Renault's electric Gordini
* Electric-powered hot hatch to arrive in 2012 * Three other Gordini models due from 2010 * Three more electric Renaults in 2012 from 14,000...
Renault's Gordini comeback will be completed in 2012, when a Gordini version of the new Clio-sized electric car joins the three other models.
First to arrive next year, sporting the familiar blue paintwork with white stripes, will be a Twingo Gordini, followed by Clio and Megane Coupe Gordinis. Performance (and prices) should be a step up from current Renaultsport models Renault compares its Gordinis with Mini's Cooper S models.
The battery-powered hot hatch will arrive at the same time as three other electric-powered Renaults.
The electric Gordini will be based on a Clio-sized supermini, with seating for four/five people and a decent amount of luggage space. Early tests of the battery-powered 'mini are said to provide exciting levels of performance.
Renault, along with its partner Nissan, is pushing ahead with plans to be first to market with a range of viable electric vehicles. Renault is promising three electric cars on sale in the UK by 2012.
As well as the Clio-sized car, a larger model sitting somewhere between the Megane and Laguna in size will be launched, along with a more functional Kangoo-type vehicle.
The Clio-sized electric car should cost roughly the same as a top-end Clio to buy (around 14,000 at today's prices), while the batteries will be leased at a cost that will be cheaper than the equivalent price of diesel fuel over the same mileage.
Leasing the batteries enables Renault to set up a number of quick-drop centres where owners can drive in and have their depleted batteries swapped by a robot for a fully charged set.
Cars can also be charged from a standard 13amp socket at various fast-charge outlets and, eventually, street-based sockets where the power can be paid for by credit card.
Top 10 longest electric car ranges
Electric cars now suit more drivers than ever, but which models have the longest ranges of all? These are the 10 best, all of which can do more than 300 miles on a charge
Skoda Enyaq long-term test review
Is it possible to live with an electric car even if you can't charge it at home? We're finding out with the help of the Skoda Enyaq electric SUV