2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01

Although it doesn’t benefit from the same recognition surrounding the Ferrari brand, Renault is a big name in the world of motorsports. The French have been involved in top-tier racing for decades and, more recently, their World Series championships have helped numerous talented youngsters grow into professional racers. For 2015, Renault and its Sport Technologies arm have developed yet another racing division, one that comes with its own, exclusive race car.

Make no mistake though, this new racer is not another beefed-up Megane RS . The French have taken things up a notch with a vehicle that’s faster than the entire bunch of race-ready Megane RS and Clio RS hatches. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Renault’s new race car features a unique design, highlighted by a coupe-like shape with a fixed wing on the rear.

Updated 8/27/2014: Renault has revealed the new Renaultsport R.S. 01

Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Sport Trophy.

Update History

Updated 07/30/2014: Renault unveiled the official name of its new sports car and a new teaser image for the Renaultsport R.S. 01, which will be unveiled on August 27th, 2014.

Teaser Images

Renaultsport R.S. 01
Renaultsport R.S. 01

Exterior

Renaultsport R.S. 01
Renaultsport R.S. 01
Renaultsport R.S. 01

The French promised the R.S. 01 will boast a spectacular design inspired by the world of concept cars, and they weren’t kidding

The French promised the R.S. 01 will boast a spectacular design inspired by the world of concept cars, and they weren’t kidding. The race car is by far the most aggressive and sleek vehicle Renault has ever built, and its design is indeed worthy of a concept car. The styling is beautiful, aerodynamic and unique, but, at the same time, it incorporates some of the key features of the current Renault lineup. The front end, for instance, is adorned by a prominent emblem and subtle cues that remind me of the Mega Mega ne. Everything else is unique to the R.S. 01 though. The front fascia is dominated by a large, center-mounted air dam, a carbon-fiber piece holding the Renault logo and the slim headlamps, and a carbon-fiber splitter. Making the front end even more spectacular are the U-shaped LED daytime running lights positioned along the brake cooling inlets. The scenario is rounded off by muscular front fenders, the vented hood and the aerodynamic fins mounted on each side of the bumper.

The rear end is equally impressive. A large, fixed wing sits atop the rear section, just behind the bonnet, while a huge, carbon-fiber diffuser makes up the entire lower section of the bumper. Between the two lies a pair of ultra-thin, LED taillights and a couple of exhaust pipes. Remove the badge off this sexy rear end and you could easily mistake the R.S. 01 for a GT3 racer.

The new Renault Trophy machine becomes even more aggressive when viewed from the side. The profile is sleek and low, with beefed-up wheel arches and huge side scoops to drool at. Overall, the R.S. 01 looks like the love child of an Audi Audi R8 and a Porsche Cayman, and that’s a good thing. The wheels are downright fancy for a race car, featuring a five-spoke arrangement with red accents.

Bolted on a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis built by Dallara, the R.S. 01 tips the scales at less than 2,425 pounds. So it’s not just about the looks, this race car is light and fast too.

Exterior Dimensions
Length185.43 inches
Width78.8 inches
Height43.9 inches
Wheelbase108 inches
Front/rear track66 / 64 inches
Fuel tank150 liters
Weight<2,425 lbs.

Interior

Renault didn’t release photos or actual details about the race car’s interior, but it mentions the R.S. 01 benefits from FIA LMP1 safety standards. A steel roll cage protects the driver in the event of a crash, while a Sabelt bucket seat with a six-point harness provides a comfortable ride and extra safety on the track. The vehicle is also fitted with a collapsible steering column.

Drivetrain

Renaultsport R.S. 01

That’s right, folks, this racer will sweep the tracks with the same twin-turbo powerplant available in the mighty Nissan GT-R under its hood

Motivating the R.S. 01 is a Nismo-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine. That’s right, folks, this racer will sweep the tracks with the same twin-turbo powerplant available in the mighty Nissan Nissan GT-R under its hood. Tuned to deliver more than 500 horsepower and over 443 pound-feet of torque, the unit is mostly similar to the production mill fitted in the GT-R. The main change is a dry-sump system mounted to prevent oil surges during long corners.

The engine acts as a semi-stressed part, as it is bolted to the carbon-fiber monocoque on the distribution side and to the roll cage at the top. Clever!

Power travels to the rear wheels through a seven-speed sequential gearbox supplied by Sadev The sequential control system is managed by an XAP electromagnetic actuator, while the clutch is provided by ZF Race Engineering. Specifically developed for the R.S. 01, the clutch comes with an anti-stall function and increased durability for endurance racing.

