Renault’s Twizy electric city car has been modified and has become a quasi-Formula 1 car. Equipped with a Renault F1-supplied KERS, the Twizy Renaultsport F1 concept car is now able to accelerate from zero to 62mph in 6.0sec – matching the record set by Renault’s fastest road car, the Renaultport Mégane 265.
For now, this concept is strictly a one-off. This concept is the product of the partnership between Renaultsport and Renaultsport F1 engineers. It is meant to demonstrate that road cars can feature F1 technology, via the integration of a KERS in the Twizy in a way that’s identical to those used on Renault-powered F1 cars.
The 30kg-in-weight KERS system is composed of an electric motor, lithium-ion batteries and a control unit. This concept is a one-seater as the system is located where the Twizy’s rear seat used to be.
It is incorporated into the Twizy’s original 17bhp electric motor. The KERS recovers energy lost when braking and gets this stored in the battery. On a full charge, the Twizy F1 gets an additional 79bhp.
Since the deceleration forces are not as high in the Twizy F1 as in a single-seat race car, the KERS was amended to also get power from the Twizy’s main electric motor so the KERS boost is always on hand.
When the driver chooses the ‘Boost’ mode from the Twizy F1’s Formula Renault 3.5 race car-inspired steering wheel, it is capable of achieving a top speed of 68mph at a maximum 10,000rpm.
The other option is the ‘Recover’ mode. This means that it’s a lot lower than the 36,000rpm that the KERS motor is running at. And so, in order to synchronize, a special reducer gear has been fitted between the motors.
With a weight of 564kg, the Twizy F1 is about 91kg heavier than a standard Twizy. However, the power-to-weight ratio of the Twizy F1 was much improved due to the addition of the KERS system with 1bhp per 5.8kg compared to the standard Twizy’s 1bhp per 25kg.