Renault will parade its amazing breadth of creativity at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, with a wide-ranging array of competition cars of extraordinary variety, and a series of concept cars that shine a glamorous light on the brand’s dazzling future. A celebration of Renault’s 37-year long commitment to Formula 1, highlights of Alpine’s mighty motorsport history and an impressive display of concept cars are part of the company’s substantial presence at the Festival in 2014.
- Renault’s creative drive is amply demonstrated by landmark vehicles from its sporting 115-year history, including the sensational 1978 Le Mans-winning Alpine A442B, the 1977 Groupe 5 Alpine A310 rally car, the enormous and extraordinary-looking 1926 Renault 40CV ‘des records’, a 1902 Renault Type K that was one of the world’s earliest racing cars, four Formula 1 show cars and the Formula E Spark-Renault SRT_01E. The F1 cars include Alain Prost’s carbonfibre chassis’d RE40, which won four times during the 1983 season, almost netting him the championship.
- The creative force around Renault right now is showcased with a truly arresting array of concept vehicles and the production models that have sprung from them. These cars are part of the ‘Renault, designed for life’s colourful journey’ theme that is driving the company’s impressive product creativity today. They include the Twin’Run concept and the exciting, all-new rear-engined Twingo that it inspired, which makes its first UK appearance at the Festival. Also displayed are the DeZir and the Clio that grew from it and the Captur crossover in both its concept and production forms. In addition, there’s a design studio model of the intriguing Frendzy and the full-size version of the colourful and cleverly configured R-Space concept. Equally diverting are Renault’s truly original all-electric ZOE supermini and Twizy.
- Drivers include René Arnoux, Oliver Webb (fresh from his podium with the Alpine A450 in the LMP2 class at Le Mans last week), Michel Leclere and Julien Piguet.
- Goodwood will also host the UK debut of the new Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R driven by Laurent Hurgon who set the record lap time for a production front wheel drive car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7’54’’36 in May with this car.
Goodwood: Racing through time and a country house garden
Renault has long been an enthusiastic participant in the Goodwood Festival of Speed, appearing on six consecutive occasions from 2001 to 2006, before making a comeback in 2012 after a five-year break.
Held in the grounds of Goodwood House, an elegant and historic country residence nestling amid England’s picturesque South Downs, the Festival provides the startling sight of racing cars charging through its bucolic grounds, the house’s driveway turned into a dramatic, challenging and rather beautiful hillclimb venue.
Racing cars and Goodwood have been synonymous for decades, the first motorsport event occurring in 1936 when the ninth Duke of Richmond organised a hillclimb through the house’s grounds. World War 2 brought this pursuit to a close, but also saw the construction of a nearby airfield whose perimeter road would eventually be turned into the famous Goodwood circuit. The first race was held in 1948 and the last in 1966, and when the Charles Gordon-Lennox, the current Earl of March and a major car enthusiast was prevented from reviving races at the circuit, he decided to stage his own Festival of speed in the grounds of Goodwood House. The first event attracted 30,000 visitors, and it now draws 180,000, many considering it the finest motoring event in Britain.
Besides the hillclimb there is also a concours d’elegance, a pavilion of concept cars and technical exhibits of the future, an air display, events for younger visitors and much more. A highlight of the event remains the paddock, where fans can stand mere inches from some of the most famous racing cars in history and better still, meet their drivers.
No less than four exciting concept cars, a design studio model of the Frendzy and three production counterparts star at Goodwood
An impressive group of no less than four concept cars, three of the exciting production cars that were inspired by them, two bold and stylish electric cars and a Spark-Renault Formula E racing car form the centrepiece of the display on Renault’s Goodwood show stand.
The concepts are part of the ‘Life Cycle’ series of design studies initiated by Renault’s design director Laurens van den Acker when he joined the company, the first of them, the DeZir, inspiring today’s widely lauded new Clio hatchback. Also on display are the Captur, the R-Space, a studio model of the Frendzy and the Twin’Run, the last of these signalling the arrival of the radical new Twingo city car. All-new Twingo will also be on display for the first time in the UK, along with the production version of the quick-selling Captur crossover.
The Twin’Run was created to preview the exciting new rear-engined Renault Twingo city car, but also pays homage to the legendary mid-engined R5 Turbo and Clio V6. Explains Laurens van den Acker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Design at the Renault group, “Twin’Run is a cocktail of energy, passion and athleticism, rekindling the memory of emblematic Renault racing cars.” And it also demonstrates that, “personalisation is a core strategy at Renault,” he says.
