After a couple of teasers, Renault has finally unveiled its Renault Sport RS 01. The GT Racer packs 500 hp under the bonnet and tops out at 300 km/h (186 mph). It will compete in its own single-model championship called the Renault Sport Trophy as part of the World Series by Renault.
The World Series by Renault was created in 2005 following on from the World Series by Nissan. It currently comprises three different championships and was won by Robert Kubica in its inaugural season before he went on to make his name in F1. Renault says the RS 01 will be "one of the stars" of the World Series by Renault and will act as a springboard for the professional GT and Endurance championships.
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The car itself is a slick, road-hugging racer that, despite a width of 2,000 mm (79 in) and a height of 1,116 mm (44 in), weighs only 1,100 kg (2,425 lb). The weight is kept to a minimum in part by a carbon fiber monocoque chassis designed and built by Italian manufacturer Dallara.
The RS 01 is powered by a Nismo V6 3.8 L (0.8 gal) twin-turbo engine, which produces a maximum torque of more than 600 Nm (44 lb ft). The engine is paired with a longitudinal seven-speed Sadev gearbox, which is controlled by paddle-shift and has an anti-stall clutch function.
The engine is cooled using air sucked in through grill and and channeled to the water coolers. The air is then expelled via extractors in the hood, helping to creating downforce. Further downforce is produced by the car's rear wing. Computational fluid dynamics (the use of software to analyze fluid flows) was used to help sculpt the aerodynamics of the chassis. Carbon brakes with 380 mm (15 in) discs and special 18 in Michelin tires also help to keep the RS 01 under control.
The RS 01 will debut in the World Series by Renault in 2015.
The video below shows the RS 01 in action – albeit in animated form.