If The Renault Espace Looked Like This, You’d Definitely Want One
A digital artist has created a modernized rendering of the Renault Espace F1, and it’s got us itching for one. The rendering is based on the concept model that Renault unveiled at the 1994 Paris Motor Show to celebrate the nameplate’s 10th anniversary and the French automaker’s involvement in Formula One. Nothing came out of the Espace F1, but 27 years later, it’s still fondly remembered as one of the gnarliest minivan concept vehicles ever showcased at an auto show.
1974 Renault Alpine A110 1800 Group 4 Works
The Renault-Alpine A110 is one of the most famous rally cars of the two-wheel-drive era. It reigned supreme in the days before the WRC became a thing and this, the 1800, built to Group 4 specifications, is the swansong of the A110 and ran in 1974 and 1975.
The original Alpine A110 was launched in 1961 as the successor of the A108 which shared parts with Renault’s Dauphine. This time by, Paul Redele and his men relied on parts from the compact Renault 8 sedan. The car had a similar design to the A108, again with a rounded nose and straight-cut rear as well as bulbous headlights.
The A110, in its later versions, claimed numerous rally wins which made Alpine the 1971 champions in the International Championship for Manufacturers. This A110 was built for the 1974 season as one of only nine works-supported cars that year. It managed a best finish of second in the Tour De Corse but proved to be overwhelmed by the newly-homologated Lancia Stratos with its mid-engine configuration.
Renault Sport Trophy Series Scrapped After Only Two Seasons
The Renault Sport Trophy racing series made its debut in 2015 to much fanfare. One year later, the series will only finish out the 2016 season before it’s officially cancelled. The decision to cut the cord on the series comes at a point in time wherein Renault, considered as one of the most engaged and actively involved automakers in motor racing, is in the middle of reconfiguring its racing programs.
The French automaker has already exited the Formula Renault 3.5 series and with the abrupt closure of the Renault Sport Trophy, it’s once thriving Renault Sport Series program is down to Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. That said, the series departures doesn’t mean Renault is giving up motor racing entirely. Far from it, actually, because the automaker has increased its involvement in Formula E and has even jumped back into the Formula One fray as an actual team instead of just an engine supplier for the first time in six years.
Clearly, Renault is as involved in motor racing as it has always been; it’s just shifting its priorities from running its own make-series to heading back to the glamour and prestige of Formula One while also doubling down on its commitment to Formula E.
While it’s hard to make sense of the rationale in starting a hyped racing series like the Renault Sport Trophy and then cutting the cord before it can even get off the ground, it’s just as hard to argue against that decision when Renault is boosting its involvement in Formula E and Formula One.
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2016 Renault RS 16 Formula 1
Renault’s F1 history begins in 1977, back when turbochargers were first introduced to the series. In the four decades that followed, the marque saw varying levels of involvement, both as a constructor and as an engine provider. In 2005, Spanish driver Fernando Alonso helped Renault score its first Constructor’s Championship, an achievement that was repeated the very next year. After 2006, Renault saw less success, and in 2011, the marque withdrew as a constructor. Now, after five years as an engine provider, Renault is back, announcing it will purchase the Lotus F1 Team for a full-blown constructor’s bid in 2016.
The new F1 effort is part of a comprehensive plan to revamp Renault’s motorsports programs. According to Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, Renault Sport will be replaced by two separate entities – Renault Sport Cars and Renault Sport Racing.
Renault Sport Cars will be an evolution of Renault Sport Technologies, taking responsibility for road car development, commercialization, brand appeal, and the Renault performance vehicle portfolio, including models like the Megane RS, Megane GT, and Clio RS.
As you can probably guess, Renault Sport Racing will be the automaker’s presence on the track, with series like Formula Renault 2.0 and Renault Sport RS01 Trophy falling under its jurisdiction, as well as customer racing and rally programs.
At the center of Renault Sport Racing will be the new Formula 1 effort. This year’s Renault RS 16 F1 car is heavily based on last year’s Lotus car, which means a lot of development is needed before the marque can expect to be competitive against F1 heavyweights like Ferrari and Mercedes.
Nonetheless, the team says it’s up to the challenge, so let’s take a look at the new Renault F1 car and see how it fits into the current regulations.
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Renault Sport R.S. 01 Is The Best Interceptor: Video
The Dubai Police Force may have one of the most impressive collection of police cars in the world, but one car that it doesn’t have at its disposal is the Renault Sport R.S. 01. Actually, no police force in the world has the R.S. 01 in its garage, but that doesn’t mean we’ll never get to see one act as a police interceptor in our lifetime.
Thankfully, Renault was game enough to play along, which brings us to this video of an R.S. 01 playing the role of a police interceptor in France. The bit is made even more awesome since Renault tapped legendary rally car driver Jean Ragnotti. Together, Ragnotti and the R.S. 01 decide to apprehend a speeding motorcyclist running at close to 143 mph.
