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Renault Nepta joins Citroen C-Metisse in the French Ballet of the doors

September 8, 2006 Paris is renowned for the beauty of its springtime, but in autumn the spectacular sites around the beautiful capital are enhanced by the French automotive industry showcase, the Paris Motor Show. And this year the French have debuted some spectacularly elegant egress solutions offering doors that open in new ways. Yesterday we ran news of Citroen’s C-Metisse Concept – a diesel-electric, 4-seater coupe with a spectacular four door ballet command performance when the doors open to present the passengers to the pavement - the front doors open gull-wing style while the rear doors spin round. Now comes Renault’s Nepta concept car, a four-seater cabriolet with an equally dramatic and elegant egress solution in the form of motor-driven gull wing doors that open to reveal the interior and the engine. The doors pivot so high that they are fitted with electronic obstacle detectors. As is befitting the current F1 championship status of Renault, the Nepta is seriously fast with a 3.5-liter V6 powering a seven-speed automatic gearbox via F1-style steering flick-shift. The 420hp direct injection petrol engine combines outstanding performance, with low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.  Read More

Renault presents research into fuel cells

June 14, 2006 Renault will be presenting the progress it has made in fuel cell research at the 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Lyons, France this week. The presentations will illustrate Renault's decision to opt for vehicles powered by fuel cells with reformers in order to apply hydrogen energy to the automobile. This technology directly produces the hydrogen on demand and on board the vehicle, solving the problem of very high-pressure or cryogenic storage. Since 2002, Renault, Nissan and Nuvera Fuel Cells have been working together on this solution, which can be used immediately, without waiting for a hydrogen distribution network to be established.  Read More

F1 Round 3: Renault F1 streets the field again in Melbourne

April 3, 2006 Reigning World F1 champion Fernando Alonso may be beginning to rue his decision to move to McLaren next year as the Renault F1 team again displayed complete dominance in yesterday’s third round of the Formula One World Championship in Melbourne. Alonso took his tenth career victory after starting from third position on the grid in an action-packed race which featured no fewer than four safety car periods. The Spaniard took the lead on lap 4 at the end of the first safety car period, in a perfectly-judged manoeuvre on pole-sitter Jenson Button’s Honda, and only relinquished it briefly during the first round of pit-stops. It was not so much the win that was scarey about the Renault peroformance – it was the ease with which Alonso drove away from the best of the rest whenever the safety car pulled off the track – the advantage is so great that Renault’s world championship already looks safe. Giancarlo Fisichella was forced to start from the pit-lane after his R26 stalled on the grid, but a determined, forceful drive saw him claim fifth position right on the line, overtaking Button’s stricken Honda on the finishing straight. The result leaves the Renault F1 Team with a nineteen point championship lead over its nearest rival, and Alonso leads the individual title by 14 points from his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella and McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.  Read More

Renault F1 takes 1-2 in round 2 and rockets to championship favoritism

March 20, 2006 A day can make a big difference in any form of sport, but perhaps none as pronounced as in Motorsport. Just a week ago, in the first round of the championship, the rule changes that will define a new era in Formula One appeared to have levelled the competitiveness of the field. Renewed pace from Ferrari, reliability from McLaren and Honda, and promise from Williams and BMW looked to have made for a season of intruige and a broadly contested title. But following the application of the Malaysian blowtorch, Renault now appears set to successfully defend its Formula One dual crown. The French team that gave Fernando Alonso his first Formula One crown last year has already demonstrated in 2006 that it has the speed and the reliability to run two cars at the front all year and yesterday was the first one-two for the blue and gold since Renault returned to the sport as a works manufacturer in the 2002 season and only its second in history. It was a day for technology too as Ferrari debuted a new brake cooling drum (technical details here) - an evolution of similar devices seen on cars last year, but Ferrari have taken it to its extreme. The cooling drum not only covers the brake disc and calliper, preventing heat being transferred to the wheel rim, it also completely fills the space inside the wheel rim, not only improving brake cooling, but also dramatically reducing the vortices generated by the rotation of the wheels, hence making this area more aerodynamically efficient. Other news included the coolest new helmet for some members of the Renault pit-crew and young lion Nico Rosberg who was once again the talk of the paddock with third fastest in qualifying before an engine failure wrecked his race.  Read More

Formula One season gets underway - Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Honda on the pace

