Some Spaniards with camera phones caught a little blue Renault hatchback with a number "5" on its flanks and a giant wing hanging off the back. Renault has to have expected someone to catch it in photos, not because it was working with a camera truck but because it was doing donuts in an intersection and spitting out a murderous exhaust note. It might actually have nothing to do with the Goodwood concepts, but the coincidence of a classic Renault 5 showing up in England does provide a potential connection.
Elsewhere in the stand from July 11 to 14 Renault will have a 1920 Renault Type K, a 1926 Renault 40CV, the first turbocharged F1 car, the 1978 RS01, the Alpine that won Le Mans in 1978 and a Groupe 5 Alpine A310 rally car, Kimi Räikkönen's Australian F1 Grand Prix-winning Lotus E21, the Red Bull RB9, Caterham CT03 and Williams FW35. Among current offerings will be the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, Captur crossover and all-electric Zoe. Find out more about all of them in the two videos and the press release below.
This year's Goodwood Festival of Speed sees Renault following its substantial 2012 appearance with a celebration of its highly successful, 35-year long commitment to Formula 1, the revival of the famous Alpine sports car brand and the showcasing of an exciting array of new road cars, including two yet-to-be-seen concept models. The event will be held from 11th to 14th July in the grounds of Goodwood House, 60 miles south of London.
Landmark vehicles from Renault's sporting heritage include the 1978 RS01 that was the first turbo F1 car, the sensational 1978 Le Mans-winning Alpine A442B, the stylish 1977 Groupe 5 Alpine A310 rally car, the enormous and extraordinary-looking 1926 Renault 40CV 'des records', a 1902 Renault Type K that was one of the world's earliest racing cars, and the dramatic Renault 5 Maxi Turbo of 1984.
Making their UK debut at Goodwood, and guaranteed to draw crowds, will be two new sports concept cars, one of which will be 100% electric. Besides these surprises Renault's main Goodwood stand will showcase the four examples of Renault RS27-powered F1 cars from the 2013 championship, including the race-winning Lotus E21, the Red Bull RB9, the Caterham CT03 and the Williams FW35, as well as an array of exciting new road cars. These include the much-anticipated Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, the handsome new Renault Captur crossover and the stylish Renault ZOE.
Renault is bringing famous drivers too, including legendary four times F1-championship winner Alain Prost, Monte Carlo rally winner Jean Ragnotti, and Susie Wolff.
Goodwood: Racing through time and a country house garden
Renault has long been an enthusiastic participant in the Goodwood Festival of Speed, appearing on six consecutive occasions from 2001 to 2006, before making a comeback in 2012 after a five-year break. The company's 2013 appearance coincides with the 20th anniversary of this now world-famous and much-loved event, and promises to be one of the most eye-catching yet.
Held in the grounds of Goodwood House, an elegant and historic country residence nestling amid England's picturesque South Downs, the Festival provides the startling sight of racing cars charging through its bucolic grounds, the house's driveway turned into a dramatic, challenging and rather beautiful hillclimb venue. Racing cars and Goodwood have been synonymous for decades, the first motorsport event occurring in 1936 when the ninth Duke of Richmond organised a hillclimb through the house's grounds. World War 2 brought this pursuit to a close, but also saw the construction of a nearby airfield whose perimeter road would eventually be turned into the famous Goodwood circuit. The first race was held in 1948 and the last in 1966, and when the Charles Gordon-Lennox, the current Earl of March and a major car enthusiast was prevented from reviving races at the circuit, he decided to stage his own Festival of speed in the grounds of Goodwood House. The first event attracted 30,000 visitors, and it now draws 180,000, many considering it the finest motoring event in Britain.
Besides the hillclimb there is also a concours d'elegance, a pavilion of concept cars and technical exhibits of the future, an air display, events for younger visitors and much more. A highlight of the event remains the paddock, where fans can stand mere inches from some of the most famous racing cars in history and better still, meet their drivers.
RENAULT – 115 years of history, underpinned with a unique commitment and passion for Motor Sport
Renault has raced for almost as long as the company has been alive. In 1902 a Renault Type K won its first victory in the Paris-to-Vienna road race, propelled by a four cylinder engine producing slightly more than 40 horsepower. It beat the more powerful Mercedes and Panhard racers because they broke down, proving very early on that to finish first, first you have to finish. In the same year Renault patented the turbocharger, something it had not forgotten when in 1977 it was the first manufacturer to race a turbocharged Formula One car. The RS01 was initially nicknamed the 'Yellow Teapot' by amused rival teams, but intensive development eventually saw it scoring fourth place in the 1978 US Grand Prix, and a pole position the following year. Within three years of the Yellow Teapot's arrival most rival teams were also using turbochargers.
