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.
The new Renault Sport R.S. 01 is earning a name as one of the most efficient GT racers in world. During the design and development process, its creators are targeting to achieve two goals. First is to make Renault Sport R.S. 01 an iconic Renault car, and second is to increase its levels of track performance by constantly pursuing aerodynamic efficiency.
Just like all Renault cars designed under the guidance of Laurens van den Acker, the new Renault Sport R.S. 01 dons a prominent logo on the front end. Its low and wide proportions – made possible by a height of 1,116 mm and width of 2,000 mm -- is accentuated by the lighting signature of the LED daytime running lights located along the brake cooling scoops.
The stem of the chassis sucks in and channels air towards the two water coolers, and is then expelled through the extractors located on the hood. This results to negative pressure, which in turn increases downforce on the front. The frontal aerodynamics of the Renault Sport R.S. 01 is helped by large blades on the lower splitter and the stepped flat bottom. Meanwhile, the side of the bumper features two fins that generate vortices restricting air turbulence on the rotating wheels.
As a GT with a central rear engine, the Renault Sport R.S. 01 features a low-slung profile accentuating the graphic pattern flowing from the headlights to the side air intakes.
The seemingly imbalanced overhangs were a result of the vehicle architecture and by intentions to optimize its weight distribution. These design choices are underlined by the windows extending back to the airfoil and by the curved shape of the rear bonnet.