Renault EZ-Ultimo concept offers futuristic ride hailing for fancy people
Think of it like a private jet with wheels and no pilot.
Andrew KrokReviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
If you're a high roller, you're not going to just take any old self-driving car around town. You'll want something that exudes the same levels of luxury and confidence that you yourself emit. Enter the
Renault debuted the EZ-Ultimo concept at the 2018
Paris Motor Show
. It's an electric self-driving car that Renault envisions as the ultimate upscale ride hailing vehicle for high-end locations like resorts. Users can call for one and use it for an hour or a day -- no matter the length of time it's used, it's meant to be a sort of lifestyle-enhancement vehicle. Although, to be fair, that's how most cars are billed these days.
The EZ-Ultimo doesn't bear much resemblance to Renault's current lineup, but that doesn't mean it doesn't look awesome. It's low and long, with cartoonishly large wheels filling every Planck length of the wheel wells. The lights blend into the front bodywork, running from the top of the fender to the bottom. The side is a hot mish-mash of different colors and textures. The doors open upward, offering easy ingress and egress.
The outside is cool, but the interior of the EZ-Ultimo concept is where it's at. It resembles an old-school cigar lounge, with a whole lot of wood trim, fancy lighting and some very comfortable looking lounge chairs. It's meant as a place for people to sit back and relax, taking in the sights or reading a newspaper. The concept also has something that Renault calls the Augmented Editorial Experience, a vague bit of futuristic tech that, according to the automaker, "combines personalized premium content, multi-media experiences and mobility" that turns the drive into "a learning experience." That probably doesn't include an angry schoolmarm with a ruler.
While Renault didn't really discuss the powertrain beyond the fact that it's electric, it did go into a bit of detail about the car's autonomous capabilities. It packs SAE Level 4 autonomy, which is a conditional autonomy that is responsible for both piloting the vehicle and acting as its own failsafe within certain areas or modes.
Many automakers trot out self-driving concepts that focus on improving mobility for the masses. It's an interesting change of pace to see one that places the emphasis on luxuriating while being shuttled between places.
Renault EZ-Ultimo concept might be the fanciest self-driving car to date