Although today's Renault RS27-2013 engine is a normally aspirated V8, as required by the regulations, from 2014 it will be replaced by a highly advanced, downsized 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 featuring a pair of powerful energy recuperation systems that feed twin electric motors. These include an Energy Recovery System (ERS-K) that harvests Kinetic energy, and a second Energy Recovery System (ERS-H) that captures Heat. The aim is to deliver the same power as the 2013 V8 engine delivers using a V6 turbo and twin electric motors, to use 40percent less fuel.
Developing competitive power outputs while using less fuel is precisely the goal Renault is striving for in the road car world, the 2014 F1 rules perfectly matching a powertrain strategy founded on the company's unrivalled commitment to electric motors, coupled to the intensive development of the internal combustion engine . The aim? Spectacular fuel consumption, and major CO2 efficiency gains. A drop of fuel means as much on the track as it does on the road, and Renault's expertise lies in extracting the maximum energy from it.
And this is why Renault participates in the most competitive motorsport arena in the world. What it learns from engine development feeds directly into its road car programmes, both by adopting F1 technologies and by moving its engineers between the two disciplines. It's a highly successful strategy that has not only yielded 11 titles, 152 victories, 202 pole positions and 283 podiums during the company's current 35-year participation in F1, but also a long and impressive run of Renault road cars that sit at the forefront of automotive technology. And reliability too, what Renault has learnt from developing an F1 engine that revs to 18,000rpm regularly for lap-after-lap, transferring directly to its production engines.
Advanced engine technology not only produces highly efficient performance, but also road cars that make an exciting drive. Every Renault with an Energy engine comes with the thrilling power delivery of a turbocharger, and has been engineered by men and women with a genuine passion for cars. The same engineers work in the disciplines of both the race and road cars worlds, and they don't forget what they know of one when they're working in the other. Which is why a strong vein of motorsport DNA courses through the heart of every Renault, be it a classic Alpine A310, a Renault 5GT Turbo or today's latest Clio and Captur.
Excitement on the track means excitement on the road
Renault will showcase no less than three major new models at Goodwood this summer, including the much-anticipated Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, the stylish new Captur compact crossover and the revolutionary electric ZOE. Not only that, but there will also be two previously unseen, performance-oriented concepts on show, one of which will be 100% electric.
Plenty of Goodwood Festival-goers will make a beeline for the latest Clio Renaultsport, this hot hatch enjoying a legendary reputation for out-handling exotic machinery costing vastly more. The latest version – now 36kg lighter for an all-up weight of only 1204kg - sprints to 62mph in a spectacular 6.7 seconds and will spear 143mph. A 200hp, direct-injection 1.6 turbo engine produces the power behind this performance via a new six-speed, paddle-shift, dual-clutch transmission, which is supplied with a fat 240Nm torque that streams unabated from 1650-5500rpm. Three driving modes - two of them reducing throttle lag and raising the idle speed - trick hydraulic compression control shock absorbers that blend a supple ride with extraordinary body control, an R.S. diff and a Launch Control system ensure that this latest Renaultsport Clio will be even more exciting than its illustrious predecessors. And yes, there's an optional, keenly priced Cup chassis option too.
Just as eye-catching is the Renault Captur, a new and particularly stylish supermini crossover that combines the high-set seating of an off-roader with the space and versatility of a small MPV, and the handy manoeuvrability of a small hatchback besides. An athletic stance that positions the wheels sportily close to the bodywork, doors shaped to prevent shoes and clothes from getting muddy when you step in and a colourful, high quality interior finish underline the attention to detail that characterizes this car. Handy features include optional unzippable seat covers, a sliding rear seat, a multi-position boot floor, and Renault's new R-link infotainment system.
Like the Clio, the Captur features turbocharged Energy engines, including a TCe 90 petrol and dCi 90 diesel. This is also a car that you can personalise. Two-tone paint schemes, exterior graphics, light and dark interior trim themes and optional highlights in grey, ivory, chrome, orange, green or blue give the interior an appealingly distinctive character, as do décor packs that coordinate with the optional exterior graphics.
Like the new Clio and the ZOE, the Captur is a striking car, and Renault's chief designer Laurens Van Den Acker will be appearing at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed to explain his already widely admired design strategy for the marque.
Just as distinctive as the Captur is Renault's stylish new ZOE, an electric car that promises to attract new buyers to this growing segment. With prices starting at only £13,650 after the government's subsidy, the ZOE is the most affordable, purpose-designed electric car on the market. It also has the biggest range, which is officially homologated at 130 miles, and has also been awarded the full NCAP five stars for occupant protection. A five-door hatchback of particularly appealing lines, the ZOE debuts no less than six 'world premiere' features and carries 60 patents, all of them aimed at enhancing its range, user-friendliness and connectivity.
