Renault debuts the Renaultsport R.S. 01 race car in Moscow [w/video]

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 27, 2014

Renault made quite a buzz today at the 2014 Moscow Motor Show when it unveiled the Renaultsport R.S. 01 race car. The new vehicle will take the start from 2015 in a new championship called Renaultsport Trophy, a springboard for the professional GT and Endurance championships. The Renaultsport R.S. 01 is completely new and promises to be the most efficient GT racer in the world.

The first visual impact with the vehicle shows the large centered logo that dominates the front grille, large air intakes, stylish LED headlights, as well as a large front lip spoiler. From the side, the Renaultsport R.S. 01 resembles the DeZir Concept but designer Akio Shimizu was also inspired by the Renault Etoille Filante (Shooting Star), a vehicle that managed to top 300 km/h (186 mph) at Boneville Salt Flats in 1956.

The side shows a lower splitter located behind the front wheels as well as intercooler scoops that provide better cooling for the turbochargers. The rear end features stylish LED lights, a twin exhaust but also an adjustable rear wing as well as a new air diffuser.

In terms of safety, the Renaultsport R.S. 01 comes with a front crash box that absorbs energy in case of a frontal impact, a crash box for the gearbox, a steel roll cage as well as a tub which includes a 150 liter fuel tank. As a result, the race car respects FIA’s LMP1 2014 standards.

According to the press release, there is also new suspension design, featuring a conventional double wishbone layout that has been adopted with pushrods and Ohlins dampers. Behind the 18-inch wheels we find 380 mm carbon brake discs developed by PFC Brakes with six-piston calipers.

Under the hood, there is a 3.8-liter V6 twin-turbo petrol engine prepared by Nismo, same used by the Nissan GT-R, which delivers 500 hp and 600 Nm of torque. Engine is bolted to a seven-speed gearbox developed by Sadev.

Press Release

Renault Sport RS 01

Renault is restating its passion for motor sports with the Renault Sport R.S. 01, a racing car of spectacular styling and exceptional performance. With a design inspired by the world of concept cars and governed by an absolute pursuit of aerodynamic downforce, Renault Sport R.S. 01 is a radical expression of the brand's sporting DNA. Its technical specifications reflect the best of Renaultsport expertise. With a carbon monocoque for a weight of less than 1,100 kg and an engine developing over 500 hp, it is able to reach a top speed of over 300 kph. From 2015, Renault Sport R.S. 01 will be one of the stars of World Series by Renault in a new championship, the Renaultsport Trophy, a springboard for the professional GT and Endurance championships.

"Renault Sport R.S. 01 is a racing car of extraordinary design, symbolising Renault's passion for motor sports. The spectacular design lines reflect in themselves the ambitions of this exceptional car, thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of Laurens van den Acker and his team. Under the bodywork, it is packed with cutting-edge systems from Renault Sport Technologies. The aim is to achieve an advanced level of performance, delivering thrills for both the driver and the public. If we had to sum up Renault Sport R.S. 01 in a few words, we could describe it as a marriage between the beauty of Renault DeZir and the performance of Formula Renault 3.5!" Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies.

"Renault Sport R.S. 01 is a spectacular racing car, in the purest tradition of GT. With its high-level sporting capacities, Renault Sport R.S. 01 illustrates the rich expertise of Renaultsport, and its ability to develop the racing cars that will reveal future GT or Endurance champions." Alain Prost, Renault Ambassador for motorsport

Spectacular design, inspired by the world of concept cars

A car to thrill at first glance, Renault Sport R.S. 01 sets out to be one of the world's most efficient GT racers. With every stroke of the design pen, in the body lines and in the detail, the aim was twofold: to make Renault Sport R.S. 01 an iconic Renault vehicle, and to contribute to track performance through a constant quest for aerodynamic efficiency.

An emblematic front end, reflecting Renault's sporting genes

Like all the Renault vehicles designed under the management of Laurens van den Acker, Renault Sport R.S. 01 displays a prominent logo, the key feature on the front end. The vehicle's impressive width of 2,000 mm - for a height of 1,116 mm - is reinforced by the signature of the LED daytime-running lights positioned along the brake cooling scoops.

