Five months after winning its third consecutive F1 constructor’s title, Red Bull has teamed up with F1 engine producer’s Renault to celebrate with a special hot hatch. It’s called (deep breath): Renault Megane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8.
Surely the engine supplier to the mighty Seb Vettel has upped power for this RS Megane?
Nope. It’s still a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder lump, with no KERS electric boost or raised rev limit. You get 261bhp, delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox: no F1-style paddleshifters (a la RS Clio 200) here.
What about chassis tweaks? Or any carbonfibre aero add-ons?
No and no again. Underneath the ‘Twilight Blue’ paint, ‘Platinum Grey’ detailing and Red Bull Racing stickers, this is a mechanically standard Renaultsport Megane 265 Cup, save for one small detail: the rubber. Luckily there’s no Mark Webber launch control mode, though.
Does the Megane Red Bull get Pirelli tyres that only last ten minutes?
Actually they’re Bridgestones, who bowed out of F1 supplying in 2010. Renault notes: “Megane Renaultsport Red Bull Racing RB8 is shod as standard with the same Bridgestone [Potenza RE050A] tyres that helped Megane Renaultsport 265 Trophy to establish a new lap record for the Nürburgring.” Hopefully not the exact same rubber – it'll be a bit worn…
That lap record, incidentally, is for front-wheel drive cars, and still stands at 8mins 8sec.
What else is ‘special edition’ for the RS Megane Red Bull?
Each of the 30 UK-bound cars gets part-leather Recaro seats, Red Bull-branded aluminium kickplates and footrests. Renault’s upgraded R-Link media system with is thrown in too, with the ‘RS Monitor’ . Previously, RS Megane owners had to choose between having the RS Monitor telemetry display or sat-nav, but with the new system, you can spec both together.
As well as displaying Tom-Tom navigation and entertainment features, the interface records lap times, peak G-force and engine performance. Drivers can download the data onto a USB stick to save personal best scores. There’s no ‘team orders’ setting included to make drivers behave and slow down – much like real-life Red Bull racers.
When can I buy one?
The cars will be available until 30 September 2013. It’s expected the RS Megane Red Bull Racing RB8 will incur a small price rise, mostly to cover the cost of all the extra badging.
Check out CAR's Renault Twizy F1 news story by clicking here.