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Renault Builds Symbioz Prototype, Says It’s The Future Of Mobility [w/Video] 8
Dec
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in Autonomous, concepts, Electric Vehicles, Galleries, renault, Renault Concepts, Renault Videos, Tech, video on 12 8th, 2017


After unveiling the Symbioz concept at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Renault is now giving journalists the chance to climb inside an actual prototype and go for a test drive.

According to Renault, this is the first rolling prototype built to be autonomous from the ground up, setting us up to experience the year 2023, in the present.

Aside from featuring Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities, meaning you can take your mind off the road, the Symbioz is also a zero emissions vehicle, powered by two electric motors, and fully connected.

“You cannot re-imagine the future of mobility until you’ve been in the SYMBIOZ demo car. Our engineering and design teams have pushed into the next decade with an autonomous car that lets you experience a new kind of mobility.”

“Electric and connected, this working concept car is designed from the outset to challenge old paradigms about getting from place to place. We’re excited to show the world our vision – and to let them sample the future of Renault,” said the automaker’s product engineering VP, Gaspar Gascon Abellan.

The demo car’s two electric motors are located on the rear axle, and work together with Renault’s 4Control all-wheel steering system, offering improved dynamics on the road. In terms of specs, the prototype delivers 360 kW (489 PS) and 550 Nm (405 lb-ft) of torque continuously, although the maximum power is rated at 500 kW (680 PS) and 660 Nm (486 lb-ft) of torque. The result of that is a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time of 6 seconds flat.

While the prototype features a 72kWh battery back, the architecture itself can accommodate batteries with a capacity of up to 100kWh. As for charge times, you can juice them up to 80% in less than half an hour.

The Symbioz measures 4.92 meters (16.1 ft) long, 1.92 meters (6.3 ft) wide and 1.44 meters (4.2 ft) high, with a wheelbase of 3.07 meters (10 feet). It’s quite a large car, and thanks to its styling (the vast glazed upper), it will let ample light into the cabin while optimizing exterior visibility.

Speaking of styling, the exterior has a wide range of aerodynamic features, such as the vertical air intakes, side wind deflectors and a roof spoiler (deploys automatically in Dynamic mode). Beneath the design, you’ll find Lidars concealed in the front headlights and rear bumper, radars and ultrasound sensors behind the bodywork, a front camera, rear camera and lateral cameras hidden in the door handles.

Inside, there is no center console and the air vent system has been designed to achieve a flat floor. Meanwhile, storage areas in the dashboard have been moved to free up space on the sides and the door panels have been optimized with built-in lighting.

The entire cabin layout of the Symbioz demo car changes automatically according to which driving mode you’ve selected. In AD mode, the steering wheel and dashboard move back 12 cm (4.7 inches), while Dynamic mode offers the driver additional lateral support for a bucket seat feel, while changing engine, steering and chassis settings. As for Classic mode, that’s the standard mode, where everything is positioned like in a conventional car.

If you want to let the car do all the driving, you can relax and use the Symbioz’s virtual reality experience. Just put on the helmet and go on a virtual journey. It’s important to note that the system makes sure to reproduce the speed, trajectory, position on the road as well as the surrounding vehicles in real time so as to provide a comfortable experience.

According to Renault, the Symbioz demo car was developed simultaneously alongside the concept car, with partners such as LG and Ubisoft providing technical expertise. The next step for the French automaker will be to offer Level 2 autonomous driving in one of their cars in the year 2019, while Level 4-ready models will appear starting in 2022, pending government regulatory approvals.

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Renault-Nissan And Mercedes Unveil New 1.3-liter Turbo Petrol Engine 7
Dec
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in renault, Renault Scenic, Reports, Tech on 12 7th, 2017


Renault has introduced a new direct injection turbocharged petrol engine, available in a choice of three power levels, that was developed with the help of their Nissan and Mercedes partners.

