2013 IAA: Renault Twizy F1 zooms through Frankfurt [Live Photos]

Article by Christian A., on September 13, 2013

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. 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.

Renault’s Twizy Sport F1's steering wheel is conceived straight from the one on Renault’s Formula 3.5 racing car. Its abilities were adapted to be used in an electric automobile equipped with KERS, with a rim that has a broader diameter.

The energy level regained while in Recovery mode; it can be attuned through the four-position rotary knob. Another rotary knob allows the power boost to be selected. You can choose from one of six pre-set levels that range from 10 to 60kW.

The driver can release the stored energy from the KERS by initiating the two paddles mounted to the steering wheel at once. To show onlookers that is has been turned on, the rain light in Twizy Renault Sport F1's diffuser goes on.

The concept car has its own system of data logging, with data shown on a multi-page display located on the steering wheel. This screen can be customised to display information about both Twizy's and the KERS F1 electronics.

A vast parameter range can be shown in real time, such as the main battery's charge level, the KERS battery's charge level, oil pressure, water temperature, and more.

Renault’s Twizy Sport F1 also comes with an 'RS Monitor' system of data logging which is like the one for the Mégane R.S. and New Clio R.S. 200 EDC. This lets the driver monitor numerous performance parameters in real time (0-50 kph, 0-100 kph, 50-metre standing start, 100-metre standing start).

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