BY CHERYL TAY
Launching racing-inspired road cars during the Formula 1 period in Singapore has become a trend for obvious benefits such as brand image and positioning. The Renault Megane RS265 Red Bull Racing Special Edition was unveiled at the French Residence, home of the French Ambassador.
The latest of the limited edition Megane RS versions, the Megane RS Red Bull Racing RB7 commemorates the brand's association with the two-time F1 World Champion team Red Bull Racing, which are running on Renault engines. The three other teams running Renault engines include Lotus, Williams and Caterham.
Delivering 250bhp and 340Nm in Normal mode from its 2-litre 16V turbo engine, the Megane RS265 can go a bit more to give 265bhp and 360Nm in Sport mode. Equipped with a Cup chassis, limited slip differential and red brake calipers, the Megane RS Red Bull Racing RB7 also has the RS Monitor inspired from onboard telemetry systems in motor racing.
Over the standard Megane RS265 model, this comes with a serialised number plate, chequered flag roof design, RECARO leather upholstery, 19-inch STEEV rims, Etoile Black body colour, Sirius Yellow F1-style front blades, door mirror housings and diffuser.
Retailing at a premium of S$5,000 over the standard model, the Megane RS265 Red Bull Racing Special Edition's price at time of launch was S$199,999.
Making an appearance at the launch event was French driver Romain Grosjean from the Lotus-Renault team, who drove up to the porch of the French Residence in the Megane RS265.
Grosjean was a test driver for Renault in 2008 and 2009. He took over Nelson Piquet Jr.'s seat as main driver from the 2009 European Grand Prix onwards and hence, participated in the 2009 Singapore Grand Prix. However, his car was suffering from brake problems and he was forced to retire after three laps.
In 2011, Grosjean came back to F1 as one of the five test drivers at the newly-branded Lotus-Renault team then. He drove a few practice sessions that season and was finally promoted to his first full F1 season drive for 2012.
"I like Formula 1 and I'm very happy to be back into it. It's a good season so far with three podiums — a good result for a first season," said Grosjean, who is eager to get back into the driver's seat after sitting out the last race in Monza due to a one-race ban he received for causing a massive multi-car accident at the start of the race in Spa-Francorchamps.
Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at www.cheryl-tay.com.