LÃ©on Taillieu, project director for the RS24 engine, discusses the outline of next year's Renault engine. Mission reliability "Reliability will be our number-one priority for next season," explains LÃ©on Taillieu. "The reason behind our...
Léon Taillieu, project director for the RS24 engine, discusses the outline of next year's Renault engine.
"Reliability will be our number-one priority for next season," explains Léon Taillieu. "The reason behind our choice of this new architecture is that it will be less technically risky than its predecessor. We began working in March 2003, and the project spec focuses not only on the vital 700km reliability target, but also packaging, weight and power. The latter should come quite quickly."
Integration above all
The next engine born at Viry-Châtillon, the RS24, will use a narrower 'v' angle than its predecessor. "The decision was taken well before the outside world knew about it," explains Mark Smith. "We have been able to work closely with out colleagues in France from the very beginning of the project, and we won't suffer at all in terms of packaging or stiffness. We have had enough time to give the car characteristics that are at least as good as the 2003 car in these areas."
A mock-up of the 2004 engine arrived in Enstone a few weeks ago. The chassis designers were thus able to fine-tune the cooling demands of the engine, and take note of the mounting points. "In addition, we have worked to ensure this engine can use an identical air intake to last year's, in spite of the fact it is taller," reveals Léon Taillieu. "One of our aims was to not disrupt the aerodynamic efficiency of the new car."
Not a moment to lose
Deadlines are coming thick and fast at Viry-Châtillon. "We tested the new cylinder head on an electrical dyno three weeks ago. This technology allows us to check all the moving parts of the engine without firing it up," explains Taillieu. "The following week, we conducted the first full test of the new cylinder head, although not using the definitive crankcase." Last week, the RS24A growled into life for the first time on a thermal test bench. It was a major first step.
Following this, key dates follow in quick succession: "Early in November, we will make our decision on the air intakes we will use," continues Léon Taillieu. "Six weeks later, the gearbox and RS24 will run together for the first time on the test bench. We expect to have achieved a solid level of reliability by this stage."