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3D printing will make the Renault RS 2027 F1 concept ultra light

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The Renault RS 2027 F1 concept is Renault’s vision of what Formula 1 cars could look like in 10 years: ultra light, safe, powerful and — almost redundantly — crazy cool. I mean, just look at it.

The concept car was unveiled at the Shanghai motor show to demonstrate Renault’s long-term commitment to Formula 1. It is also a concept very much of its times, both in technology and environmental sensitivity: featuring featherweight 3D printed composite parts and a hybrid engine.

Renault R.S.2027 Vision Concept
The 3D Printed honeycomb composite cockpit allows the car to be both lighter and safer.

The small V6 internal combustion engine will be coupled with a new battery system capable of generating 500kW. That’s almost five times the power of current batteries found on F1 cars — pushing the output of the car to around 1,340bhp. When you factor in that — thanks, in part, to the composite parts — the car weighs only 600kg, that’s a frightening power-to-weight ratio. In fact, that’s more than double the power-to-weight ratio seen on current F1 cars.

As well as four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering, the R.S. 2027 will also feature a range of what Renault calls ‘active elements’. These include: active aerodynamics to help reduce energy waste due to drag at high speeds, active LED lighting, and active suspension which could be used to recover lost energy.

On the safety front, the single-seater layout adds a protective polycarbonate closed canopy to provide protection whilst also allowing better driver visibility. Two hidden titanium roll-over bars would deploy in milliseconds should the car overturn.

With 3D printing leaders such as Stratasys partnering with Formula 1 racing teams, the future of motorsport looks new and exciting. And as racing technology eventually trickles it’s way down to production road cars — get ready for cars that are faster, safer, more ecological, and a whole lot cooler.

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