As with most race cars, performance numbers haven’t been released, but, given its reduced weight and powerful engine, we figure 0-to-60 sprints should be achieved in less than 3.5 seconds, while top speed should be reached beyond the 186-mph mark.

Engine Specifications
TypeNismo V6 - 24 valves – 3,799 CC
LayoutLongitudinal central rear
FeedInjection – 2 turbochargers
Max power> 500 horsepower
Max torque> 443 pound-feet of torque
Max enginespeed 6,800 rpm
Electronic managementPectel SQ6M with traction control
Data acquisitionCosworth ICD Pro
Transmission Specifications
TypeRear wheel drive
GearboxSadev sequential, 7 speed+ reverse
ControlXAP semi-automatic with steering-wheel paddles
DifferentialLimited slip
ClutchZF Race Engineering, long service life with anti-stall function 

Suspension and Brakes

Renaultsport R.S. 01

Keeping the R.S. 01 on its best behavior on the track is a race-spec, double wishbone and pushrod suspension with two-way, adjustable Ohlins dampers. Stopping this beast before cornering are PFC, 380-mm (15-inch) carbon discs and six-piston calipers at all corners. The lightweight, Braid wheels are wrapped in Michelin tires, while the ABS carries a Bosch tag.

Pricing

Renaultsport R.S. 01

There’s no pricing information as of August 2014, but we’ll be right back with an update as soon as we have it.

Renaultsport Trophy

Renaultsport R.S. 01

The R.S. 01 will compete in a brand-new event for the 2015 season. The series will gather Pro-Am teams and the events will include sprinting and endurance events as well. The first season is open to 20 teams classified according to the rules of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), with track time estimated at more than four hours per car and per driver, over a three-day weekend.

Alongside the regular prize money, championship rewards will also include development programs for the winner of the Pro and Am category. The former will have the change to take a rookie test with the official Nismo team for the Super GT in Japan, while the latter will take part in the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans race in an LMP2 prototype.

Competitors

2014 Volkswagen GTI Roadster Concept

Volkswagen Vision Gran Turismo Concept

I know, this concept car is more of a virtual racer than an actual vehicle and the Renault Sport Trophy won’t race any other cars on the track, but the two have a lot in common. Both vehicles were built with lightness in mind, both use forced induction, and both deliver in excess of 500 horsepower. Granted, the Renault doesn’t benefit from such a futuristic design, but the French race car sports a similarly sleek and aerodynamic body.

Inspired by the Volkswagen Golf GTI , the Roadster Concept takes on the virtual tracks of Gran Turismo with 503 horsepower and 491 pound-feet of torque at the push of a button. The power reaches the wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and pushes the 3,133-pound vehicle from 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. Judging by the power-to-weight ratio, the Renault is a bit faster. And as far as cool factor goes, the Trophy wins by a long shot — I like my race cars real!

Conclusion

Renaultsport R.S. 01

Renault may be an automaker known for building affordable and fuel-efficient road cars, but the French are among the top manufacturers when it comes to racing machines. The new R.S. 01 showcases it’s better than anything else and proves Renault is aiming to expand its motorsport efforts into new categories. It’s somewhat disappointing that the R.S. 01 will only compete in a one-make series, but my fingers are crossed that this race car becomes more than just a Renault Renault sport Trophy machine in the near future. Maybe Renault is even considering a road-going sports car based on it, so here’s to hoping!

LOVE IT
  • Unique, aggressive design
  • Lightweight body and chassis
  • Nissan GT-R power!
  • Would make a spectacular road-legal sports car
LEAVE IT
  • Not for public roads
  • Restricted to a one-make series
  • Pricing not yet available

Press Release

Renault is restating its passion for motor sports with the Renaultsport R.S. 01, a racing car of spectacular styling and exceptional performance. With a design inspired by the world of concept cars and governed by an absolute pursuit of aerodynamic downforce, Renaultsport R.S. 01 is a radical expression of the brand’s sporting DNA. Its technical specifications reflect the best of Renaultsport expertise. With a carbon monocoque for a weight of less than 1,100 kg and an engine developing over 500 hp, it is able to reach a top speed of over 300 kph. From 2015, Renaultsport R.S. 01 will be one of the stars of World Series by Renault in a new championship, the Renaultsport Trophy, a springboard for the professional GT and Endurance championships.

