' petal of Renault Design's life-cycle 'flower', Twin'Z is the latest concept car in the programme which sets out to illustrate Renault's new design strategy through parallels with threshold phases of human existence. Twin'Z is a fun, modern, artistic take on the city- car which plays on emotions and excites the senses. It draws its inspiration from the heritage of some of the brand's most emblematic models, such as the Renault 5 and Renault Twingo. The Twin'Z is an all-electric car with rear-wheel drive and a rear-mounted motor.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

Renault invited British designer Ross Lovegrove to add some design flourishes and the result is an arresting blend of technology and refinement. Ross Lovegrove was given a free hand to imagine a cabin that is truly occupant-friendly. This project eloquently illustrates the many possible sources of inspiration that can drive Design and represents an original approach to the city-car.

Twin'Z concept car by Ross Lovegrove for Renault

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 Z28RL an endearing, almost living object.

Project 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

Studio Ross Lovegrove
Ross Lovegrove - Designer
Matt Longbottom - Director of Industrial Design
Christoph Hermann - Director of New Product Architecture and Digital Philosophy
Andrea Locatelli - Senior Project Architect
Gianluca Berruti - Marine Architect and Industrial Designer
Miska Miller-Lovegrove - Architect & Adviser on Special Projects
Anka Simone - Director of Special Projects
Sean Simone - Director Film & Video
Emily Ayers - Head of PR & Communications

  • Fiat 500’s raver brother?

  • MitchD

    “Through parallels with threshold phases of human existence”. Christ, how much did they pay an agency for that?

  • romano
  • mlk

    More neon, please!

  • oy vey

    It’s making me dizzy when I’m sober. Imagine Friday night!

  • Devo

    Encourage drivers to be distracted by having to look down at the tiny display on a smart phone to read data like speed, etc? Has the designer driven on roads these days full of people driving like pish as they are looking at their phones? Form over function never works well.

  • I have no idea how anyone could see to drive with all that neon around them – good job it’s just a “concept”.

  • Even if the upcoming Twingo revamp isn’t a patch on the original Gen1 of 1992, this designer light show makes a decent tease for the new model.

    Just so long as the real thing has decent cockpit ergonomics.

  • Dama

    Fiat 500, Volvo shape backlights and Alfa 156 front mask with neon. I like the concept but where is the originality in the design?

  • bob

    Turd city.

  • Thomas

    Horrific! Glad to see Lovegrove is keeping consistent.

  • will

    I’ve heard people say the mark of a great designer is divided opinion. Ross Lovegrove is the exception.

  • Bill

    This is all so bitchy. He is simply not understood, just like Leonardo a few hundred years ago. Anyway you don’t need to see to drive this car – it’s chemically connected via neural sensory bioplasmatic fibre optic technodostic polymertastic orgazmatronic crystallogic controls. Don’t you know that?

  • diana

    It’s giving me a headache already