First Pictures Of The Revolutionary New Hybrid Lotus Renault R31

Lotus Renault GP have launched their 2011 title challenger, the car is a gasoline electric hybrid with a remarkable, and perhaps revolutionary, exhaust system.
The car, named the R31, is a hybrid, using both a high performance gasoline engine and an electric motor connected to a battery pack that is recharged under braking, commonly known as KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) it works using the same fundamental process as the Toyota Prius.
Using a forward facing exhaust that shoots directly into the under car diffuser, the aerodynamic effect is thought to produce more downforce, meaning the cars can corner slightly faster. In the world of Formula 1 where 0.001 of a second can be the difference between winning and losing, a system like this could be a game changer in the same way that Brawn F1’s double diffuser was in the 2010 season.
The R31 will be piloted this year by Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov, both drivers being veterans of last years Renault F1 Team, with Kubica being widely credited with some impressive performances last year.
With Formula 1 adopting hybrid drive trains it’ll be interesting to see if this has a knock-on effect with other racing series or with high performance cars like the Porsche 918 RSR, which is using a KERS drive train developed by the Williams F1 team last year.


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Moulded carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb composite monocoque, manufactured by Lotus Renault GP and designed for maximum strength with minimum weight. RS27-2011 V8 engine installed as a fully-stressed member.
Front suspension
Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones operate an inboard rocker via a pushrod system. This is connected to a torsion bar and damper units which are mounted inside the front of the monocoque. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Rear suspension
Carbon fibre top and bottom wishbones with pull rod operated torsion springs and transverse-mounted damper units mounted in the top of the gearbox casing. Aluminium uprights and OZ machined magnesium wheels.
Seven-speed semi-automatic titanium gearbox with reverse gear. “Quickshift” system in operation to maximise speed of gearshifts.
Fuel system
Kevlar-reinforced rubber fuel cell by ATL.
Cooling system
Separate oil and water radiators located in the car’s sidepods and cooled using airflow from the car’s forward motion.
MES-Microsoft Standard Electronic Control Unit.
Braking system
Carbon discs and pads.
Calipers by AP Racing.
Master cylinders by AP racing and Brembo.
Removable driver’s seat made of anatomically formed carbon composite, with six-point harness seat belt by OMP Racing. Steering wheel integrates gear change and clutch paddles, and rear wing adjuster.
Motor generator unit driving into front of engine with batteries as an energy store.
Motor Generator supplied by Renault Sport F1.
Electronic control unit by Magneti-Marelli.

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