We wouldn’t expect this to hit the road any time soon [or at all], but when F1 engineers get ahold of the Renault Twizy supercompact electric vehicle, the results are pretty impressive.
Really, a lot of race technology finds its way into the vehicles we drive every day, and we’re not driving anywhere near the speed of F1 races. Think four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and even the *yawn* rear view mirror, which find their way from the race track to just about every production vehicle on the road today. The Renault Twizy two-seater electric vehicle probably doesn’t seem like a viable candidate for F1 conversion, but it shows what F1 racing technology can do for pretty much any vehicle on the road.
The stock Twizy is powered by a 13kW/17hp electric motor and doesn’t even have a zero-to-sixty sprint time, because the top speed is just 50mph. It does have a 0-28mph time of 6.1s, which is good for this next comparison.
When Renault’s F1 racing engineers got ahold of the Renault Twizy, they ripped out the back seat and put in an F1-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System [KERS] in its place. The KERS flywheel uses battery power to maintain 36,000rpm. Via gear reduction, the KERS can supply an additional 79hp to the rear wheels for a total of 86hp. Whereas the stock Twizy has a 0-28mph sprint time of 6.1s, the Twizy F1 has a 0-62mph sprint time of just 6.0s and a top speed of 68mph.
The Renault Twizy F1, befitting its aggressive racing roots, is outfitted with racing slicks and a huge box-style rear spoiler and front wing. It’s just a one-off concept car, but the integration is seamless and looks like it might be fun to drive around the city. What we’re really looking for is how Renault will take KERS technology the next step and put it into production vehicles, not only for extra power boosting, but reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions.