Renault reveal ridiculous F1-powered Twizy concept

After teasing us with nothing more than a mysterious Renault Sport branded image and the promise of a concept to bridge the gap between Formula One and electric vehicles, Renault has finally revealed all.

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All, it seems, is a Renault Twizy kitted out with the KERS unit from a Formula One car, as improbable and spectacular as that sounds.

The Twizy Renault Sport F1 sits on the wheels of a Formula Renault single-seater race car and is equipped with a front splitter, side-pods, rear wing and a diffuser complete with an F1-style rain light.

It is simply ridiculous to look at, but you can’t help admiring it. However, it is not just cosmetics that have been turned up to 11.

The car delivers genuine high performance thanks to its Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) which is identical to that used by Renault-powered Formula 1 cars. The system instantly adds 80 bhp to the power output, bringing the total to 97 bhp and catapulting the diminutive city car from 0 to 60 mph in just six seconds.

Renault Twizy RenaultSport F1 2013 Rear“We always said we wanted to create F1-derived technology that was road relevant,” explains Jean-Michel Jalinier, President and Managing Director, Renault Sport F1. “Hopefully, this Twizy will make a few people smile while also making a serious point.

“KERS is a very complex system and integrating it into another electric vehicle was a very serious endeavour, but they managed to make it work, delivering a huge boost of power safely and efficiently.”

Of course, the KERS equipped Twizy is not as quick as a Formula One car, so charging the KERS system takes some doing. Instead of powering up the KERS unit under braking, the engineers at Renault have devised a way to siphon off power from the main motor.

All the driver then has to do is press a button to release all that stored energy back in to the drive train. When that happens, the Twizy’s small electric motor revs up to 10,000 rpm, pushing the now single-seater vehicle to 68 mph.

If that’s too much, the boost applied can be reduced to just 15 bhp, allowing a useful amount of extra grunt in a Waitrose car park.
All this weighs just 30 kg, but does result in the loss of the rear seat.

Ultimately, this is a one-off concept car, but it will be travelling around European events to show off Renault’s engineering capabilities. Your local dealer won’t be able to order one.

Sorry.

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Phil Huff

Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.

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