Renault Megane F1 Team R26 Details  

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To celebrate its second title in the F1 Constructors World Championship, Renault will offer a new version of the Mégane Renault Sport – the Mégane F1 Team R26. Its distinctive lines reinforce its positioning as a true sports car. The special F1 Team R26 combines a Cup chassis with completely new settings and a limited slip differential for even crisper handling whether driving on open roads or round a circuit. Its enhanced 230hp 2.0 turbo engine and Brembo brakes make it one of the highest performance hatches on the market. Mégane F1 Team R26 is positioned as the flagship of the Mégane family. It is assembled at the Dieppe site dedicated to Renault Sport Technologies production operations.

Building on the success enjoyed by Mégane F1 Team since its launch in January 2006, Renault continues in the same spirit with the introduction of Mégane F1 Team R26, the name of which refers of course to the car which won the Formula 1 World Championship in 2006. Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, Mégane F1 Team R26 is the sportiest version of the Mégane family.

Sporty looks

Mégane F1 Team R26 is distinguishable from other Mégane Renault Sport models thanks to unique graphics on the bumpers, doors and roof (free delete option) and its red-painted brake callipers. It is equipped with the "Cup" chassis as standard and comes with "Anthracite" 18-inch alloy wheels which echo the colour of the exterior mirrors. Mégane F1 Team R26 can be ordered with the exclusive Liquid Yellow body colour.

Inside, a numbered plate similar to that used on the F1 reinforces the exclusive character of this Mégane. Recaro bucket seats, which guarantee an optimal driving position, are standard in the Mégane F1 Team R26 and enable the driver and passenger to feel more at one with the car, bringing Mégane F1 Team R26 even closer to the world of motor sport.

Engine and chassis engineered for driving pleasure

Mégane F1 Team R26's most striking feature is to be found under its bonnet, namely its evolved 2.0 16-valve turbocharged engine (F4Rt) which delivers 230hp (169 kW) at 5,500rpm and boasts peak torque of 310Nm (31.6mkg) at 3,000rpm thanks to optimised engine mapping and a modified exhaust. With 90 per cent of peak torque available from 2,000 to 6,000 rpm, this engine provides instant response and ultra-smooth acceleration.

The six-speed manual gearbox (ND0) enables all this potential to be exploited to the full and helps take the car from standstill to 100 kph in 6.5 seconds, while the 1,000-metre standing start is covered in just 26.6 seconds. Mégane F1 Team R26 also offers class-topping fuel efficiency for its power output, with combined cycle fuel consumption of 8.5 litres/100km, for CO2 emissions limited to 200 g/km.

Mégane F1 Team R26 is equipped with a stand still start optimization feature known as "Power Start". This system becomes operational when the vehicle is at a stand still with ESP engaged and enables the car to deliver its maximum acceleration, without losing its grip. Finally, work on the exhaust system guarantees a characteristically sporty bark from the engine.

Mégane F1 Team R26's other main strength is its chassis, which features independent steering-axis front suspension and a programmed-deflection flexible rear beam. Mégane F1 Team is delivered as standard with the "Cup" chassis which is optional in the case of Mégane Renault Sport and Mégane Renault Sport Luxe. The "Cup" chassis employs specific dampers and 10% stiffer front springs, while rear damper travel has been slightly increased by reducing the size of the bump stops by 20 mm to optimise handling on poor surfaces. The new diameter front anti-roll bar, increased from 19 to 21 mm, and the integration of a new rear axle with an additional anti-roll bar ensure 10% stiffer anti-roll characteristics for enhanced handling under cornering. Increasing the diameter of the spindle axles by 5 mm and the size of the wheel bearings offers 30% greater camber stiffness which helps maintain the geometry of the axle under cornering. All these evolutions combine to provide first class road holding.

Now equipped with a limited slip differential, Mégane F1 Team R26 has never been so close to being a genuine competition car. The limited slip differential guarantees impeccable traction irrespective of driving style or type of curve and regardless of how much grip is available. Limited slip differentials are a common feature of competition cars, both in rallying and in Formula 1, although they can call for a certain degree of driving skill as a result of the torque steer that can be transmitted via the steering wheel in some situations. In the case of Mégane F1 Team R26, however, the combination of a limited slip differential and independent steering-axis front suspension not only minimizes this phenomenon but also permits the driver to benefit from the extra traction for more secure handling.

The limited slip differential also offers enhanced braking stability. Its immediate operation delays and limits ASR interventions when accelerating hard and ESP interventions when cornering, thus retaining all the potential of the brakes. Steering potential is enhanced in cornering, allowing for earlier and more positive re­acceleration. In relation to the Mégane F1 Team launched in January 2006, Mégane F1 Team R26 is more than one second per kilometre faster on the Castellet circuit.

In brief, while improving power transfer to the ground, and thus vehicle performance, the limited slip differential equally offers sound and secure handling, irrespective of driving style.

Limited slip differential

Among the various devices on the market today, Renault Sport Technologies chose a mechanical differential with helical teeth, where the satellite and sun gears have parallel axes. The limited slip function is obtained through mechanical efficiency of the system. During the slippage phases, the internal architecture of the differential generates friction on the various surfaces of the sun gears, transmitting part of the engine torque to the wheel with the greatest grip.

A main characteristic of this type of limited slip differential, the transfer rate is configured using 3 friction rings (selected for their coefficient of friction) placed between the sun gears and the differential housing. Final developments of the transfer rate are perfected by changing the material from which the rings are made.

Since the faces of the rings solicited during accelerations are not the same as those used in the braking phase, the transfer rate can therefore be differentiated. On the Mégane F1 Team R26, the transfer rate is 35%. The nominal ratio between the torque of the high traction wheel and that of the low traction wheel, called TBR (Torque Bias Ratio), is 2.1. Mégane F1 Team R26's limited slip differential is manufactured by GKN Driveline. In parallel with the evolutions of the chassis and the introduction of the limited slip differential, the electric power steering control unit was recalibrated with a view to guaranteeing a more linear feel for added steering precision.

Sports performance of this standard calls for brakes that boast both bite and endurance, and Mégane F1 Team R26's uprated brake system – which features Brembo four-pot front callipers and vented 312mm diameter discs – provides outstanding stopping power which is compounded by the work of the 11-inch servo which generates a maximum pressure within the circuit of 115 bar. Mégane F1 Team R26 is equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tyres (235 / 40 R18).

The flagship of the Mégane range

Since its launch in March 2003, 13,000 Mégane Renault Sport vehicles have been sold throughout the world. This model has been particularly successful in France, the United Kingdom and Germany where Mégane Renault Sport made 70% of its sales between 2003 and late September 2006. Mégane Renault Sport is also a hit in Spain, Switzerland, South Africa and Mexico. Launched in January 2006, the Renault F1 Team version represented 41 % of Mégane Renault Sport sales. This model contributes to the expansion and creation of a younger clientele within the Mégane range, and whose various models are now appreciated in a large number of countries. It also disseminates Renault's technological expertise in the field of sports models.

Dieppe, an emblematic site

The Dieppe Renault Sport facility is dedicated to the production of Renault Sport models. With an annual capacity of 30,000 vehicles, the plant currently assembles Mégane Renault Sport and Clio Renault Sport.

At Dieppe, the Mégane Renault Sport is assembled from bodies manufactured and cataphorisis treated at Renault's Palencia facility. The manufacturing process is based on the Renault Production System (RPS) and the AVES (Alliance Vehicle Evaluation Standard) quality standard, as in other Renault manufacturing facilities.

Renault has invested 1.2 million euros in developing Mégane F1 Team R26.

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