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The Zest roadster. 100% carefree driving, marketed for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in 2006.
There is a vague space at the frontier of the known automobile world, visited from time to time by a few adventurers in search of a niche in the market.
Major manufacturers regularly send scouting missions into it and return with a concept-car to be submitted to public opinion.
The Zest is the fruit of experience and knowledge of these remote frontiers and the accounts of these voyages. The Zest designers wanted to create a pretension-free enjoyable roadster that anyone in search of forgotten sensations could drive.
What is the Zest?
First and foremost, the Zest is a little countrified roadster dedicated to jaunting. Moreover, the Zest belongs to that family of popular enjoyable vehicles like the Mini, Beetle, 2CV, 4L and the Mehari.
With its two seats and well thought out ergonomics, Zest can be driven by anyone, without limit to age or physical condition from 16 to 96 years of age. Thanks to its infinitely variable speed transmission, driving is extremely easy: steering wheel, accelerator and brake. What could be simpler? No need for helmet or special equipment to set out on an adventure. With its ground clearance worthy of the best 4x4, reduced overhang, 15-inch wheels and high-clearance suspension, the Zest is a cross between the English roadster and a buggy; and it can go anywhere.
Because of its architecture with central engine, there is a large trunk (320 liters) at the front for long journeys or for holding all the kit needed for any well-organized trip: picnic bag, cool box, swimming gear, climbing or camping equipment for example. Its 25-liter tank and low fuel consumption give it autonomy of almost 450 km - enough to consider real adventures.
Lively and safe, simple and enjoyable, the Zest is the ideal companion for exploring the back country along small tracks, whether tarred or stony.
The front-back symmetrical design of the Zest is an example of the desire for simplicity; the overriding concept of the vehicle.
The all-aluminum chassis is partially visible, thus defining the trunk, engine and passenger spaces.
The dashboard in front of the driver is adjustable and can house a glove box lockable by key. There are storage spaces in front of each passenger for small objects such as telephone, keys, glasses, flasks, etc. There are extra storage spaces by the feet for maps and bottles. Also, the wide storage trays in the rocker panels are surprisingly capacious.
The instrument in the middle of the dashboard gives all the information needed for monitoring the vehicle's functions.
The individual seats are furnished with cushions on the seat and back with colors matching the external paintwork.
Its logical expressive design cleverly suggests that adventure begins where the bitumen ends. The driver is encouraged to embark on adventure, thanks to the well-thought-out architecture, high gradient capability, self-sufficiency, storage spaces, comfort and simplicity of use.
Who is the Zest designed for?
There have been several market surveys at various stages in the progress of the Zest. They have all confirmed the initial assumptions, which result from the hard thinking and discerning commitment of those working on the project. Every survey showed a real interest for a new type of vehicle that is relaxing, lively and safe; a companion for outdoor jaunts.
At the same time, markets as varied as those of the official quad or pocket buggies are growing rapidly. They show the public's interest in new ideas and fun driving. These markets are dominated by North American and Asian manufacturers.
European harmonization means that these new products can be launched on one single stable market, making it possible to recover investment costs by the size of the project. The Zest has been developed and certified for this type of market.
The Zest targets a fringe of the public attracted by a return to simple pleasures in the fresh air; tired of the vanity of cars evermore efficient, more expensive, more complex, but paradoxically sterile. These people are certainly not put off by the modesty of its engine power because they are more interested in driving and the pleasure of handling it rather than in performance. They are usually convinced after a test drive, trusting their own intuition rather than figures and not-very-interesting technical features.
The Zest is not a "commuter" vehicle. On the contrary, it takes us back to the good old days when the automobile was used for leisure. The happy owners of the Zest gradually take on a serene, relaxed, even detached attitude to life, and with each escapade end up looking for a detour to make, to avoid returning directly to the garage. The Zest is a get-away vehicle.
However, poetry should not allow us to forget the safety aspect: the Zest has been designed for the peace-of-mind of its users: acceleration to get into the traffic flow, excellent road hold, positive braking. Thanks to its dimensions and agility, the Zest is the first quadricycle to be finally comparable to the automobile.
With its real capability for covering any type of ground, and in spite of power limited by its construction, the Zest is a little two-person pleasure vehicle for trips far from the city, motorways and worry.
Where can the Zest be found?
In the countryside, in the mountains, by the sea: France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom.
After a discrete presentation of the first concept at the "Salon du Coupe et du Cabriolet" motor show in Paris, then at the International Motor Show in Barcelona in 2005, and for the first time in its definitive design at the International Motor Show of Geneva in 2006. Importers spontaneously announced their decision to distribute the Zest in their respective countries.
We will be able to drive the Zest by the sea or on small country tracks in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Zest has been designed to go everywhere, in all latitudes, on tarred or dirt roads.
How much does the Zest cost?
Prices in France start from 10,500 Euros including all taxes.
- When will the Zest be available?
The first stage of the Zest certification has been very positive. The chassis was successfully approved as regards passive safety. The certification procedure will be completed in September 2006. It is thus possible to order the little roadster when the Paris Motor Show opens to the public. Deliveries by January of 2007.
How is the Zest made?
"Why complicate things when they can be simple?" is the basis of the Zest specifications - an exciting goal.
Aware that a leisure-time vehicle is often bought by people on the spur of the moment, the designers of the Zest gave priority to the reliability of the vehicle. Even in the long term, nothing must sully the pleasure of driving it.
From the techniques and technical decision arose a simple machine. The ZEST is built with a minimum of tools and parts, with assembly time kept to the minimum. This means that it could be manufactured in any part of the world close to marketing areas.
Human hands take over from robots.
The Zest has an all-aluminum chassis. The ABS-PMMA molded thermoplastic bodyshell is color-fast so that it is shock-resistant.
Each part has been designed to make production as efficient and economical as possible. Furthermore, and as much as possible, the Zest consists of components made in Europe.
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