Renault says this minimalist 1,340bhp, 600kg closed cockpit racer is the future
For this year’s Shanghai motor show, Renault has looked into its crystal ball. Not to try and predict this week’s lottery numbers, but to give us a glimpse at what it thinks F1 cars will look like in 2027. And, apparently, they’ll look a little like what you see above.
So everybody, please be upstanding for the super safe, ridiculously light and stupendously powerful R.S. 2027 Vision concept. The race car of the future… according to the French.
Looks pretty neat, doesn’t it? And before you file hate into the Facebook comments box, stating that this is nothing but an elaborate Photoshop file, we’d like to inform you this is an actual thing. One you can touch with your own sweaty hands. We know, we’ve done it.
It’s also not the work of some internet fanboy like other futuristic F1 renderings, but the result of the biggest brainiest boffins at Renault wanting to predict the future while making cool things at the same time.
So how will F1 be different in 2027? Well, the main bullet points are that it’ll be quicker, safer and more entertaining to watch.
Utilising hybrid power, the Vision concept has a turbocharged V6 (with multipoint fuel injection) as well as a KERS system running 500kW (nearly five times what cars are running this year 2017) thanks to not one, but two KERS-K units, one at the front and one at the rear.
These feed high capacity batteries, which are twice as dense as those currently shoved in F1 cars and power two 250kW electric motors on the front axle. Yep, this Formula One car is four-wheel drive. Shocked emoji face. However, it’s also mighty powerful. As in one megawatt powerful. Which is 1,340bhp to you or I. Or Koenigsegg One:1 powerful, if you’re from the internet.
That slender, minimalist and slippery design is obviously for F1 thanks to four open wheels and a protruding nosecone that now is illuminated. However, it’s also lightweight. Using 3D printers to produce featherweight composite parts that are more recycling-friendly (who puts an F1 car in a recycling bin?), the F1 car of 2027 will tip the scales at a piddly 600kg. Impressive given those mega batteries it’s stored away. However, it does carry less fuel; 60kg compared to the 105kg that Hamilton et al are lugging around this year.
If you flick between the images in the gallery, you can see the Vision concept features active aerodynamics in the shape of that not-so-insignificant pop-up rear wing. The aero isn’t the only thing that’s active; the suspension is too, to allow for setup changes mid-race. There’s also a closed polycarbonate cockpit to increase aero efficiency, but to also prevent drivers suffering head injuries from debris. The canopy is framed by two titanium ‘pop-up’ roll-over bars that fire up in milliseconds should the car capsize, allowing the driver to scramble out, or marshals to pull them out by the scruff of the neck.
Are you worried that the canopy will take away some interaction between you and your favourite driver? Well, don’t. The cockpit is transparent, so you can still see them flip the bird at whoever cuts them up.
But better than that, Renault believes that in the future helmets too will be transparent. So, you can see how angry your favourite driver really is when they flip the bird to whoever cuts them up. There’s also LED lighting incorporated into the wheels to show what position the racer is holding, how much energy they have stored or – if the teams need some money – a good advertising space.