Depending on your knowledge of Renault, you’ll either know the company best for reasonably priced runabouts and family cars, or fire-breathing, wheel-cocking hot hatches. It was in 1980 when the first Renault 5 Turbo rolled off the production line and it immediately won over the motoring press and the British consumer. In 1999, the company unveiled the wonderful Clio II RS 172 and in 2004 they updated it with one of the great hot hatches of the past 10 years, the Renault Clio 182.
Since then, Renault have kept their sporting nature alive with numerous incarnations of RenaultSport vehicles with the latest Being the Clio 200 Turbo and Renault Megane 265. Their latest invention is, however, their most ambitious and exciting project yet.
It’s called the Renault Twizy F1, and it’s unlike anything the performance team over at Renault have created before. The Renault Twizy is an all-electric car that’s cheap to buy and peanuts to run. The F1 version is a little different however, in that it generates around 80 bhp from the 60kwh electric motor and has a KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) that boosts power to 97 bhp.
The result? The Renault Twizy F1 will outpace a Renault Megane 265 from 0 – 62 mph.
Renault didn’t develop this little monster as a Megane 265 killer, though, they developed it to show off the KERS which is a new system that’s utilised in Formula 1 which boosts the power output of an F1 car above 60 mph. In the Twizy F1 though the system was heavily revised to kick in from a standing start and with a kerb weight of only 564kg, that equals a power to weight ratio of 1 bhp per 12.8 pounds (or, just less than a Megane 265).
To cope with this grunt the Twizy F1 has tyres straight from a Formula Renault 2.0 single seater and the steering wheel from a Formula Renault 3.5 single-seater, which has several driver controls built-in as well as twin-LED displays for battery charge level. According to Renault, they over-engineered the original Twizy chassis, so there was no extra work needed to ensure that the suspension doesn’t snap mid corner.
With Renault showcasing the KERS system, they could introduce it as an optional extra in the next generation of Clio and Megane RenaultSport models, although this is just rumour.
A car service at Bristol Street Motors Newcastle will not be needed on this car, sadly, because the Twizy F1 is not destined for production, despite praise from the motoring press; I mean, how can one knock a Renault Twizy that’ll show up a turbo-charged hot hatch behemoth?
Overall, we have to take our hats off to Renault for the development of this little tyke. Now, put it in to production and send us one over to track… please.