The unit will first hit the market next year on Scenic and Grand Scenic models, in TCe 115 manual, plus TCe 140 and TCe 160 manual or EDC automatic form. Later in the year, it will be progressively introduced in other Renault models.

“Compared with the Energy TCe 130, the new Energy TCe 140 delivers 35 Nm additional peak torque which is available across a broader rev band, from 1,500 rpm to 3,500 rpm,” said Alliance Global’s, Philippe Brunet.

Thanks to several Alliance-developed innovations, the new engine features Bore Spray Coating, a cylinder coating technology from the Nissan GT-R, which is said to improve efficiency by “reducing friction and optimizing heat transfer”. It also has increased direct fuel injection pressure and a specific combustion chamber design for improved fuel/air mix.

Renault claims this power unit not only offers more torque at low revs but also more linear torque at high revs, thus increasing driving comfort and offering a better mid-range response, which should aid overtaking maneuvers.


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Renault Demonstrates All Features Of The New Megane RS In Official Film 3
Dec
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in new cars, renault, Renault Megane, Renault Videos, RenaultSport, video on 12 3rd, 2017


Renault is placing the new generation Megane RS under the microscope a couple of months after it debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The official film covers all aspects of the new French hot hatch, from its exterior design, which is described as “a beast about to devour the road”, to its cabin that’s adorned with carbon fiber trim and Alcantara, among others.

Renault’s challenger to the likes of the new Honda Civic Type R promises improved traction at any speed thanks to the new motorsport-inspired suspension, combined with the 4Control four-wheel steering. The automaker wanted to enhance the sportiness of the new Megane RS by offering a ‘Race’ driving mode aimed at drivers that use the car on the track.

Even the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is brand new, as it comes from the Alpine A110. It delivers 280PS (276hp) and 390Nm (288lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels. Customers will have to choose between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a first for the French hot hatch, which can also be had with one of the two chassis settings, Sport or Cup.

Last, but definitely not least, Renault will attempt to steal the Nurburgring lap record for FWD production cars from the new Honda Civic Type R. To accomplish that, their range-topping Megane needs to complete the 20.7km (12.9-mile) long run in less than 7min and 43.8sec.

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Renault Kwid EV Plugs Into The Digital Realm 1
Dec
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Electric Vehicles, renault, Renault Kwid, Renderings on 12 1st, 2017


Renault’s head honcho Carlos Ghosn has already confirmed that the French automaker will introduce a zero-emission version of the Kwid, and here’s a take on how it might look like.

Penned by Kleber Silva, it sets itself apart from the regular models by getting redesigned headlights, fog lamps and a new front bumper, in addition to the plug port that’s positioned of the brand’s diamond logo.

Of course, the artist should have also removed the fuel filler car, as the electric Kwid won’t have an internal combustion engine. There are, however, new taillights with a clear pattern, new alloys and a special badge to the tailgate to emphasize its zero-emission status.

Τhe Kwid EV will be sold exclusively in China, where prototypes are already being tested, but if everything goes as planned, then it will be launched, at a latter date, into emerging markets such as neighboring India and Brazil.

Apart from the Kwid, Renault is also developing, together with Nissan and Mitsubishi, several zero-emission cars for Western markets as well, which will share the same platform, electric motors, and batteries between them, though each is supposed to have its own identity.

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It Took 600,000 Lego Bricks To Build This Full-Size Renault F1 Car 30
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in F1, Lego, renault, Renault Videos, video on 11 30th, 2017


Stop by Renault’s flagship showroom in Paris and you’ll not only see an array of the French automaker’s vehicles, but this full-size Lego replica of the company’s Formula One racing car.

The 17’8”-long model took some 600,000 bricks to fabricate, and was topped off by actual tires, seat, and steering wheel used by the real RS17 on track.

The display at L’Atelier Renault forms the first stage in a partnership penned between Lego and the carmaker, launched on the occasion of the latter’s 40th anniversary in F1.

Saturday, December 9 will feature a full day of festivities for the kids, including face-painting, photo opportunities, free balloons, and workshops to show fans how to make stop-motion movies with their Lego creations and even make a miniature F1 car to take home.

