A new limited-edition Mgane Renaultsport R26.R made its world debut today. Developed from the Mgane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26, the R26.R retains the same engine, transmission and limited-slip differential as the R26 but with a significant weight reduction of 270 lb. It was thus able to achieve a new lap record of the Nrburgring of 8min 17sec - the fastest for a front-wheel-drive production car.
The R26.R features a carbon hood, polycarbonate windows, Sabelt race seats and six-point harnesses. There's also an optional rollcage and titanium exhaust but production is limited to 450 examples worldwide from October 2008.
The Mgane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26 was launched in November 2006 and has enjoyed a great success. Using this base, Renaultsport has launched an extreme version, the Mgane Renaultsport R26.R.
Developed by Renault Sport Technologies, the Mgane R26.R joins the family that also comprises the Clio Renaultsport 197, Mgane Renaultsport 225, Mgane Renaultsport dCi 175 and, from September, the Twingo Renaultsport 133. Since the launch in April 2004, the family of Mgane Renaultsport has sold more than 20,000 units in almost 30 countries.
Renault Sport Technologies have given the Mgane R26.R visual differences that mark itout at first glance. The carbon fiber hood and red 18" alloy wheels are the main visual clues, together with a new rear spoiler plus R26.R decals and logos as well as tinted polycarbonate in place of glass in the tailgate and rear side windows.
Inside the R26.R the atmosphere is as radical as the outside. Competition seats with a carbon fiber shell, as well as harnesses, were supplied by Sabelt - the first time this form of restraint has been homologated in a production car. Conventional lap and diagonal seatbelts can be fitted as an accessory. No rear seat is fitted. The steering wheel and gear boot are in leather and suede.
To improve the power to weight ratio, the Mgane R26.R has been on a strict diet, losing 270 lb compared to the standard R26. This has been achieved by the removal of rear seats and seat belts, passenger airbag and curtain airbags (the driver's airbag remains), climate control (air conditioning remains standard), rear wash/wipe and heated rear window, front foglamps, headlamp washers, radio/CD player, most of the soundproofing
Other new elements include the carbon fiber hood (saves 17 lb), tailgate and rear side windows in polycarbonate (saves 13 lb), Sabelt seats with carbon fiber shell and aluminum bases (saves 55 lb).
The suspension and brakes have been optimized to make the most of the specification and to provide maximum performance. The front independent suspension is maintained but with new springs, re-calibrated shocks.
New wheels are fitted with a different offset, increasing the track by 4mm. Toyo Proxes R888 225/40-18 tires are available as an option in place of the standard 235/40-18 Michelin Pilot Sport 2.
To guarantee the best possible traction, the R26.R retains the limited-slip differential from the Mgane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26. This is a mechanical differential with helical teeth and retains the same transfer rate of 33%. The combination of this LSD and independent steering-axis front suspension minimies torque steer and enables power to be applied earlier during cornering.
A performance car needs brakes that are both powerful and fade-resistant. The Mgane R26.R has large 312mm ventilated discs at the front with Brembo four-piston calipers that provide stopping power at the highest level. To resist fade, the discs are grooved as opposed to drilled.
The R26.R takes its engine and tranmission from the Mgane Renaultsport 230 F1 Team R26. This develops a peak power of 230hp and torque of 230 lb-ft. A characteristic of this engine is the wide power band, with 90% of the torque available from 2000 to 6000rpm.However, to reduce the gear change time, a short-shift gear linkage is fitted.
The R26.R accelerates from 0-62mph in 6sec. The combined fuel consumption is 33.2mpg and emissions are 199g/km.On 23 June, the Mgane R26.R established a new lap record for a front-wheel drive production car at the Nrburgring circuit with a time of just 8 minutes 17 seconds. To commemorate this exceptional level of performance, the circuit outline and lap time is etched into the rear side windows.