“Renaultsport R.S. 01 is a racing car of extraordinary design, symbolising Renault’s passion for motor sports. The spectacular design lines reflect in themselves the ambitions of this exceptional car, thanks to the efforts and enthusiasm of Laurens van den Acker and his team. Under the bodywork, it is packed with cutting-edge systems from Renault Sport Technologies. The aim is to achieve an advanced level of performance, delivering thrills for both the driver and the public. If we had to sum up Renaultsport R.S. 01 in a few words, we could describe it as a marriage between the beauty of Renault DeZir and the performance of Formula Renault 3.5!”
Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies

“Renaultsport R.S. 01 is a spectacular racing car, in the purest tradition of GT. With its high-level sporting capacities, Renaultsport R.S. 01 illustrates the rich expertise of Renaultsport, and its ability to develop the racing cars that will reveal future GT or Endurance champions.”

Alain Prost, Renault Ambassador for motorsport

1. Design

Spectacular design, inspired by the world of concept cars

A car to thrill at first glance, Renaultsport R.S. 01 sets out to be one of the world’s most efficient GT racers. With every stroke of the design pen, in the body lines and in the detail, the aim was twofold: to make Renaultsport R.S. 01 an iconic Renault vehicle, and to contribute to track performance through a constant quest for aerodynamic efficiency.

An emblematic front end, reflecting Renault’s sporting genes

Like all the Renault vehicles designed under the management of Laurens van den Acker, Renaultsport R.S. 01 displays a prominent logo, the key feature on the front end. The vehicle’s impressive width of 2,000 mm – for a height of 1,116 mm – is reinforced by the signature of the LED daytime-running lights positioned along the brake cooling scoops.

At the centre of the grille, the air is “sucked in” and channelled by the stem of the chassis towards the two water coolers. It is then expelled through the extractors positioned on the hood. The negative pressure thereby created increases downforce at the front of the car. The large blade of the lower splitter and the stepped flat bottom also contribute to aerodynamics at the front. The two fins on the side of the bumper generate vortices that limit the turbulence of the rotating wheels. 

A low-slung, sculpted profile

Underlined by the graphic pattern running from the headlights to the side air intakes, the low-slung profile is characteristic of a GT with a central rear engine. The imbalance in the overhangs is dictated by vehicle architecture and also by efforts to optimise weight distribution. The windows extending back to the airfoil and the curved shape of the rear bonnet further underline the choices made in design.

The sculpted lines of Renaultsport R.S. 01 bring to mind the concept car DeZir, presented in 2010. In his preliminary study, designer Akio Shimizu was also inspired by Renault Étoile Filante (shooting star), the record-breaking vehicle that topped 300 kph at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1956!

The air flow is channelled by the lower splitter into extractors positioned behind the front wheels. Running along the doors, these extractors change shape to become intercooler scoops. This provides effective cooling for the turbochargers.

Power and strong identity at the rear

Looking beyond the adjustable fin, the rear diffuser “pushes”’ Renaultsport R.S. 01 to the track, extracting the air flow sweeping under the flat bottom. This system has a huge advantage in that it creates no drag and so does not penalise top speed.

The diffuser is topped by a twin exhaust and LED lights, completing the original light signature that extends across the width of Renault Sport R.S. 01 almost in its entirety.

LMP1 safety standards for the carbon body shell

Supervised by engineer Christophe Chapelain, Renaultsport R.S. 01 was designed in cooperation with benchmark technical partners.

The carbon fibre monocoque was a natural choice in order to meet objectives in terms of weight and safety. Italy’s Dallara was responsible for designing and building the chassis, in the same way as for Formula Renault 3.5. The tub, which includes the 150 litre fuel tank, features a steel roll cage at the top. At the front, a crash box absorbs energy in the event of frontal impact. Shaped like a boat’s stem, the design contributes to aerodynamic efficiency. Another crash box attached to the gearbox, plays the same role at the rear of the car. The entire assembly respects FIA LMP1 2014 standards to ensure safety.

Completing the list of safety features are a collapsible steering column, and a Sabelt bucket seat with a six-point harness, compatible with the HANS® system.

Running gear contributing to efficiency

Grip is provided primarily by aerodynamic downforce and this is reflected in suspension design. In the same way as on sports prototypes, a conventional double wishbone layout has been adopted with pushrods and Öhlins dampers. Adjustable for compression and rebound, the systems are positioned on either side of the body at the front, and longitudinally above the gearbox at the rear.

The braking system combines 380 mm carbon discs from PFC Brakes with six-piston calipers. This choice is an excellent compromise between efficiency and endurance. Renaultsport R.S. 01 is also fitted with Bosch Motorsport ABS.

The partner of Renault Sport Technologies for all its motorsport products, Michelin has developed special 18-inch tyres, mounted on wheels of original design with a central nut.

Three questions for… Éric Diemert – Design Director, Renault Sport Technologies

What were the requirements concerning the design of Renaultsport R.S. 01?