Further activities are planned throughout the next month and year ahead as Renault and Lego seek to make good on their new partnership.

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Crash Tests Reveal South Africa’s Most Popular Cars Are Worryingly Unsafe 26
Nov
Posted by Sergiu Tudose in Chery, Datsun, Datsun Go, Datsun Videos, Global NCAP, renault, Renault Sandero, Renault Videos, Reports, south-africa, TOYOTA, Toyota Etios, Toyota Videos, video, VW, VW Polo, VW Videos on 11 26th, 2017


Combining for 65% of all new cars sold in South Africa last year were the VW Polo Vivo, Datsun Go+, Toyota Etios, Renault Sandero and the Chery QQ3, a group of five extremely popular models.

Thanks to Global NCAP grabbing the entry-level version of each of these cars and testing their safety, we now know just how well they could protect occupants in the event of a crash.

While talking about the first ever crash-worthiness test for cars sold in Africa, Global NCAP chairman Lauchlan McIntosh says that such programs have led to safer cars being delivered in markets such as South America, India and the ASEAN region over the past five years.

“Working closely with our partners at the Automobile Association of South Africa and with the welcome support of the FIA Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, our new campaign is an important first milestone on the road to Safer Cars for Africa.”

David Ward, secretary general of Global NCAP, added that “It is good to see a four star result in these first ever African crash test ratings. However, it’s extremely disappointing that there’s a zero star car. Such a poor result shows why it is so important for countries like South Africa to fully apply the UN’s crash test standards.”

Let’s run through these results and start with the only car here which achieved a four star rating for adult occupant protection.

Toyota Etios

The Etios’ structure was rated at stable during its frontal crash test, which was conducted at 64 km/h (39 mph). This model also came with seat belts with pretensioners for both front passengers, and achieved a three star rating for child occupant protection when Toyota-recommended child seats where used.

It’s worth noting that only the Etios and the Renault Sandero offer standard ISOFIX anchorages for the outboard rear positions and three-point seat belt for all passengers.

Renault Sandero

Like the Etios, the Sandero’s structure was also rated as “stable” during its frontal collision test, offering acceptable adult occupation protection. It wasn’t quite as good as the Toyota, but it did do better in the child occupant protection test where it achieved four stars – the best in the group.

Volkswagen Polo Vivo

The Polo Vivo delivered similar results to the Sandero as far as adult occupant protection is concerned. Also like the Sandero, it did not come with seat belt pretensioners. However, using child seats recommended by VW, the Polo Vivo only managed a three star rating for child protection.

Datsun GO+

Here’s where this list shifts from acceptable to downright scary. The Datsun GO+ achieved a one star rating for its poor driver occupant protection, and a two star rating for child occupant protection using child seats.

The dummy inside the car suffered chest damage (impact with the steering wheel, despite the airbag) during the frontal collision test, and the vehicle’s structure was rated unstable overall. There was also no airbag for the passenger.

Chery QQ3

Like Mr Ward said, the Chery QQ3’s performance was extremely disappointing. It achieved a zero star rating and its structure was deemed unstable as it collapsed during impact – resulting in injuries to the dummy’s head and chest.

Aside from not featuring any airbags, this car also didn’t have a manufacturer-recommended child seat, which explains why it received a zero star rating for child occupant protection as well.

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Carlos Ghosn Confirms Kwid EV For China And Emerging Markets 25
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in china, Electric Vehicles, JAC, renault, Renault Kwid, Reports on 11 25th, 2017


Renault has been mulling with the idea of launching a cheap electric car in China for a few years, and it’s finally happening.

Speaking to Autonews, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, confirmed an electric version of the Kwid, admitting that prototypes have already been built.

“In China, we can’t sell the Leaf. Too expensive and too sophisticated. We can’t sell the Renault Fluence. Too expensive. What sells in China? Low-cost electric cars”, said Ghosn. “So we are putting engineers from the alliance to develop a low-cost Kwid EV for China. I just test drove the car in China. It will be a very well engineered car at a very low cost.”