This takes us to a breathtaking scene of the R.S. 01 speeding along the French highway, running past just about every model Renault has in its lineup on its way to capturing the delinquent rider. The video ends with the rider sitting forlorn on the sidewalk with his hands behind his back as the R.S. 01 leaves the scene like the all-conquering road sheriff that it is.
It’s a great way to showcase the capabilities of the Renault track toy, but it’s even more awesome seeing it actually look the part of a police interceptor, complete with the livery and the flashing police lights inside the front grille. Kind of makes me wonder if there’s a future wherein we see the R.S. 01 as an actual police car. That is one car you wouldn’t want to see in your rear-view mirror. Maybe it’s because of its racy appearance or the fact that it has a GT-R sourced V-6 engine that pumps out 542 horsepower to go with a weight of just 2,469 pounds.
Whatever the case may be, the R.S. 01 police interceptor is arguably the coolest “fake” police car I’ve seen in a while. And yes, that includes a lot of the cars that the Dubai Police Force has in its garage.
Renault may be more associated with mainstream cars and the occasional hot hatchback, but those who really know Renault are aware that there’s more to the French automaker than meets the eye. For one, its ties to the world of motorsports racing run deep. Some people might even say that Renault is a pillar in the racing scene as it has been involved - and succeeded - in top-tier racing for decades. Just as important is the well-known belief that Renault has one of the best breeding grounds for up-and-coming racers in the entire sport. All these things make the company a titan in the field, and with creations like the 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 race car, it’s place in the racing world isn’t going to be forgotten anytime soon.
The R.S. 01 can be best described as a proper race car. EVO seems to agree with that assertion, which is why it dedicated its latest YouTube video solely on the high-tech racer. There are a lot of things that can be taken out of the channel’s review of the car, including the unfiltered reactions of driving the car around the race track. Those are all important items that I’m not going to spoil for anybody who plans to watch the video.
What’s important is what the R.S. 01 has meant to Renault, both as a manufacturer and as a motorsports team. Sure, the company is involved in a lot of racing disciplines, including Formula One. But for my money, the launch of the R.S. 01 back in 2014 was really the first time in a long time that people saw what the company was capable of when the challenge of building a race car was presented to it.
The results certainly speak for itself. In addition to its concept-car looks, the R.S 01 is also teaming with state of the art technology, highlighted by a carbon fiber tub that helps the car weigh just 2,425 pounds. Combine that with a NISMO-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine - the same twin-turbo engine that can be found under the hood of the Nissan GT-R - that produces more than 500 horsepower and over 443 pound-feet of torque, and you have a race car that checks off every requirement one might have for the perfect racer.
You can’t buy much for a dollar these days, but Renault has amazingly proved otherwise. The automaker just purchased a 90-percent stake in the Lotus Formula One race team for a mere £1, or roughly $1.50.
The Lotus F1 team’s former owners, Genii Capital and Gravity Motorsports continue to hold the other 10 percent stake. However, in order for Genii to sell its majority stake in the team, it had to purchases 6,744,444 shares from Whiterock Allicance Ltd., which then allowed the company to give £98.2 million of shareholder loans to Lotus.
The business behind the purchasing is rather complicated, but will allow the Lotus F1 team to continue to operate thanks to the investments and debt relief that came with the acquisition. Lotus’ F1 team had long been searching for an investor that would help pay off its debts and allow for continued operation.
It seems Lotus lucked up with Renault coming in. The automaker has four F1 drivers’ titles under its belt, thanks to drivers Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.
It will be interesting to see how the Lotus F1 team does this upcoming season. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for future news.
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In what may very well be the worst-kept secret in Formula One today, Renault’s return to Formula One as a constructor has now been signed, sealed, and delivered. The French manufacturer and Gravity Motorsport S.a.rl, an affiliate of investment group Genii Capital SA, finally put the ink on paper, completing the former’s re-acquisition of the Lotus F1 Team Limited after only three months of negotiations between the two parties.
Details about the team, including its new name, full management structure, sponsorship partners, and driver lineup have yet to be announced. The company said that a full announcement has been scheduled to take place in Paris in February 2016. The only announcements that have been made at this point are for the positions of chairman and managing director. Those roles will be filled up by Jerome Stoll and Cyril Abiteboul, respectively.
Renault’s return to Formula One means that the manufacturer will make its F1 comeback for the first time in five years. It’s last appearance as a full-blown team came in 2010. In the same year, the team was sold to Genii Capital, which renamed it Team Lotus. Renault remained in the sport, but only serving as an engine supplier to a handful of teams, one of which was Team Lotus. The team was competitive in those years, but another Renault-powered team, Red Bull Racing, ended up dominating the sport for four straight years — highlighted by Sebastian Vettel’s four world championship wins.