“Renault Sport Technologies wanted to develop a car exploring a new dimension in performance. So it was important for this impetus to be visible in design. Also, the reach of Renaultsport R.S. 01 had to extend beyond the range to make it an iconic brand model. This is why it looks nothing like a production vehicle. The process was similar to designing a concept car in terms of the freedom enjoyed by the team, so that was really exciting.”

What were the main stages in the process leading up to presentation of the mock-up at the Moscow Motor Show?
“All our projects begin with an in-house competition. From 22nd November, 2013, as part of this first phase, sixteen designers from our network of Design centres in France and other countries were able to give free rein to their creative drive. At the end of three weeks, we chose the work of Akio Shimizu, a young Japanese designer working at the Guyancourt exterior design studio. His project was a natural choice for its strength of expression and immediate connection with Renault’s identity. We then made a digital mock-up of his drawings. This took us into the technical phase, based on constant small-loop exchanges with Renault Sport Technologies and Dallara. The aim was to establish the best possible balance between our requirements in terms of design and aerodynamics. With each iteration, performance was verified by means of CFD calculations. We then milled a full-size mock-up. This stage was crucial to validating the vehicle’s proportions and attitude. The result showed our decisions to be sound, so subsequent changes primarily concerned fine-tuning of the body lines, air intakes and extractors. The definitive design was frozen on 25th April.”

How would you assess the result?

“First, we need to emphasize that the entire project was completed in five months. That’s a particularly short time frame compared with the production projects we’re used to. Renaultsport R.S.01 expresses a successful convergence achieved against challenging constraints relating to the quest for top-level performance. With hindsight, I would say that the aerodynamics issue largely guided but - above all - stimulated our creativity! The end product is a source of great pride for the entire team. We’re impatient now to see the cars on the starting grid for their first race!”

3. Engine and Transmission

More than 500 horsepower

The semi-stressed engine is bolted to the carbon monocoque on the distribution side, and to the roll cage at the top. Prepared by Nismo, the 3.8 litre V6 twin-turbo engine is derived from the Nissan GT-R. The main change in relation to the production model is the dry sump system intended to prevent oil surges during long corners. The Pectel electronic unit features a traction control function. Turbo pressure is set to deliver over 500 hp with maximum torque of more than 600 N.m. This positions Renaultsport R.S. 01 between a GT3 and a DTM in terms of performance.

Seven-speed sequential gearbox

The Nismo engine is mated to a longitudinal seven-speed gearbox supplied by Sadev. With an eye to budget management, the same gear ratio sets will be used for all tracks. However, it will be possible to adjust the preload setting of the self-locking differential.

Activated by steering-wheel paddles, the sequential control system is managed by an XAP electromagnetic actuator. Developed specially by ZF Race Engineering, the clutch features an anti-stall function and is designed for an extended service life.

4. Technical

CHASSIS
Type
Dallara carbon monocoque and steel roll cage
Safety
Monocoque, roll cage and crashboxes compliant with FIA LMP1 2014 standards, collapsible steering column, Sabelt seat FIA 8862/2009 standard
Bodywork
Composites
Aerodynamic features
Front blade and splitter, stepped flat bottom, rear diffuser and rear wing

ENGINE
Type
Nismo V6 - 24 valves – 3,799 cm3
Layout
Longitudinal central rear
Feed
Injection – 2 turbochargers
Max power
> 500 hp
Max torque
> 600 N.m
Max engine speed
6,800 rpm
Electronic management
Pectel SQ6M with traction control
Data acquisition
Cosworth ICD Pro

TRANSMISSION
Type
Rear wheel drive
Gearbox
Sadev sequential, 7 speed+ reverse
Control
XAP semi-automatic with steering-wheel paddles
Differential
Limited slip
Clutch
ZF Race Engineering, long service life with anti-stall function 

RUNNING GEAR AND SUSPENSION
Suspension
Double wishbone + pushrods
Dampers
Öhlins 2-way adjustable
Brakes
PFC Brakes 380 mm carbon discs, 6-piston calipers, Bosch ABS system
Steering
Hydraulic power steering

WHEELS
Wheels
Braid wheels, central mounting
Tyres
Michelin 30/68 R18 (front) and 31/71 R18 (rear)

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES
Length
4,710 mm
Width
2,000 mm
Height
1,116 mm
Wheelbase
2,744 mm
Front/rear track
1,675 / 1,624 mm
Fuel tank
150 litres
Weight
< 1,100 kg

5. Renaultsport

An organiser of motorsports events for 40 years, Renaultsport is entering a new phase with Renaultsport R.S. 01. The new car will add a fresh dimension to customer sport and to talent-spotting among pilots and amateur drivers. Renaultsport R.S. 01 will compete in the Renaultsport Trophy championship, an event built to measure. This one-make series, which will be part of the World Series by Renault from 2015, will be a new opportunity for “Pro-Am” teams, and a gateway to the GT, DTM, ELMS and WEC championships.