A 65kW (88hp) electric engine provides the ZOE with particularly strong low-speed acceleration thanks to its instant 220Nm of torque, while its top speed is limited to 84mph. Recharging takes between 30 minutes and nine hours using Renault's patented Chameleon charger, which is compatible with both the fast-charging stations that provide a fast 30 minute charge, and a domestic overnight supply.
ZOE is available in three trims levels called Expression, Dynamique Zen and Dynamique Intens, all three including the Range OptimiZEr package that provides regenerative braking, a heat pump and Michelin Energy E-V tyres, all three features contributing to the 130 mile NEDC range that, in real world use, would be typically around 90 miles in temperate conditions. Battery pack rental costs from just £70 a month, and in combination with the low cost of the energy required to charge, makes the ZOE very cheap to run. Renault has become the first car manufacturer to offer a free domestic charging point with a new electric car purchase. The free Single Wall-box, supplied and installed by Renault's preferred electric vehicle charging partner, British Gas, is supplied and installed free of charge to ZOE customers.
Apart from their style, a common feature to the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, the Captur and the ZOE is Renault's innovative and hugely useful new R-Link infotainment system, which provides an impressive level of connectivity for the drivers of these cars. This multi-media tablet is also available in the new Clio hatchback and the new Kangoo van range too. Either fitted as standard or available for a very reasonable £450, this impressive and attractive tool is designed to appeal to those with an interest in new technologies, and equally, to be useful and easily understood for those that aren't.
A key aim behind its design has been to avoid the need to use a small pile of portable devices to make phone calls or listen to music while on the move. So R-Link provides Bluetooth telephony, navigation, a radio, music streaming and connectivity to music devices, as well as connection to a series of vehicle-related services. Customers can tailor R-Link to suit their particular needs by subscribing to a variety of services – including TomTomLive – and downloading as many as 50 apps. The system itself is controlled by a clear and intuitive touchscreen, a set of steering wheel-mounted controls and a series of voice commands to ensure that the driver's eyes remain on the road. R-Link is one of the most advanced and attractive infotainment systems on the market, and one of the most affordable too.
Some of its more unusual features include an app allowing you to compare the prices of the nearest 10 fuel stations, an Eco-coaching programme, a Yellow Pages search and when the car is stationary, the ability to tweet or play Sudoku. And for drivers of electrically-propelled Renaults, it helps you optimize your range, route and battery charge, and can guide you to the nearest charging station using TomTom Z.E. Live navigation.
Leading-edge technology of a different kind is to be found under the bonnets of a variety of Renaults featuring the latest Energy engines, which harness technology developed on track, on road and in the laboratory. Renault has now launched its ninth engine in the Energy series with the Energy TCe 130, which replaces the 1.4 TCe 130 engine, to be available from April in the New Mégane, the New Scenic and the New Grand Scenic.
This down-sized, direct injection, variably valve-timed 1.2 litre turbo yields an impressive 130hp at 5000rpm and 205Nm of peak torque from a low 2000rpm, to produce performance equivalent to a normally aspirated 2.0 litre. More than that, it generates fuel savings of between 15 and 20 percent depending on it application. A lively, smooth and eager drive, it also features a fuel-saving stop-start system and in the Mégane hatchback, achieves a combined consumption figure of 52.3mpg, and CO2 emissions of just 124g/km.
Like all the Energy engines, the TCe 130 features thermal management systems, a variable displacement oil pump, a turbocharger, diamond-like low friction coatings for the cam followers and graphite coatings for the piston skirts, as with Renault's F1 engines. There has been plenty of emphasis on refinement too, noise reduced by up to 50 percent compared to the power units these Energy engines replace. An overarching goal of the Energy engine programme is to reduce Renault's range CO2 emission, and by the end of 2013 this average is expected to fall below 120g/km – an impressive result.
Alpine relaunch to scale new heights
It's 40 years since the Alpine A110 sports car won the Monte Carlo rally, and you can see one of these compact, low-slung and strikingly beautiful coupes on Renault's main Goodwood stand. Renault is relaunching the famous marque with an ambitious programme that will see the launch of an all-new model co-developed with British sports car maker Caterham in 2016, as well as an exciting motorsport programme, kicking off this year, that includes contesting the Le Mans 24 hour race – which Alpine won outright in 1978 – and the European Le Mans (ELM) race series. Alpine has contested the Le Man 24 hour race no less than 11 times between 1963 and 1978, fielding a total of 55 cars over the period with class wins and victories in the Energy Index and Performance Index categories on several occasions.
Alpine's rebirth has already got off to an excellent start, an A110 winning the Monte Carlo Classic rally earlier this year. One of the five-car team was an A110 co-driven by Renault COO Carlos Tavares and Jean-Pascal Dauce. For the return to Le Mans Alpine has joined forces with Signatech, which will enter an Alpine LMP2 chassis powered by a 500bhp Nissan engine for the five rounds of the ELM series.