Renault’s head honcho didn’t give any insights into the launch date, power, range or pricing of the Kwid EV, but admitted that it will eventually make its way into emerging markets. “Once it works in China, there’s no reason you’re not going to export the car to India, to Brazil, to the Middle East.”

Carlos Ghosn is looking at the Alliance as a whole when it comes to developing future products, especially electric vehicles, which will eventually help them achieve their objectives: mass marketing and profitability.

“In the beginning, it was Renault going by itself, because they were prototypes, and we didn’t know exactly where we were going. The Nissan Leaf had its own technology. The Renault Zoe has its own technology. Mitsubishi started with its own technology. But now we’re saying: one platform, one set of batteries, one set of motors”, Ghosn added.

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi isn’t the only automotive giant that sees China as a market with a huge potential when it comes to affordable EVs, as Volkswagen has a similar approach. However, the Germans won’t use their own brands to breach into this segment, as they have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding with Jianghuai Automobile Co. (JAC) to develop a cheap EV.

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Renault Signs A Deal To Make And Sell Cars In Pakistan From 2019 24
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Middle East, renault, Reports on 11 24th, 2017


Renault has signed a definitive agreement with Al-Futtaim, a global automotive operations company that’s present in 29 countries worldwide, to produce and sell vehicles in Pakistan.

As part of the arrangement, the French automaker will bring its latest products and technological know-how into the new market. Al-Futtaim, on the other hand, will have to establish a new manufacturing and assembly plant, and to distribute the brand’s vehicles, through its new subsidiary, Al-Futtaim Automotive Pakistan (Private) Limited.

“Group Renault is delighted to extend its international footprint by entering Pakistan, a fast-growing market with a 10 percent annual growth rate”, said the company’s Senior VP and Chairman of Africa Middle-East India Region, Fabrice Cambolive. “By partnering with Al-Futtaim, a very professional and renowned automotive partner, Groupe Renault aims to become a major player in Pakistan.”

“With a population of over 200 million, a fast-growing economy and a vibrant middle-class, Pakistan is undoubtedly a very important strategic growth market for us”, added Al-Futtaim Automotive’s President, Len Hunt. “We are very excited to represent Group Renault, which is among the top automotive brands worldwide, and a leading European car manufacturer, entering this market.”

Renault and Al-Futtaim still have to finalize the transaction, as it remains subject to a number of conditions, most of which are related to relevant regulatory approvals from Pakistani authorities.

However, both parties expect work on the new facility to start in the first quarter of 2018 in the capital of the country, Karachi, while car sales should commence in 2019 and ramp up one year later.

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Renault Trafic SpaceClass Launches In The UK As A High-End Shuttle 24
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Galleries, new cars, prices, renault, Renault Trafic, UK on 11 24th, 2017


Renault has started taking orders for the new Trafic SpaceClass in the United Kingdom, subsequent to its debut at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

Billed as “a high-end shuttle version that provides an attractive and fitting environment in which to transport VIPs and business people”, the van comes in three trim levels, Standard, Adventurer, and Prestige, with a starting price of £40,191 ($53,095), including tax.

All three variants can be had in short or long wheelbase, with a choice of two diesel engines: the dCi 125PS (123hp) and dCi 145PS (143hp), which are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Building upon the Trafic Passenger Sport, the new Renault Trafic SpaceClass can accommodate up to 9 people. Moreover, its seats mounted on rails in the second and third rows can be rearranged to create more than 50 different configurations, a feature Renault claims is unique in the segment.

Depending on the selected trim, the high-end van comes with features including rear privacy glass, climate control, air conditioning in the rear passenger area, individual LED reading lamps, 220V and USB sockets.

Standard equipment on the entry-level grade counts the MediaNav Evolution infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, navigation, full leather steering wheel, cruise control, automatic headlights and wipers and front fog lamps.

