Qdos Cars

The ACREA Zest roadster, 100% carefree driving,
was shown to the world for the first time
at the 76th Geneva Motor Show.

Now see the UK Zest here, it's arrived!

Open Top Zest
2 seater side by side
fun open top motoring also has full weather gear

mouse over thumbnails for larger image


The ZEST, a fresh idea from Geneva...

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.

Acrea Zest at Geneva Motor Show
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 ACREA 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 Méhari.

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.

Engine Bay Because of its architecture with central engine, there is a large trunk (330 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 26-liter tank and low fuel consumption give it autonomy of almost 530 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. Interior

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.

At home on the road 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. at home in the countryside

Where can the Zest be found?
In the countryside, in the mountains, by the sea: France, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland.

After a discrete presentation of the first concept at the ‘Salon du Coupé et du Cabriolet’ motor show in Paris, then at the International Motor Show in Barcelona in 2005, importers spontaneously announced their decision to distribute the Zest in their respective countries. So, the Zest will be available in spring in more than five hundred sales outlets in Europe.

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. For those who think about crossing mountain passes with the Zest, Austria and Switzerland are also among the first host countries.

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 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 April 2006. It is thus possible to order the little roadster when the Geneva Motor Show opens to the public. Deliveries will be in spring, ready for the fine weather.

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.


The Zest, in detail...

Type of vehicle
• Two-seat roadster certified and conforming to directive 2002/24 CE
• Drivable with license A1, B1 or B in France


• Multipoint gasoline injection, 505 cc twin-cylinder engine, mounted centrally behind the passenger compartment
• Power: 15 kW (21 hp) at 5200 rpm
• Automatic forward/reverse variable speed transmission with differential on the rear wheels
• Mechanical rack-and-pinion steering
• Suspension is MacPherson struts on all four corners, without anti-roll bar
• Four-wheel disk brakes
• Catalytic exhaust system

Coach body
• Aluminum chassis
• Absorbent bumpers with dismountable reinforcements.
• Bodyshell made of color-fast ABS-PMMA
• Engine unit bearer including engine, variable speed transmission, differential, radiator and exhaust, fully suspended for better filtration of vibration and longer mechanical life

• Length 3.21 m
• Width: 1.51 m
• Height: 1.23 m
• Wheel base: 2.30 m
• Ground clearance: 20 cm
• Volume of trunk: 330 liters
• Tires: 135/80/15
• Tank: 26 liters
• Weight: 380 kg
• Maximum speed: 110 km/h
• Average consumption: 4.7 L / 100 km

Comfort and safety
• Driver’s seat adjustable for length over 240 mm
• 12-volt electrical connector on the dashboard
• Battery switch
• Safety system linked to the engine ignition switch, to prevent starting when in gear
• 3-point safety belts with inertia reel

Vehicle accessories
• Glove box lockable by key
• Rocker panel inset
• Tinted wind deflector
• Luggage rack
• Additional removable storage compartment
• Hardtop with full windshield and wipers

ACREA, the new French manufacturer full of fresh ideas.

“There will always be more people looking in a confectioner’s window than in a pharmacist’s window”.


Acrea Zest Roadster

Starting from this thought, ACREA decided to make “confectionary” vehicles, enjoyable to drive with high esteem value, with requirements totally different from those of a “pharmacy” vehicle where travel needs increasingly sophisticated assistance.

Leisure vehicles, for example, meet a need for personal freedom no longer provided by the automobile, a victim of its own success, with its monotony, lack of character, traffic jams, pollution, running costs, and security concerns...

ACREA designs, manufactures and distributes vehicles that create a strong bond with their owners; they are “passionate” products.

Partners with lots of experience

Enthusiasm often achieves great things. The founders were able to express their passion in the Zest, and create their first joint project.

All of them come from the automobile industry, either from manufacturing or engineering companies, with long experience in their respective trades. Enthusiasm has always been their driving force, keeping them alert, ready, relevant and efficient.

