Page 1 of 2 Next >> Renault had pioneered the turbo engine in Formula 1 back in 1977 and by the start of the 1983 season still waiting to really reap the awards. By that time most of the major teams had followed suit and although no Driver Championship had been scored yet, Ferrari had become Constructor's World Champion in 1982 with a turbo-engined car. Looking for more than individual race wins, Renault set about developing the brand new RE40 for the 1983 season.
Built to comply with the new flat bottom regulations, the RE40 was the first Renault to use a carbon-fibre chassis. At the time there were still concerns about the strength of the aerospace derived composite, so the monocoque was made stronger and as a result bulkier than it perhaps should have been. At the front an aluminium crash structure was added to make accident repairs a little easier. The engine served as a fully stressed member.
This twin-turbo V6 was the latest development of the original V6 introduced back in 1977. In its 1983 guise, it was constructed from aluminium alloys, further reducing its weight to 170 kg. Four belt-driven overhead camshafts were used to actuate the four valves per cylinder. One KKK turbo was mounted on either side of the engine. Renault quoted a relatively conservative power figure of 640 bhp, although in qualifying trim the 1983-specification EF1 would have been good for well over 800 bhp.
The revised engine was mated to a bespoke gearbox that combined a Renault casing with Hewland internals. It could be used with either five or six forward gears. Suspension was by double wishbones with pull-rod actuated dampers on all four corners. With ground effect aerodynamics banned, the main areas available to generate downforce were once again the front and rear wings, so accordingly these were considerably larger than those used on the RE30. Page 1 of 2 Next >>