This hybrid has its own drone

Posted by Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling

French automotive brand Renault, at an auto show in India recently, unveiled a new plug-in hybrid concept “aimed at meeting the needs of young customers in new markets as closely as possible.” It is its first concept car to be unveiled outside of Europe, and it’s known as the Kwid Concept. Oh, yeah, and it comes with its own drone.

The Kwid Concept, said Renault, is powered by a downsized 1.2-liter gas turbocharged engine mated to a dual clutch transmission. It is also described as being “pre-disposed” to receive batteries for electric use as well as sporting a charging plug behind the Renault logo. There’s no mention of what the electric motor is like though, or what the total horsepower of the vehicle’s hybrid drivetrain outputs at.

image via Renault

image via Renault

As for the rather weird drone tie-in, Renault has made available in this concept something called the Flying Companion. Here’s what is said about it directly from the automaker: “aimed at offering a safe as well as fun driving experience, the Flying Companion is the first of its kind in the automotive world. Taking off from the rotating rear portion of the Kwid Concept’s roof, the Flying Companion can be operated in one of two modes – the automatic mode using a pre-programmed flying sequence and GPS location as well as the manual mode, which enables the companion to be controlled using a tablet inside the vehicle. The Flying Companion can be used for a variety of purposes, including scouting traffic, taking landscape pictures and detecting obstacles on the road ahead.”

“Customers in new markets are much younger,” said Serge Mouangue, Renault Brand Manager and Innovative Cooperative Laboratory Manager, in a statement. “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.”

Other features of note on the Kwid Concept include oversized wheels that protrude past the fenders; rear air conditioning with controls on the driver seat’s back as well as ventilation through concentric perforations and a dashboard that is an integrated tablet for commanding the navigation of the Flying Companion.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling