Renault brought the Twizy Renaultsport F1 concept car – a one-off that is the product of the cooperation between Renaultsport and Renaultsport F1 engineers - at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA). What they accomplished was to turn the Renault Twizy electric city car into a quasi-Formula 1 car. A Renault F1-supplied KERS is used on the Twizy Renaultsport F1 concept car.
As a result, it can match the 0-62mph sprint time of 6.0sec of the Renaultport Mégane 265, which is Renault’s fastest road car. This project was started to prove that F1 technology can be used on road cars via the integration of a KERS in the Twizy that duplicates those used on Renault-powered F1 cars.
The 30kg-in-weight KERS system uses an electric motor, lithium-ion batteries and a control unit. It takes the place of the rear seat in the Twizy, making the concept a one-seater.
It is grafted onto the Twizy’s original 17bhp electric motor. The KERS recovers the energy lost under braking and stores it in the battery. The Twizy F1 gets an additional 79bhp when it is fully charged.
The deceleration forces in the Twizy F1 are very far from those of a single-seat race car, so the KERS was revised to also get power from the Twizy’s main electric motor so the KERS boost is always available.
Choosing the ‘Boost’ mode from the Twizy F1’s Formula Renault 3.5 race car-inspired steering wheel (the other option is Recover mode), it can achieve a top speed of 68mph at a maximum 10,000rpm.
This is significantly lower than the 36,000rpm the KERS motor runs at, so in order to make sure that they synchronize, a special reducer gear is placed between the motors.
The Twizy F1 has a weight of 564kg, about 91kg heavier than a standard Twizy. Using the KERS system has considerably boosted the power-to-weight ratio, the Twizy F1 delivering 1bhp per 5.8kg compared to the standard Twizy’s 1bhp per 25kg.
The Twizy F1’s power-to-weight ratio is better than the 1bhp per 5.2kg of the RS Mégane 265. The Twizy F1 gets an extravagant bodykit, which includes large front and rear wings, side pods, a rear diffuser with an F1-style rain light and side pods. It features yellow and black paintwork that’s inspired by Renault’s past F1 liveries.