The Adventurer adds a pair of Captain chairs in the second row and a rear bench that can fold out creating a fully flat bed, whereas the Prestige gets Riviera leather upholstery and flexible seating, among other things.

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2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. Has A Larger Battery, And 132 Miles Of Pure-Electric Range 23
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Electric Vehicles, Korea, KOTSA, new cars, renault, Renault Fluence, Samsung on 11 23rd, 2017


Renault has just unveiled an updated version of the Samsung SM3 Z.E., at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea.

The Megane-based compact sedan, which is known as Fluence in different parts of the world, has dropped its previous 22kWh battery in favor of a 36kWh unit.

This move is said to have zero impact on the electric sedan’s weight, but as a result, the range has increased by an impressive 57 percent over its predecessor, to 132 miles, or 213 kilometers, as based on the Korean type approval cycle.

According to a Korean Transport Safety Authority (KOTSA) report, the local average daily trip stood at 25 miles (40km) last year, which means that the ‘new’ Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. will be able to run for some 5 days, in theory, between charges.

Thanks to its mechanical tweaks, this zero-emission compact car is expected to become very popular in South Korea, where state-run fleets and taxi operators are already using the pre-updated version.

Moreover, the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare purchased 1,200 units of the car last April, in a move that should help the brand “strengthen its geographical and segment coverage, and foster a step-up in the electric vehicle market“, according to Renault’s Electric Vehicle SVP, Gilles Normand.

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2018 Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. Has A Larger Battery, And 132 Miles Of Pure-Electric Range 23
Nov
Posted by Cristian Gnaticov in Electric Vehicles, Korea, KOTSA, new cars, renault, Renault Fluence, Samsung on 11 23rd, 2017


Renault has just unveiled an updated version of the Samsung SM3 Z.E., at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo in South Korea.

The Megane-based compact sedan, which is known as Fluence in different parts of the world, has dropped its previous 22kWh battery in favor of a 36kWh unit.

This move is said to have zero impact on the electric sedan’s weight, but as a result, the range has increased by an impressive 57 percent over its predecessor, to 132 miles, or 213 kilometers, as based on the Korean type approval cycle.

According to a Korean Transport Safety Authority (KOTSA) report, the local average daily trip stood at 25 miles (40km) last year, which means that the ‘new’ Renault Samsung SM3 Z.E. will be able to run for some 5 days, in theory, between charges.

Thanks to its mechanical tweaks, this zero-emission compact car is expected to become very popular in South Korea, where state-run fleets and taxi operators are already using the pre-updated version.

Moreover, the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare purchased 1,200 units of the car last April, in a move that should help the brand “strengthen its geographical and segment coverage, and foster a step-up in the electric vehicle market“, according to Renault’s Electric Vehicle SVP, Gilles Normand.

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Maybe The 2018 McLaren-Renault MCL33 Will Actually Win Something 23
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in F1, mclaren, renault, Renderings on 11 23rd, 2017


After three pitiful years with Honda, McLaren is finally releasing itself of the shackles of an underperforming engine and starting next year afresh with Renault engines.

In the process, it’s expected to adopt a new livery – one tipped to revive its classic Papaya Orange tint. And it could look something a little like this.

Imagined by livery specialist Sean Bull is a projected look at the 2018 McLaren-Renault MCL33, rendered in orange and blue – and with an integrated “halo” cockpit safety device, too.

Now orange was never this writer’s favorite color, but we have to commend McLaren for looking to its roots… back to a time when it, you know, actually won races and championships. Here’s hoping Woking’s new challenger looks at least this good, and helps the team rediscover its winning form.

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Renault Has No Interest Returning To The U.S. Market 22
Nov
Posted by Brad Anderson in renault, Reports on 11 22nd, 2017


Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief executive Carlos Ghosn says he has no interest in reintroducing Renault to the U.S. market.

In an in-depth interview with Automotive News, Ghosn said Renault is already chasing the emerging markets of China and Russia and doesn’t need to compete in the United States.

