An article from MFfuelcards.co.uk.
A bit of Formula 1 is coming to Renault’s line-up, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect. The Twizy electric city car has been garnished with technology from the highest echelon of motorsport to create the French firm’s joint-fastest road car.
Labelled the Twizy Renaultsport F1, the concept car makes use of Renault’s F1-supplied KERS system which helps gets the car from 0-62mph in an impressive 6.0sec; a time matching that of the Renaultsport Megane 265.
For now the car is a one-off to highlight how F1 tech can filter down to road cars, and the collaboration between Renaultsport and Renaultsport F1 engineers mirrors the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) found in Renault-powered F1 cars.
The KERS features an electric motor, lithium-ion batteries and a control unit; all of which is placed in the area usually reserved for the rear seat, making the concept strictly a single seater. The package is fixed onto the Twizy’s original 17bhp electric motor.
Like on F1 cars, energy is recovered under braking by the KERS and stored in the battery, offering 79 extra bhp when fully charged. And although the braking power is much (much) lower than in an actual F1 car, the KERS has been adopted to also draw in power from the Twizy’s primary electric motor in order for the KERS boost to always be available.
The amount of revs the KERS achieves also gave the Renault engineers something to think about, as the system runs at a frantic 36,000rpm, whilst the car runs at a maximum 10,000rpm when hitting a top-speed of 68mph. To make the combination work, a special reducer gear is fitted between the motors to ensure they synchronise effectively.
At 564kg, the Twizy F1 weighs around 91kg more than the standard city car, but regardless, the KERS has significantly raised its power-to-weight ratio which stands at 1bhp per 5.8kg against the original’s 1bhp per 25kg. This brings about the comparison to the RS Megane 264 is drawn once more, with the hot-hatch’s ratio a similar 1bhp per 5.2kg.
Much like Renault’s former F1 exploits on the road, the Twizy F1 is decorated in an extravagant yellow body kit, albeit with an F1-style front wing and an almost ridiculous rear wing, with a diffuser just below.
With an extra 79bhp available, the Renault engineers had to ensure that the chassis could cope with the additional power and have done accordingly, whilst also making sure the rear-wheel drive can also handle the numbers.