Half electric city car, half Formula One car, all awesome; the Renault Twizy RS F1 concept is the latest example of the French manufacturer’s passion to bring racing technology to the road.
From the same alliance that brought us the Nissan Juke R, the Twizy Renaultsport F1 concept blends two ends of the automotive spectrum like few others before it.
Tacked onto the conventional Twizy’s standard 13kW electric motor is a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) based on that fitted to Renault-powered F1 cars – currently including those from Red Bull Racing, Lotus and Caterham.
The system delivers a 13-second boost that increases power output six-fold to 72kW, launching the Twizy RS F1 concept from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds – staggeringly, matching the sprint time of Renault’s flagship sports car, the Megane RS265.
The KERS takes the place of the standard rear seat, making the Twizy RS F1 concept a single seater. Deepening the racecar relationship is the concept’s slick tyres (the same ones as those fitted to the Formula Renault 2.0 car), a carbonfibre splitter, side pods, single-seat-style wing mirrors, rear wing and a racing diffuser, which incorporates the rain light of a Formula Renault 3.5 car.
The Twizy RS F1 concept’s steering wheel has also been derived directly from the Renault 3.5, and features rotary knobs to control the energy-recovery and boost functions as well as paddleshifters to activate the KERS.
An ‘RS Monitor’ data logging system similar to that fitted to the Megane RS265 and new Clio RS200 displays real-time performance specs and information on the KERS system and other functions in a screen on the steering wheel.
Renaultsport F1 president and managing director Jean-Michel Jalinier said he hoped the Renault Twizy RS F1 concept would “make a few people smile while also making a serious point”.
“We always said we wanted to create F1-derived technology that was road relevant,” Jalinier said.
“KERS is a very complex system and integrating it into another electric vehicle was a very serious endeavour, but [we] managed to make it work, delivering a huge boost of power safely and efficiently.
“I’m not sure we’ll be seeing many of these on our roads, but it does show that the same principles we see on the race track can be filtered down to the road legal range – this is just the evil elder brother.”
The Renault Twizy RS F1 concept will debut at tomorrow’s World Series by Renault meeting at Aragon, Spain, followed by an appearance at the Barcelona motor show.