Despite curvily compact lines that show a clear link to the new Twingo, the Twin’Run houses a mid-mounted 320hp, 380Nm 3.0 V6 which, naturally, drives the rear wheels. The appealingly compact and subtly curvaceous lines of Renault’s next city car are pleasingly apparent in the Twin’Run, although the sizeable rear wing hanging from the trailing edge of its roof is an unmissable clue to this concept’s motorsport mission.
Beneath the blue bodywork lies a tubular steel spaceframe structure, while the bodywork is fabricated from a glass-polyester composite, carbonfibre deployed for the front blade, the roof, wheel arches and the rear vent. This strong, weight-efficient structure houses a tuned version of the 3.5-litre V6 used in the Mégane Trophy Racer. It drives a six-speed sequential transmission with a limited slip differential and a competition-sourced twin clutch, an arrangement that in combination with the car’s 47:53 percent weight distribution ensures dramatically effective traction away from the line and through hard-charged corners.
‘Twin’Run embodies the mad genius Renault has been known for over the decades, to the delight of motor sports enthusiasts. No one has forgotten the R5 Turbo and the Clio V6. Twin’Run is the true heir of those racing cars that had so much appeal,’ says Axel Breun, Head of Concept Car Design. The R5 Turbo is the reason for the same digit appearing as the Twin’Run’s racing number, the concept’s headlights also referencing the famous 5’s, as do the quartet of spotlamps that echo the distinctive light-racks deployed by the original R5 Turbo. A huge front air intake, Renault’s new diamond-dominated nose, a set of exceptionally stylish wheels and some unusually shaped red stripes provide an artful contrast to the Twin’Run’s blue paintwork to produce a decidedly engaging look.
The innovative all-new Twingo is shown in the UK for the first time ahead of its launch in September. Now featuring five doors, a usefully enlarged cabin and a rear-mounted engine, the Twingo has undergone a design revolution. Available with a wide range of personalisation options, the new Twingo comes with a choice of two three cylinder engine options. It’s also the only city car to be offered with a choice of two multimedia systems: the R & Go radio and R-Link.
The advantages of its rear-engined layout are significant. The length of the Twingo’s cabin has been increased by 13cm despite a 10cm decrease in overall length, while its rear seats and front passenger seat backrest can be folded to house items as long as 2.2m, making it the only city car able to swallow a certain Swedish flat-pack bookcase whole.
The Twingo’s body architecture is also well-suited to city driving. Its large windscreen and short bonnet provide a particularly good view out, the Renault’s forward vertical field-of-view being the best in the class. Coupled this to a higher than average driving position and a turning circle that’s a metre less, on average, than those of its competitors and you have a highly manoeuvrable car that puts the fun back into city driving.
Especially as it features unusually compact, three cylinder engines specifically engineered to suit this demanding role. The normally-aspirated 999cc SCe 70 provides 70hp and 91Nm from unusually low engine speeds, making this powertrain particularly well suited to the cut and thrust of urban use. The turbocharged 898cc Energy TCe 90 delivers a solid 90hp and 135Nm, making it as well suited to the open road as it is to city streets. It includes stop-start and electronically controlled turbo wastegate to optimise the balance between performance and fuel economy.
The Twingo’s cabin presents a mix of the appealingly colourful and the conveniently practical. There’s an unusually generous amount of in-cabin storage, and scope for customising it, a particularly well-designed dashboard with décor highlights available in multiple colours, three different upholsteries and a striking black and white theme for much of the interior.
Connectivity options start with the R & Go radio, which includes a system enabling a smartphone to be mounted close to eye level. R & Go functions with a free downloadable app that enables smartphones to function as a navigations system, a music source and of course, a Bluetooth connected mobile.
Also available is the latest version of the in-dash R-Link multimedia system: R-Link Evolution. It features a capacitative display (giving zooming and scrolling capability) and a DAB digital radio. Besides its custom connectivity options the Twingo provides a wide range of complementary exterior and interior personalisation possibilities, ranging from graphics to décor elements and alloy wheels.
Renault Captur Concept
‘Captur is a fun and sporty crossover, ideal for a young couple about to discover the world,’ explained Renault’s Director of Design Laurens Van den Acker at the time of its unveiling in 2011. And concept car Director Axel Breun added that, ‘It takes as its basis the fundamental design language introduced on the DeZir concept car but adds a more technical dimension – more functional but still highly sensuous.’
