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Renaultsport R.S 01 first pictures: Renault’s new 2014 racer revealed

Published: 27 August 2014

If you were worried that Renaultsport had lost its mojo after the lacklustre Clio RS, think again: it’s just unveiled the new Renaultsport R.S 01, a wild and focused track racer for the Trophy one-make series.

Weighing less than 1100kg thanks to its Dallara-sourced carbonfibre chassis, the R.S 01 has a 3.8-litre V6 engine developing ‘more than 493bhp.’

The engine is borrowed from in-house alliance partner Nissan’s GT-R Nismo high-performance coupe, and is breathed on by two turbochargers. It’s mounted amidships and revs to an angry-sounding 6800rpm.

We’d say mounting a Nissan GT-R engine in something the size of a lightly stretched Renault Megane Sport Tourer is a recipe for fireworks on track.

Renaultsport R.S 01: tech specs

Naturally, the R.S 01 is rear-wheel drive, sending ‘more than 443lb ft’ of torque through a seven-speed Sadev sequential transmissions operated by steering wheel paddles.

Sticky Michelin 18-inch tyres are fitted, pushed into the tarmac by Ohlins two-way adjustable shocks and double wishbone pushrod suspension.

Race-car design

Although strictly a race car meeting LMP1 race standards, Renault says it’s worked hard to provide a modest stylistic link to La Regie’s road cars. So although the R.S 01 looks like a shrunken baby Audi R8 in profile, it’s peppered with design cues familiar from more humdrum Capturs and Meganes.

Hence the prominent diamond badge, reinforced by Renault’s distinctive LED daytime running lights running along the brake cooling ducts.

The R.S 01 is bristling with aerodynamic aids to squash the car to the track at speed. If our defunct sister brand Max Power were still with us, we’re sure they’d approve of the Boeing spec tail propping up the rear of the race car.

Where to see the Renaultsport R.S 01 race

This racer will compete in the Renaultsport Trophy one-make championship, part of the World Series by Renault from 2015.

This is aimed at Pro-Am teams as a gateway to the GT, DTM, ELMS and WEC championships. And Renaultsport will offer the champ in the professional and amateur classifications a chance to test for the Nismo team for Super GT in Japan and race in LMP2 at Le Mans in 2016.

Better get practising… And saving. The R.S 01 is expected to cost around £280,000.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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