At the centre of the grille, the air is "sucked in" and channelled by the stem of the chassis towards the two water coolers. It is then expelled through the extractors positioned on the hood. The negative pressure thereby created increases downforce at the front of the car. The large blade of the lower splitter and the stepped flat bottom also contribute to aerodynamics at the front. The two fins on the side of the bumper generate vortices that limit the turbulence of the rotating wheels.

A low-slung, sculpted profile

Underlined by the graphic pattern running from the headlights to the side air intakes, the low-slung profile is characteristic of a GT with a central rear engine. The imbalance in the overhangs is dictated by vehicle architecture and also by efforts to optimise weight distribution. The windows extending back to the airfoil and the curved shape of the rear bonnet further underline the choices made in design.

The sculpted lines of Renault Sport R.S. 01 bring to mind the concept car DeZir, presented in 2010. In his preliminary study, designer Akio Shimizu was also inspired by Renault Étoile Filante (shooting star), the record-breaking vehicle that topped 300 kph at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956!

The air flow is channelled by the lower splitter into extractors positioned behind the front wheels. Running along the doors, these extractors change shape to become intercooler scoops. This provides effective cooling for the turbochargers.

Power and strong identity at the rear

Looking beyond the adjustable fin, the rear diffuser "pushes"' Renault Sport R.S. 01 to the track, extracting the air flow sweeping under the flat bottom. This system has a huge advantage in that it creates no drag and so does not penalise top speed.

The diffuser is topped by a twin exhaust and LED lights, completing the original light signature that extends across the width of Renault Sport R.S. 01 almost in its entirety.

LMP1 safety standards for the carbon body shell

Supervised by engineer Christophe Chapelain, Renault Sport R.S. 01 was designed in cooperation with benchmark technical partners.

The carbon fibre monocoque was a natural choice in order to meet objectives in terms of weight and safety. Italy's Dallara was responsible for designing and building the chassis, in the same way as for Formula Renault 3.5. The tub, which includes the 150 litre fuel tank, features a steel roll cage at the top. At the front, a crash box absorbs energy in the event of frontal impact. Shaped like a boat's stem, the design contributes to aerodynamic efficiency. Another crash box attached to the gearbox, plays the same role at the rear of the car. The entire assembly respects FIA LMP1 2014 standards to ensure safety.

Completing the list of safety features are a collapsible steering column, and a Sabelt bucket seat with a six-point harness, compatible with the HANS® system.

Running gear contributing to efficiency

Grip is provided primarily by aerodynamic downforce and this is reflected in suspension design. In the same way as on sports prototypes, a conventional double wishbone layout has been adopted with pushrods and Öhlins dampers. Adjustable for compression and rebound, the systems are positioned on either side of the body at the front, and longitudinally above the gearbox at the rear.

The braking system combines 380 mm carbon discs from PFC Brakes with six-piston calipers. This choice is an excellent compromise between efficiency and endurance. Renault Sport R.S. 01 is also fitted with Bosch Motorsport ABS.

The partner of Renault Sport Technologies for all its motorsport products, Michelin has developed special 18-inch tyres, mounted on wheels of original design with a central nut.

Engine and Transmission

The semi-stressed engine is bolted to the carbon monocoque on the distribution side, and to the roll cage at the top. Prepared by Nismo, the 3.8 litre V6 twin-turbo engine is derived from the Nissan GT-R. The main change in relation to the production model is the dry sump system intended to prevent oil surges during long corners. The Pectel electronic unit features a traction control function. Turbo pressure is set to deliver over 500 hp with maximum torque of more than 600 N.m. This positions Renault Sport R.S. 01 between a GT3 and a DTM in terms of performance.

Seven-speed sequential gearbox

The Nismo engine is mated to a longitudinal seven-speed gearbox supplied by Sadev. With an eye to budget management, the same gear ratio sets will be used for all tracks. However, it will be possible to adjust the preload setting of the self-locking differential.

Activated by steering-wheel paddles, the sequential control system is managed by an XAP electromagnetic actuator. Developed specially by ZF Race Engineering, the clutch features an anti-stall function and is designed for an extended service life.


Topics: renault, race car

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