Named in honour of Renault's first Formula One car, the RS01, the new Renault R.S. 01 features eye-catching body work wrapped around a carbon monocoque chassis and a steel roll cage, both from Dallara. All up the R.S. 01 is claimed to weigh less than 1100 kilograms. Measuring 2.0 metres wide and just 1.12m tall, the R.S. 01 is significantly broader than it is from tarmac to turret.
Behind the passenger cell is a version of the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 used in the Nissan GT-R. Featuring a dry sump and tuning by Nismo, the 3.8-litre motor is fed by a 150L fuel tank and is said to produce more than 370kW of power and in excess of 600Nm of torque. According to Renault, the R.S. 01's performance lies somewhere between a GT3 and a DTM race car.
Power goes to the rear wheels via limited-slip differential and a Sadev seven-speed sequential transmission, which is operated via steering wheel paddles. Hiding behind the R.S. 01's 18-inch wheels are 380mm carbon discs clamped with six-piston calipers. The suspension features double wishbones, pushrods and adjustable Ohlins dampers.
Starting in the 2015 season, the Renault R.S. 01 will compete in the pro-am Renault Sport Trophy, which the company hopes will serve as a gateway to professional racing categories. The winner of the Sport Trophy's professional category will be given a rookie test with Nismo's Super GT racing team, while the amateur champion will earn a spot driving a LMP2 prototype for the 2016 Le Mans 24 hour race.
The Renault R.S. 01 is priced at 282,000 pounds ($500,000). In order to keep costs under control, the gearbox will use the same set of gear ratios for all tracks in the series.