In its proportions and fluid curves the Captur is intended to evoke movement and lightness, while at the same time displaying powerful and muscular all-terrain cues. Just as with DeZir, angles, corners and lines have given way to sensuous and natural forms. The inspiration sources for exterior designer Julio Lozano were athletes and radical sports, beginning with the image of a sprinter on the starting blocks, muscles tensed, and the energy unleashed when the starting pistol is fired. The design also references equipment such as helmets, gloves and other protective gear used in radical sports, to combine high technology with sophistication and lightness.
But Captur is also a practical and versatile vehicle. It’s fitted with a hard convertible top which, once removed, reveals a carbon fibre framework. Captur can thus transform itself from a coupé to a convertible, from an urban vehicle to an off-roader, while its overall sporty appeal is reinforced by its butterfly doors and the big tyres fitted to 22-inch black and white rims. With its bodywork finished in a spicy shade of orange, this colour also appears in various shades on materials both inside and outside the vehicle, the cabin featuring fluorescent highlights picked out by a continuous stream of light.
The interior of Captur is designed to be both welcoming and occupant-friendly. The impression of lightness expressed by the exterior is dominant here too, with the front seats attached to the centre console as if suspended in mid air. The passenger compartment is restrained and pure, with no superfluous equipment, the centre console, door casings and dashboard formed using a translucent material rather like a second skin. At the front of the cabin, this includes a glimpse of the high-tech fibre ropes, luminescent in places, which have been used for most of the passenger compartment. Indeed, the whole interior is designed around a network of stretched elastic ropes, and to dramatic effect.
The Captur enjoys potent underbonnet appeal too, being powered by a 160hp concept version of Renault’s Energy dCi 160 twin-turbo 1.6 engine. Paired with a dual clutch EDC gearbox, this driveline promises genuinely enjoyable driving with CO2 emissions of less than 99g/km.
2014 Renault Captur
Spacious, versatile and satisfyingly distinctive, the exciting Captur is proving a shrewd and popular choice in the fast-growing market for small crossovers. And for 2014 it is now available with a new EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission option coupled either to the very economical 1.5 dCi diesel engine or the 1.2 litre TCe 120 petrol engine. This smooth-shifting six-speed automatic also provides manual gear selection and allows the 1.5 dCi version to deliver CO2 emissions of only 103g/km, and combined fuel consumption of 72.4mpg.
The Captur itself combines the style and seating position of an SUV with the versatility of an MPV and the fun-to-drive character of a small hatchback, a three-in-one combination that is already proving highly desirable to British buyers. Sporty looks, a high seating position and the scope to extensively customize the Captur’s look complement advanced engines offering up to 76.4mpg, while sophisticated touchscreen technology makes this car a pleasure to inhabit.
The Frendzy is concept inspired by the world of work. A commercial business vehicle that can comfortably double as a family car, it’s cleverly designed to meet the needs of business users on the one hand and the needs of families on the other. On display is an intricate model of the Frendzy, which was conceived as a fully electric car. It features asymmetric bodywork, the 37in screen of a Blackberry PlayBook mounted on its sliding rear door, unique ‘sound signatures’ inside and out and a fabric roof that can stretch to accommodate bulky objects.
Other imaginative features include a slate board in the rear for children to sketch on, magnetic load fixings, a slide-out touchscreen mounted under the driver’s seat for rear seat movie-viewing and two ambient colour washes to distinguish between work and leisure time.
The Frendzy’s sleekly rounded nose and cuboid cabin is just as unusual, featuring differing door solutions from side to side, and a highly stylish electronic messaging screen. On the passenger side is a conventionally hinged forward door and a sliding door, these intended for the world of work, while the butterfly-hinged doors on the opposite side are for family life. There is no centre pillar in either case, hugely improving access to the Frendzy’s practical and inviting cabin.
The R-Space is Renault’s fresh interpretation of the MPV, a vehicle class that it famously pioneered. The object of the R-Space concept was to combine a measure of sensuality with the practical recti-linearity of a monospace, and the result is a spacious vehicle that is flowing, powerful and sporty. To do this, it combines the conflicting qualities of functionality, sportiness, sensuality and the practical requirements of the family that might occupy it. In doing this, it answers the expectations of a large portion of today’s buyers.
