Renault has chosen the Twizy manufacturing plant in Valladolid, Spain, to present its new Twizy Renault Sport F1 concept car. This fun take on the brand’s electric urban compact features muscular styling and impressive performance credentials to serve as a bridge between the world of F1 technology and that of production cars.
Twizy Renault Sport F1 sits on the wheels of a single-seater race car and is equipped with a front splitter, side-pods, rear wing and a diffuser complete with an F1-style rain light which forcefully express the concept’s ties with motor racing’s premier category.
Twizy Renault Sport F1 is much more than just a concept. In addition to its spectacular looks, it delivers genuine high performance thanks to its Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) which is identical to the solution used by Renault-powered Formula 1 cars. The system instantly boosts power output six-fold to reach almost 100 horsepower and is capable of catapulting the car from standstill to 62 mph as quickly as Renault’s highest-performing road car, Mégane Renaultsport 265. This technological gem is the fruit of close collaboration between the engineers at Renaultsport and their colleagues at Renault Sport F1.
This extraordinary vehicle showcases Renault’s advanced expertise in electric technology employed in F1, notably in the field of KERS in which it was one of the precursors in 2009. Renault’s long-standing commitment to motor racing’s blue ribband category provides it with a unique technological laboratory, giving it an advantage not only in the world of race cars, but also in that of road cars.
Twizy Renault Sport F1’s calling is immediately apparent through its slick tyres (the same as those fitted to the Formula Renault 2.0 single-seater), as well as through its carbon splitter, side-pods and rear wing. Its unique proportions give it the appearance of a beast that is about to pounce yet which is still fun to drive.
Other features derived from the racing world are its single-seater type mirrors and diffuser, which incorporates the rain light of a Formula Renault 3.5 car. At the same time, the bulbs of the lights have been replaced by LEDs which, again mirroring the world of motor sport, consume less energy.
Meanwhile, Twizy’s rear seat has made way for the KERS which is visible inside a transparent housing. Last but not least, Twizy Renault Sport F1 is equipped with an F1-type steering wheel from the Renault Sport Technologies catalogue.
Twizy Renault Sport F1’s performance credentials are founded on the use of the KERS employed by Renault-powered Formula 1 cars.
The KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is designed to recover some of the kinetic energy which is generated under braking. Instead of being lost in the form of heat, this energy is recovered and stored before being used to momentarily boost power output, just as it is in Formula 1.
The KERS comprises three main elements:
– An electric motor-generator unit (MGU) directly linked to the driveshaft.
– Specific lithium-ion batteries.
– A KERS Control Unit (KCU).
Twizy Renault Sport F1 is consequently equipped with two electric motors, i.e. Twizy’s original motor (17hp) onto which an F1-style KERS has been grafted to turn the concept car into a genuine pocket rocket with exceptional performance.
When the KERS is activated, Twizy Renault Sport F1’s power output climbs instantly six-fold, from 17 to 97 hp. This boost is available for approximately 13 seconds, just as it is in the case of a Formula 1 car. Thanks to this additional power, the concept car is capable of accelerating from standstill to 62 mph in the same time as Mégane Renaultsport 265.
That’s all well and good, but they’re going to have great difficulty getting their legendary no-nonsense driver, Kimi Raikkonen, any where near it.