“I’m not thinking about that. There is no opportunity for it in this midterm plan. The biggest priority for Renault in this plan is in China and Russia.

“Renault will be selling 70,000 cars in China this year and should be selling 550,000 by the end of the plan. In Russia, Renault needs to make sure to concentrate on the recovery of Russia.

“For me, there are already enough engines for growth not to need to add another one,” Ghosn said.

Renault’s most direct French rival, Peugeot, is taking a different approach. Led by Carlos Tavares, the automaker is slowly plotting a return to the United States.

Fortunately for the Alliance, rolling out Renault models to the U.S. isn’t a necessity. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan sell a plethora of models stateside and Ghosn cites China, Russia, and Brazil as the three markets that’ll have the biggest impact on increasing Alliance sales by 40 per cent between now and 2022.

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This Couple Got Engaged While Driving F1 Cars In France 21
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in F1, renault, Renault Videos, video on 11 21st, 2017


There are certain memorable moments in our lives that stick with us forever. Getting engaged would be one of them, for most who’ve had the privilege. Driving a Formula One racing car would surely be another. This couple got to do both, all at the same time.

Our story stars when Matthew Creed, a workshop controller from Kent, England, test-drove a Renault Clio RS at a dealership in Maidstone back in August, and was automatically entered in a contest. The prize: a chance to drive one of Renault’s F1 cars.

Creed won the competition, earning him two tickets to the Paul Ricard circuit in the South of France for the opportunity. He took his girlfriend Hayley Melen along for the trip, and popped the big question while they were there.

That’d be enough to make for a day to remember for both of them, but they also got to learn the circuit – set to host the French Grand Prix next year – in a Formula Renault 2.0 racer before sliding in behind the wheel of the 800-horsepower F1 car, which to our eyes looks like the E20 that the Lotus-Renault team ran back in 2012 (albeit repainted to reflect the team’s current livery).

Oh, and she said yes, by the way: “The whole day was just perfect from start to finish. Hayley and I have always shared a passion for racing and Renault, and enjoy regular track days together in my Clio R.S. 200,” said Matthew. “She has always been so supportive of my dreams and I knew it was the perfect moment for her to make me the luckiest man in the world, and she agreed to become my wife. It is a moment we will treasure for the rest of our lives.”

“Without a doubt it was the best day of my life. I didn’t think that extraordinary things really happened to ordinary people,” added Hayley. “We have both had a soft spot for Renault since we have been together, and alongside our passion for F1, it was just the perfect moment.”

Now we can’t wait to see what their wedding will be like.

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Formula V8 3.5 Series Killed Off Due To Lack Of Entries 19
Nov
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Motorsport, racing, renault on 11 19th, 2017


If you’re a racing driver looking to make your way up to Formula One, there’s been one series that’s served as a vital stepping stone for the past two decades. But it won’t be around any more. That’s the Formula V8 3.5 World Series, the organizers of which have announced they’re closing the doors and canceling next year’s championship.

Established in 1998 as Formula Nissan (officially the World Series by Nissan), it was reborn in 2005 as the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. When Renault pulled its support after 2015, the series continued as Formula V8 3.5. But now that’s come to an end.

According to the announcement, the problem comes down to too small a grid, with not enough drivers signed on for next season. That’s a shame, because it could very well have bred the next Formula One World Champion. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all.

Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel (accounting for six world titles between them) both made their way up through the series, as did a number of other F1 drivers past and present, including Robert Kubica, Daniel Ricciardo, and Carlos Sainz, Jr.

This won’t be the first manufacturer-backed “feeder” series to close up shop, either, after Formula BMW shut down in 2013, and what was Formula Opel/Vauxhall ended in 1998. Formula Renault 2.0 still runs at a lower level, as does Formula Abarth, but the demise of the V8 3.5 series removes a vital step. The organizers at RPM-MKTG have left the door open, however, to return in the future it should attract sufficient interest.

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