Inside, the family likeness to the DeZir concept is clearly visible at the front in the forms of the dashboard and seats. The driver enjoys a cockpit-like environment, with a section of an apparently floating dashboard specifically dedicated to driving functions. But there’s romance as well as practicality in this design, the interlinking movement suggested by the shapes of the front seat backrests a hint at the idea of a couple in love.
The rear half of the R-Space revolves around children, and with spectacular ingenuity. This is a play space, flexible and infinitely versatile, and formed from a simple and universal shape – the cube. Twenty-seven miniature motors power an array of height-adjustable hexahedrons, allowing four settings to be programmed, from an all-flat surface, to a booster seat, a table or a random configuration (only when the vehicle is parked) for children’s games. The cube is a consistent theme in furniture design but not something one expects to come across in the world of cars: in R-Space’s cabin, however, it is unmissable – to the extent of even forming the covering for the floor and door casings.
The R-Space is powered by a downsized three cylinder 900cc direct injection petrol engine coupled to a six-speed EDC automatic transmission, this drivetrain combining the performance of a 1.6 litre engine with 95g/km CO2 emissions and combined fuel consumption of 76.3mpg.
The 2009 DeZir was the first in a series of fresh concepts that is defining Renault’s new styling direction. The creation of these concepts is being lead by Renault’s Director of design Laurens van den Acker as part of a wider exploratory concept car theme entitled, ‘Renault, designed for life’s colourful journey.’ And as its name implies, the Dezir is all about falling in love.
The DeZir is also the first Renault to express the three keywords communicating the brand’s vision, namely ‘simple’, ‘sensuous’ and ‘warm’, this sports coupe’s curvaceous lines and bright red finish suggestive of the passion that cars have always inspired. Powered by an electric motor, the DeZir combines respect for the environment with undeniable elegance.
The ‘Z’ in its name is a direct reference to Renault’s Z.E. signature, several features of its design suggestive of two qualities readily associated with electric mobility, namely advanced technology and light weight. To provide rhythm and balance to the overall package, its smooth, fluid skin contrasts with the ripple effect employed for its aluminium side panels, roof and headlight ‘eyelids’.
DeZir’s front end features a full-width air-intake that strikes out either side of a large, vertically-positioned Renault logo to proudly assert the car’s pedigree. The chrome finish of the diamond contrasts with the dark aspect of the grille to express the statement still further, while the headlights take the form of backlit prisms. And it’s this ‘face’ which has become the recognition point for the new Renaults of today, first appearing in production form on the shapely new Clio.
The DeZir’s interior design also suggests lightness. The forms are soft and light, and the predominant colour is white, although there are also echoes of the same passion red used for the exterior. The one-piece, two-seater front benchseat provides cocoon-like comfort and consists of a number of interlocking elements trimmed in white leather, as if to suggest an inexorable attraction between the two. Which is deliberate, the interior design having taken its inspiration from the idea of an amorous encounter and the coming together of opposites.
The dashboard visually mirrors the sensations felt at the wheel by means of a graphic display of data received from the accelerometer and speed sensors. The central touch screen display incorporates a smart navigation system that synchronises journey information with the driver’s diary in order to optimise task management and itineraries.
The DeZir is powered by an electric motor mounted in a mid-rear position for idealised weight distribution. Its vertically-mounted 24kWh lithium-ion battery is located behind the benchseat and provides a range of 100 miles. The motor is essentially the same as the unit used for Renault’s production electric cars, but uprated to 150hp and 226Nm.
To maximise its range and dynamic performance, the DeZir’s weight has been kept to a minimum: its body is made from Kevlar®, while its tubular steel frame is similar to that employed for the Mégane Trophy race car, as its is double wishbone suspension.
The DeZir’s aerodynamics have been carefully honed using a full underbody fairing and a rear diffuser to produce a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.25, plus outstanding acceleration – DeZir is capable of accelerating from rest to 30mph in a mere two seconds. Also included is a KERS style energy recovery system.
Although the DeZir and the Clio have quite different roles, it’s easy to see the strong creative link between the two, not only through the similarity of their faces but in the simple, sensuous and warm nature of their overall designs.