Renaultsport Trophy, a new event for the 2015 season

“Renaultsport R.S. 01 marks the start of a new line. For this reason, it was named in tribute to Renault’s very first
Formula 1 car.

We wanted to design the best racing car in order to bring to light the best talent and prepare the next generation of drivers. Renaultsport R.S. 01 is a vehicle of exceptional performance and the World Series by Renault will be its showcase. We started from scratch in developing Renaultsport Trophy. It is an attractive event that stands out among existing motorsport events. With “Pro-Am” teams and a sports program combining sprinting and endurance, we will
create a gateway to the higher series.”

Patrice Ratti, CEO of Renault Sport Technologies

After developing the most efficient programs for single-seaters, Renault Sport Technologies aims to roll out a new offering for closed cockpit race cars. Positioned between the Clio Cup events and professional championships, such as the WEC, DTM and Japanese Super GT, the Renaultsport Trophy is a gateway for the best pilots and for gentleman drivers.

The 2015 season will be open to twenty “Pro-Am” teams, classified according to the rules of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). At World Series by Renault meetings, competitors will be able to maximise their time on the track by taking part in a real one-make championship called Renaultsport Trophy.

Track time is currently estimated at more than four hours per car and per driver, over a three-day weekend.
The Renaultsport Trophy championship will reap the benefits of brand expertise in organising motorsports events. Priority will be given to technical fairness, sporting ethics and cost control. The technical definition of Renaultsport R.S. 01 aims for servicing every other season, thus helping to keep running costs down.

A gateway to Japan and Le Mans

Alongside the prize money for the best drivers and teams in each round, Renault Sport Technologies and its partners will be providing particularly attractive end-of-season rewards.

The champion in the “Pro” category will have the chance to follow a complete development programme (simulator, physical preparation, media training, etc.) prior to taking a rookie test with the official Nismo team for the Super GT in Japan. If he or she has the qualities required, they will be able to pursue their career in this extremely competitive discipline.

A similarly attractive reward will be provided for the “Am” champion, who will have the chance to take part in the 2016 Le Mans 24-Hour event driving an LMP2 prototype.

World Series by Renault: A celebration of motorsports

Renault has been competing in motorsports for 115 years. Over this time, it has claimed victory in the most prestigious sporting events and disciplines, from the Monte-Carlo Rally to the Le Mans 24-Hour event via Formula 1, where it has notched up twelve world titles! A forerunner in track-based one-make racing formulas more than 40 years ago, Renaultsport is still the reference in the field.
Set up in 2005, the World Series by Renault reinvented this type of event. They have been rightly acclaimed by the public, with 5.5 million spectators accepting the brand’s invitation. These “free, fast and fun” events are built on a strong base:

  • Top-level international championships: Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Eurocup Clio
  • Track demonstrations such as the Infiniti Red Bull Racing F1 Show and Renault Classic Show
  • Family events (pit-stop challenge, driving simulators, exhibitions, kids’ village, etc.)
  • Free entrance for members of the public, who are able to access all the stands and paddock
  • Significant media exposure, with live TV coverage on Eurosport and a number of other channels worldwide

Renault is contributing to the development of motorsport in Russia
The unveiling of Renaultsport R.S. 01 at the Moscow Motor Show is highly symbolic for Renault. Motorsports have a special place in the minds of the Russian public, and are an excellent way to build Renault’s image on this market. Renaultsport has been highly active in this area in recent years, playing a pioneering role in organization or taking part in a variety of motorsports events in Russia.

In 2012, the World Series by Renault was the first international track series event to take place in Russia, at the Moscow Raceway. On 28th and 29th June, more than 78,000 spectators gathered around the track to celebrate the victory of Sergey Sirotkin in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. In the not too distant future, maybe this young hope could join his countryman Daniil Kvyat, second in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2012 and now a driver with Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault in Formula 1.

“In 2012, the World Series by Renault marked the opening of Moscow Raceway. Over the past three years, we have promoted the development of motorsports around Russia. A few weeks ago, the Russian stage was a real celebration for spectators of all ages. The entertainment program on the track and in the Renault Village attracts both sports enthusiasts and families, who were able to take advantage of everything happening on and off the track, free of charge.”

Fabrice Cambolive, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing, Renault in Russia


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