Autovolt Magazine

Renault at Goodwood

Renault are set to display a superb lineup at this years Goodwood FoS event next weekend (11 – 14 July 2013).  Alongside some of the truly great racing cars, such as the 1978 Alpine A442B Le Mans car, from Renaultsports prestigious heritage will be a couple of electric cars which are of as much interest, though perhaps a little slower, certainly no more tame!

Renault Twizy F1 Renaultsport
Renault Twizy F1 Renaultsport

Renault Twizy Renaultsport F1

An entertaining blend of the cute, tandem two-seat electric Twizy – Europe’s best-selling EV – and Formula 1 hardware, the Twizy Renaultsport F1 not only looks the part but has the technology to go with it. Besides a spectacular, track-inspired look that includes slick tyres, a front splitter, sidepods, a rear wing and an F1-style red rain light, this Twizy features a complete Formula 1 Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) capable of an instant, six-fold energy boost to produce almost 100hp. And with the Twizy’s low weight, that is enough to propel it to 62mph in the same time as a Mégane Renaultsport 265.

This technological gem is the inspired product of a collaboration between Renaultsport engineers and their colleagues at Renaultsport F1 and besides producing a smile, showcases Renault’s expertise in Formula I electric technology, particularly in the KERS field. The system is designed to recapture some of the kinetic energy lost under braking. Rather being lost in the form of heat, this energy is stored before being used to momentarily boost the total available power, exactly as it does for a Grand Prix car. This boost is available for up to 13 seconds, at which point the Twizy’s electric motor will be revving at 10,000rpm, while the KERS unit can rev as high as 36,000rpm. The challenge of connecting the two units is achieved via 1:3.6 reducer gear which uses the same drive gear as the Renault V8 F1 engine. And to prevent the KERS battery from overheating, it’s equipped with water cooling. Other eye-catching features of the Twizy Renaultsport F1 include an adapted F1 steering wheel, a data-logging system and the KERS hardware itself, which is visible through a transparent panel.

‘When Renaultsport F1 asked us to work on the project, our engineers didn’t hesitate,’ says Renault Sport General Manager Patrice Ratti. ‘Renault Sport Technologies had already made a significant contribution to the design and development of the highly innovative Renault Twizy which meant that our input was perfectly natural.  Thanks to our experience of race car engineering, we were able to take elements from our Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 race cars and also check that the rigidity of Twizy’s chassis and suspension was capable of handling the additional 60kW.  We enjoy a very close working relationship with Renaultsport F1 and we were able to combine the ‘fun’ side of the project with some very advanced technology. We are very proud of the result.’

And this rapid and highly entertaining electric Twizy will be seen startling onlookers with its sci-fi sound enthusiasm on the Goodwood hill.

Renault Zoe
Renault Zoe

Renault ZOE

Renault’s stylish new ZOE, an electric car that promises to attract new buyers to this growing segment, will also make an appearance at Goodwood FoS. With prices starting at only £13,650 after the UK government’s subsidy, the ZOE is the most affordable, purpose-designed electric car on the market. It also has the longest range, which is officially homologated at 130 miles, and has also been awarded the full NCAP five stars for occupant protection. A five-door hatchback of particularly appealing lines, the ZOE debuts no less than six ‘world premiere’ features and carries 60 patents, all of them aimed at enhancing its range, user-friendliness and connectivity.

A 65kW (88hp) electric engine provides the ZOE with particularly strong low-speed acceleration thanks to its instant 220Nm of torque, while its top speed is limited to 84mph. Recharging takes between 30 minutes and nine hours using Renault’s patented Chameleon charger, which is compatible with both the fast-charging stations that provide a fast 30 minute charge, and a domestic overnight supply.

ZOE is available in three trims levels called Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens, all three including the Range OptimiZEr package that provides regenerative braking, a heat pump and Michelin Energy E-V tyres, all three features contributing to the 130 mile NEDC range that, in real world use, would be typically around 90 miles in temperate conditions. Battery pack rental costs from just £70 a month, and in combination with the low cost of the energy required to charge, makes the ZOE very cheap to run.  Renault has become the first car manufacturer to offer a free domestic charging point with a new electric car purchase.  The free Single Wall-box, supplied and installed by Renault’s preferred electric vehicle charging partner, British Gas, is supplied and installed free of charge to ZOE customers.