2014 Renault Clio
Like the Captur, the Clio is now available with a new EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission option coupled either to the very economical 1.5 dCi diesel engine or the 1.2 litre TCe 120 petrol engine. This smooth-shifting six-speed automatic also provides manual gear selection and allows the 1.5 dCi version to deliver CO2 emissions of only 95g/km, and combined fuel consumption of 76.0mpg. These new engine options will widen the appeal of car that has already found over 338,000 customers in 2013, its popularity fast widening.
2014 Renault ZOE
ZOE is a very affordable, purpose-designed five-door hatchback of particularly appealing lines. It debuts no less than six ‘world premiere’ features and carries 60 patents, all of them aimed at enhancing its range, user-friendliness and connectivity. It’s also the first electric vehicle to achieve an NEDC range of 130 miles thanks to its Range OptimiZEr system, which stretches the car’s range in all conditions, and has also been awarded the full NCAP five stars for occupant protection to become the highest scoring model in its class in 2013.
A 65kW (88hp) electric engine provides the ZOE with particularly strong low-speed acceleration thanks to its instant 220Nm of torque, while its top speed is capped at 84mph. Recharging takes between 30 minutes and nine hours using Renault’s patented Chameleon charger, which is compatible with both the fast-charging stations that provide a fast 30 minute charge, and a domestic overnight supply.
ZOE is available in three trims levels called Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens, all three including the Range OptimiZEr package that provides regenerative braking, a heat pump and Michelin Energy E-V tyres, all three features contributing to the 130 mile NEDC range that, in real world use, would be typically around 90 miles in temperate conditions. Renault has become the first car manufacturer to offer a free domestic charging point with a new electric car purchase. The free Single Wall-box, supplied and installed by Renault’s preferred electric vehicle charging partner, British Gas, is supplied and installed free of charge to ZOE customers.
According to a survey conducted among the first ZOE buyers by IPSOS Loyalty, 98% of ZOE owners said they were satisfied and 95% would recommend the car to family and friends. ZOE’s quiet operation, driving enjoyment and design were the top reasons for satisfaction.
2014 Spark-Renault Formula E SRT_01E
The Spark-Renault SRT-01E is the first electric car to be homologated by the FIA. The zero emission SRT_01E aims to stretch the boundaries of what is currently achievable in electric motorsport, whilst ensuring a balance between cost-effectiveness, sustainability and the robustness to cope with the demands of racing entirely on street circuits.
It has been built by new French company Spark Racing Technology, led by the renowned Frédéric Vasseur, together with a consortium of some of the leading companies in motorsport. Italian firm Dallara, which has accumulated more than 40 years’ motorsport experience, has constructed the carbonfibre and aluminium monocoque chassis, for example. The chassis is ultra light, incredibly strong and aerodynamically shaped to aid overtaking besides fully complying with the 2014 FIA crash tests – the same as those used to regulate Formula 1.
Providing the electric powertrain and electronics is McLaren Electronics Systems, a world leader in high-performance technology for motorsport. Meanwhile, Williams Advanced Engineering, part of the Williams group of companies that includes the Williams F1 Team, will supply batteries producing 200kw, the equivalent of 270bhp. This will be linked to a paddle shift sequential transmission built by Hewland, with fixed ratios to help reduce costs further.
Overseeing the systems integration process will be the Championship’s Technical Partner Renault, which will harness its experience as a leader an electric vehicle technology together with a long and highly successful history in motorsport at the highest levels.
High Performance Renault Hill-Runners
Renault is fielding a spectacular array of race and rally cars to attack the Goodwood hill, these cars spanning more than a century and propulsion systems.
Here are the runners:
- 1902 Renault Type K
- 1926 Renault 40CV Type NM des records
- 1935 Renault Nervasport
- 1965 Alpine M65
- 1977 Alpine A310 Groupe B
- 1978 Alpine A442B Le Mans car
- 1983 Renault RE40 Formula 1 car
- 1984 Renault R5 Maxi Turbo
- 2014 Mégane Renaultsport Trophy-R
1902 Renault Type K
The Type K brought Renault its first international racing victory in 1902. The company entered three cars in the Paris to Vienna race, although few thought they had much chance of winning against several far more powerful cars. But the Type K’s low weight was a real asset on the races hilly roads, and brought Marcel Renault victory, covering 807 miles at an average speed of 38.8mph. The Type K will be tackling a hill once again over the weekend when it motors up the Goodwood House drive.