But, now that it’s back as a full-fledged team, Renault will be returning to a vastly different Formula One climate, one that has been dominated by Mercedes in the past two seasons. The team will have a new set of challenges on its hands, but with the right people in place, it could return with a bang and replicate its form of the 2005 and 2006 seasons when it won its two constructors titles.
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Back in September 2015, Renault announced the signing of a letter of intent with Lotus regarding the potential acquisition of a controlling stake in the British team. Three months have passed and the French company confirmed it will indeed return to Formula One as a constructor.
Renault said its takeover of Lotus had not yet been completed, but will be done "in the shortest time frame possible". More details about the brand’s new F1 program will be provided in January 2016, ahead of the 2016 season that begins next March.
"Renault had two options: to come back at 100 percent or leave. After a detailed study, I have decided that Renault will be in Formula 1, starting 2016. The final details supplied by F1’s main stakeholders gave us the confidence to accept this new challenge. Our ambition is to win — even if it will take some time,” said Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault.
The manufacturer returns to Formula One as a constructor after a five-year hiatus. Renault sold the team to investment group Genii Capital in 2010, but continued as an engine supplier. The team was renamed Team Lotus and used Renault engines. Red Bull, another team that bought Renault power units, won the constructors’ championship four years in a row between 2010 and 2013. Renault’s domination as a supplier came to an end in 2014.
In 2016, Renault F1 cars will be driven by Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer, both having piloted for Lotus in 2015 as main and reserve drivers, respectively.
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Chris Harris is one of the world’s most respected motoring journalists so it’s going to take a car that’s really special to get his attention. Renault seems to have one car that fits that bill, so the French automaker decided to invite Harris to race the R.S. 01 in the Renault Sport Trophy event at Silverstone.
For someone who has spent time behind the wheel of some of the fastest supercars and race cars in the world, Harris’ first impression of the R.S. 01 was music to the ears of Renault Sport. Not only was he openly gushing about the R. S. 01’s traction control and aerodynamic efficiency, he even went so far as to say that it had much better grip than any of the GT3 race cars he’s raced it in the past.
That’s high praise coming from Harris but it’s to be expected for a race car built by a company that’s been heavily invested in the highest levels of racing for decades. The R. S. 01 really is more than just a race car. Visually, it looks absolutely stunning; it’s a far cry from the company’s production models. But more important than its gorgeous aesthetics is the fact that the R. S. 01 was developed specifically to win races. It even has a Nismo-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 mill that’s been tuned to produce more than 500 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, all while being complimented by Renault’s robust expertise in the world of racing.
Harris may have been blown away by how R. S. 01 handled itself at Silverstone, but if the racer really is as good as advertised, Silverstone won’t be the only track where it’ll shine. If its form and development continues trending north, there might come a time when we begin talking about the R. S. 01 in historical terms.
The ongoing saga surrounding Renault’s status in Formula One took another turn after it was announced that the French automaker has signed a letter of intent with Gravity Motorsports, an affiliate of Genii Capital SA, to acquire a controlling stake in Lotus’ F1 Team. The expected acquisition is considered the first step towards the company’s return to Formula One racing as a full-scale constructor since it sold a 75 percent stake in its old team to the Genii Capital investment company in 2009.
The automaker sold its remaining 25 percent stake to Genii in 2010. Since then, Renault turned its attention away from being a constructor, opting instead to keep its involvement in F1 as an engine supplier for a handful of teams, including Red Bull Racing, which dominated the series from 2010 to 2013.
Now it appears that Renault’s ready to throw its name back in the series as a constructor, fulfilling company CEO Carlos Ghosn’s promise that Renault would cease in its role as an engine supplier and turn its attention towards purchasing a team of its own or withdrawing from the sport entirely. The new agreement to essentially buy back the shares it sold to Genii means that the Renault’s back in business a full-scale constructor beginning in 2016.
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French automaker Renault has just expanded its racing program for 2015 with yet another racing division. The new series comes with its own, exclusive race car, which, unlike other Renault Sport Technologies machines, is not linked in any way to either the Clio or the Megane. The French have developed the race car around a brand-new concept, sporting a design that’s worthy of any modern supercar. The vehicle in question is the Renaultsport R.S. 01, and it tackles race tracks with a Nismo-built, 3.8-liter, V-6 powerplant.
Revealed at the 2014 Moscow Auto Show, the race car looked simply stunning in pictures and I honestly thought its track debut couldn’t come soon enough. We’re still months away from the new series’ debut, but the R.S. 01 has already hit the track, as Renault is looking to achieve perfection before shipping it to its customers. This is great news for us racing enthusiasts, who get to see the race car in action for the very first time.
The R.S. 01 was spotted doing some high-speed laps at the Monza circuit in Italy. Finished in matte-black, the rig looks downright sinister, a feeling that’s enhanced by its high-revving six-banger. The engine may be similar to the one powering the Nissan GT-R, but the Japanese supercar sounds like a bedtime lullaby compared to the R.S. 01.
Hit the play button above to find out for yourself.