March 13, 2006 The 2006 Formula 1 season erupted to life yesterday with strong indications that four teams will contest the win at each Grand Prix, and three, maybe four drivers will contest the title. 2006 champion Fernando Alonso won the race narrowly in his Renault but it was the renewed pace of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher that gave everyone heart, with an all red front row on the grid for the first time since the 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix as the Scuderia Ferrari driver equalled the record of 65 pole positions set by the late Ayrton Senna. The performance of the day though was that of Kimi Raikkonen who drove through the field from dead last in his McLaren Mercedes to take third. Honda’s 2006 challenge appears credible after a year from hell in 2005, with Jenson Button missing the podium by just six tenths of a second. Finally, the first race performance of seventh place by Nico Rosberg (son of Keke) was a ripper, particularly considering the rookie cut the fastest lap of the race in a Williams Cosworth which was nowhere near the fastest car.  Read More

Renault Altica sporty estate concept car

February 4, 2006 Renault has taken the wraps off its latest concept car, Altica, a sporty estate car with a spacious interior. Described by Renault's Senior Vice President, Corporate Design, Patrick le Quement, as “a successful balance between flowing and sporty lines,” the Altica is designed to combine the practicality of an estate car, the sports appeal of a coupe and a high standard of travelling comfort. The interior of the car is where most of the advanced concepts are employed, with a suspended drive station held in place by four profiled rods that hint at the world of Formula 1. Similarly, the seats are fixed, and the drive station and pedal assembly adjust to match the driver's physique via a motorized mechanism. Altica's sports pedigree is reinforced by its scissor doors, the form of which ensures easy access to this low vehicle.  Read More

Renault F1 Team launches 2006 championship campaign in Monaco

January 31, 2006 The Renault F1 Team today launched its 2006 world championship challenger, the R26, in Monaco with the promise of an aggressive defence of the team’s double 2005 world championship. In front of world-wide media and VIP guests in Monte-Carlo, the world champions officially launched the 2006 championship campaign with a clear objective: defending the world championship with an aggressive approach to the 2006 season. “In terms of performance objectives, there can be only one: to be fighting for the world championship in the final races,” explained Renault F1 Team President Patrick Faure. “We enter the year with an unchanged line-up in our management, our drivers and our technical team. Everybody at Viry and Enstone has been working to prepare a technical package capable of keeping us at the top. Complacency has no place at Renault. We are focused on repeating our successes.” Previous 2006 Formula One team launch reports can be found here: Ferrari's 248 F1, Toyota's TF-06, Honda's RA106 and Williams' F1 FW28.  Read More

Formula One HANS device inspires Renault’s 'Sleep Safe' head restraints

November 16, 2005 Over the last decade, the chance of surviving a serious crash in the front seats of a car has risen dramatically. So much so, that 70% of adult deaths and injuries are now suffered by those seated in the rear and it's not just adults at risk as more often than not it's children that are traveling in the rear seat. Renault has unveiled several new initiatives to improve rear seat safety, including one inspired by its World Championship winning Formula One team.  Read More

Renault Wins Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship for 2005

October 18, 2005 Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix was the last Grand Prix of the season, and with the drivers championship decided, the duel between the two outstanding teams of the season for the constructors crown was the highlight of the event. In the end, the script ran as it had done all season, with the mercurial McLarens failing when it counted and Fernando Alonso performing flawlessly when it mattered most, and the Renault F1 Team winning the FIA Formula One World Constructors’ Championship. A dominant team performance saw Fernando Alonso take his seventh win of the season, while Giancarlo Fisichella finished fourth, only missing a podium finish through a questionable penalty from the FIA late in the race. But the day was dominated by the joy of Renault's win: the constructors’ championship coming alongside Fernando Alonso’s drivers’ championship to leave Renault as double world champions, an historic first for the French company.  Read More

Alonso and Renault take World F1 title

September 26, 2005 Fernando Alonso today became the youngest world champion in Formula One history, after his thirteenth podium finish of the 2005 season in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. Starting from pole position, the Spaniard drove a consistent race to claim third position and a championship lead of 23 points with two races remaining in the 2005 season - he therefore has an unassailable lead in the drivers’ championship. At 24 years old, he is the youngest world champion in F1 history. While Renault celebrated, McLaren-Mercedes wondered what might have been had the team found consistency to match its speed. Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen scored a dominant one-two in the race and last year’s champ Michael Schumacher finished fourth for Ferrari. With teammate Rubens Barrichello in sixth place, Ferrari consolidated their third place in the Constructors’ championship, the lead of which was taken by McLaren, now two points ahead of Renault with two races to go. With the title safe, an all-out fight for the constructors’ crown will be the centre of attention of the final two races of the season.  Read More

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