1926 Renault 40CV Type NM des records
This spectacular car – its long, deep bonnet occupied almost half of its length – sat at the pinnacle of the Renault range in the 1920s and took part in many of the speed trials. In 1926 the ultimate version of this 9.0 litre car was developed for speed trials, complete with single seat, streamlined coupe bodywork, exposed wheels and a 14-strong crew trained in the art of refuelling it. It covered 50 miles at 118.1mph, and went on to achieve a 24-hour average of 107.9mph – big speeds for a production-based car of the day. And you’ll be able get a flavour of its achievement when it surges up the Goodwood hill.
1935 Renault Nervasport
Supporting the luxurious Nervastella, the Nervasport placed the emphasis on performance and notched up a string of endurance records.
The Nervasport racer was powered by Renault’s second 8-cylinder in-line unit, inspired by aviation engineering developments. With this engine, the “Nerva” series would achieve a most distinguished record, from the roads and racetracks or Europe to the tracks of Africa.
The Nervasport finished second in the 1932 Monte-Carlo Rally, just two tenths of a second behind the winner. But the Nervasport turned in its most spectacular performance at the speed ring in Montlhéry. In April 1934, a specially prepared Nervasport won several endurance records in all categories. It covered more than 8,000 km in 48 hours, an average of over 100mph with a top speed of close to 125mph.
A podium came in 1935 with victory in the Monte-Carlo Rally (and another Nervasport took 4th place). The two teams, from Norway and Estonia, had faced extremely harsh winter conditions, with icy roads and temperatures down to -20°C.
Exploit followed upon exploit, as the Nervasport won the 1935 Liège-Rome-Liège race (4,500 km in a single leg) and took second place in the Morocco Rally, behind Bugatti.
The Nervasport was fitted with an 8-cylinder engine. The highly dynamic single-seater body was designed by Marcel Riffard, a man whose name is associated with the history of both Renault vehicles and aircraft. This splendid performance made the name of the Nervasport and would influence the design of future Renault vehicles
1965 Alpine M65
The unassumingly named M65 was not only exquisitely pretty, but very effective as a Le Mans racer during the mid ‘60s. A four cylinder of a mere 1.3 litres occupied its shapely tail, but this motor developed an impressive 165bhp in a car that only weighed 669kg. This excellent power-to-weight ratio and a slippery skin allowed it the Alpine to run at speeds of over 160mph, which was certainly fast enough for the day. It was campaigned by Mauro Bianchi and Henri Grandsire at the 1965 Le Mans 24 hours, and in 1966 with Pauli Toivonen and Bengt Jansson. Bad luck saw it dropping out iofboth races, but it saw glory in the 1965 Reims 12 hours with a class win and seventh place, followed by a superb victory in the Nurburgring 500km later that year.
This car will compete in the 2014 Le Mans Classic the weekend following the Festival of Speed.
1977 Alpine A310 Groupe B
The striking Alpine A310 succeeded the legendary A110, updating the high-performance rear-engined coupe concept with pretty, sharp-edged styling, the addition of rear seats and more civility. Early cars had 1.6 litre fours, the A319 later gaining the 2.7 litre PRV V6. In this form it was developed as a Groupe B rally car, in 1977 winning the French Rally championship against far more powerful opposition. This relatively rare machine will be performing over the Festival weekend for the first time since its retirement in 1977.
1978 Alpine A442B Le Mans car
Renault contested the legendary Le Mans 24 hour race three times with the dramatic Alpine A442B, Didier Pironi and Jean-Pierre Jassaud winning the event on the car’s third outing in 1978. Powered by a turbocharged 2.0 litre, the Alpine’s powertrain signalled the dramatic stories to come when Renault departed sports car racing for Formula One after this impressive victory. The A442B looks as dramatic now as it did on its victorious day, and has lately inspired Alpine’s fresh attempt on France’s most famous race. You’ll be able to get an idea why when it charges up the Goodwood hill over the Festival weekend.
1983 Renault RE40 Formula 1 car
The RE40 was Renault’s first Formula One car to use a carbonfibre tub, this lightweight material and sizeable wings intended to counter the banning of ground-effect aerodynamics for the 1983 season. The RE40’s cause was further aided by Renault’s now long-running 1.5 litre turbo engine, which was by now running twin turbochargers to achieve a spectacular 880hp. Alain Prost was runner-up in the world championship, scoring four wins from 14 races, three pole positions and three fastest laps, too. It’s still searing performance can be witnessed over the Festival weekend.