The strategy

Stéphane Solbach, former product manager at Matra Automobile, and at the origin of ACREA, proposed a strategy whereby the first Zest product would be tackled from the angle of certification. The Zest is therefore a heavy quadricycle. Intentionally registered in this category, the Zest has allowed ACREA to enter the small world of automotive engineering through a door more easily opened than that of more traditional vehicles.

What can be done without reinventing the same automobile as everyone else, or a new sports vehicle prototype unusable on the open road? This roadster gives you time to live again and feel human and active. It doesn’t behave like a predator; it’s simple to develop and enjoyable to drive.

The ZEST designers are always listening to the public everywhere, to come up with changes and accessories for the Zest.

Full screen and roof

Knowledge of the environment and the driving context, and mastery of the market, are always part of the data input of ACREA vehicles.

Other vehicles will follow; all created through a similar strategy.

Industrialization and development with Etud Intégral and Partner-Manager

Etud Intégral, a well-known company in the French automobile world and ideal partner, has taken up the challenge for the final design, studies and industrialization. In addition to engineering, Etud-Integral is an expert in style and specialist in creating exploratory preproduction designs for manufacturers. ( www.etud-integral.fr )

Jean-Pierre Josseaume is manager of the Zest project. Head of the Partner-Manager company, he has brought his past experience to the project as manager of the Matra Automobile bodywork division. Partner-manager is a company acting as partner for managers and management in the industry.
It has great skill in product-process development, designs and production costs. It has been at the origin of many strategic decisions concerning the Zest, subsequently okayed by Etud Intégral.

So, you will soon see that the Zest is a front-back symmetrical vehicle. This way, the same tools are used twice to produce the wings, bonnets, cowling and rocker panels: “five tools to make a complete bodyshell!”

Furthermore, the chassis is completely symmetrical. Similarly, most of the parts specific to the Zest, designed at Etud Intégral, have a multiple use. This gives the shortest possible payback time on investment: “four times the triangles and suspension forks and up to seven times the same part for one single Zest”.
The components of the Zest have two origins: European suppliers and equipment contractors from the automobile world such as ArvinMeritor, Bowden, Faurecia, Ficosa, Hella, Sagem, SIA Industrie, Siemens-VDO, Sika, TI Automotive, Tubiflex, Valéo.
Those from the quadricycle world are Comex, CVTech-IBC, Lombardini.

Production started on one of the Etud Intégral sites (600 m² at Plaisir in Yvelines near Paris) in buildings next to the ACREA offices. These industrial workshops suit the intentionally limited initial objectives of the Zest. Later, other production arrangements will be launched, with the same realism that has marked the whole project.

Distribution in the principal Europe countries

Here too, the Zest-attitude has played a full part in distribution. Our distributors are all passionate about the automobile, have strong entrepreneurial skills and know their market well.

They all are linked to local sales outlets with direct contact to customers. The small quantities distributed will ensure that contacts between the sales outlets and ACREA are easily created via the importers.

At first, the Zest will be distributed in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland.
At present, this gives a total of almost 500 sales outlets in seven countries.

Of course, the distribution network will not remain at this early stage. ACREA will study all import proposals for each new country in Europe.

Passionate, but not naive

A project as risky as that of setting up a new benchmark manufacturer in the field of leisure vehicles is very ambitious.

The Zest was chosen because it is designed to cope with risk factors: straightforward design, production and distribution, simplicity and evident concept, regained pleasure in driving.

Here too, in order to control risk factors and the effort involved in industrial and financial undertakings, the production of the Zest will be limited to 600 units for the first year. This way, the experience gained in a controlled cadence will, in the following year and according to demand, allow production to be increased to a reasonable 2,000 vehicles. A more ambitious target will be set for 2008.

Maybe our vehicles make you dream and awaken the passion slumbering within; all the same, we don’t consider ourselves as daydreamers...


A Commercial-Road.com webdesign