1984 Renault R5 Maxi Turbo
By the mid ‘70s the sun had finally set on the Alpine A110’s glittering rally career, Renault’s rival Lancia dominating the scene with its mid-engined Stratos. Renault’s surprising answer to this Ferrari-powered supercar was an urban supermini, its hugely successful Five chosen as the unlikely basis for small, light and ferociously fast new mid-engined weapon. The idea was to move its engine from the front to the middle of the car to improve its traction and handling. The result was a rather strange looking Five, its rear wings distended by swollen wheel arches, its rear seats sacrificed to a box housing a highly tuned, turbocharged 1.4 litre engine of 162bhp. The Rally Championship rules required that this weirdly appealing little car enter production, in the process creating one of Renault’s many legendary performance machines and a highly collectible car today. The Renault 5 Maxi Turbo scored its maiden win on the 1981 Monte Carlo rally, and remained a potent force until the all-wheel drive Group B cars arrived. The Maxi Turbo’s extraordinary proportions, and power, can be seen in action over the Festival weekend.
2014 Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R
The Festival of Speed hosts the UK debut for the new Mégane Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R. On 15th May this year, the Renaultsport 275 Trophy-R lapped the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7’54’’36, the fastest time ever for a front-wheel drive production car piloted by Laurent Hurgon. Over the weekend, Laurent will be driving the Trophy-R up Goodwood’s famous hill each day.
The Trophy-R was developed by Renaultsport’s expert engineers along with motorsport partners: Akrapovič, Öhlins, Allevard, Recaro and Michelin. Just 250 will be built worldwide priced in the UK from £36,430 on the road.
RENAULT – 115 years of history, underpinned with a unique commitment and passion for Motor Sport
Renault has raced for almost as long as the company has been alive. In 1902 a Renault Type K won its first international victory in the Paris-to-Vienna road race, propelled by a four cylinder engine producing slightly more than 40 horsepower. It beat the more powerful Mercedes and Panhard racers because they broke down, proving very early on that to finish first, first you have to finish. In the same year Renault patented the turbocharger, something it had not forgotten when in 1977 it was the first manufacturer to race a turbocharged Formula One car. The RS01 was initially nicknamed the ‘Yellow Teapot’ by amused rival teams, but intensive development eventually saw it scoring fourth place in the 1978 US Grand Prix, and a pole position the following year. Within three years of the Yellow Teapot’s arrival most rival teams were also using turbochargers.
Although today’s Renault RS27-2013 engine is a normally aspirated V8, as required by the regulations, from 2014 it will be replaced by a highly advanced, downsized 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 featuring a pair of powerful energy recuperation systems that feed twin electric motors. These include an Energy Recovery System (ERS-K) that harvests Kinetic energy, and a second Energy Recovery System (ERS-H) that captures Heat. The aim is to deliver the same power as the 2013 V8 engine delivers using a V6 turbo and twin electric motors, to use 40percent less fuel.
Developing competitive power outputs while using less fuel is precisely the goal Renault is striving for in the road car world, the 2014 F1 rules perfectly matching a powertrain strategy founded on the company’s unrivalled commitment to electric motors, coupled to the intensive development of the internal combustion engine . The aim? Spectacular fuel consumption, and major CO2 efficiency gains. A drop of fuel means as much on the track as it does on the road, and Renault’s expertise lies in extracting the maximum energy from it.
And this is why Renault participates in the most competitive motorsport arena in the world. What it learns from engine development feeds directly into its road car programmes, both by adopting F1 technologies and by moving its engineers between the two disciplines. It’s a highly successful strategy that has not only yielded 11 titles, 152 victories, 202 pole positions and 283 podiums during the company’s current 36-year participation in F1, but also a long and impressive run of Renault road cars that sit at the forefront of automotive technology. And reliability too, what Renault has learnt from developing an F1 engine that revs to 18,000rpm regularly for lap-after-lap, transferring directly to its production engines.
Advanced engine technology not only produces highly efficient performance, but also road cars that make an exciting drive. Every Renault with an Energy engine comes with the thrilling power delivery of a turbocharger, and has been engineered by men and women with a genuine passion for cars. The same engineers work in the disciplines of both the race and road cars worlds, and they don’t forget what they know of one when they’re working in the other. Which is why a strong vein of motorsport DNA courses through the heart of every Renault, be it a classic Alpine A310, a Renault 5GT Turbo or today’s latest Clio and Captur.