RML Automotive Develop Chevrolet WTCC R+ Following its highly visible premiere at the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Chevrolet is now taking the flair of the racetrack to the road. At the second race of the season, on the French Grand...
RML Automotive Develop Chevrolet WTCC R+
Following its highly visible premiere at the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), Chevrolet is now taking the flair of the racetrack to the road. At the second race of the season, on the French Grand Prix track in Magny Cours, the company presented the prototype of a road version of the popular racing car. Today at Silverstone the Chevrolet Lacetti WTCC R+ made its debut as the official pace car for both WTCC rounds.
The WTCC R+ concept vehicle is, like the two-liter racing version, based on the four-door Lacetti/Nubira and has been thoroughly reworked and upgraded -- optically, aerodynamically and technically -- under the management of RML's Automotive division. Chevrolet's Motorsports Manager, Eric Nève: "Even ahead of our competing in the World Touring Car Championship, many of our fans asked us whether they could buy this sporty, four-door car. The R+ is the answer to these wishes. If there is a big enough response, our Chevrolet distributors will have them in their showrooms before the end of the year.
The appearance of this sporty four-door model has a great deal in common with the sophisticated aerodynamics of the racing car. A deep front bumper with pronounced air inlets blends harmoniously into the wider front fenders. Sculpted side sills link up with the extended rear wings. In combination with the dark tinted windows, a rear spoiler and a Venturi-effect rear bumper round off the sporty look of the new car. It can be recognized by the R+ logos on the rear and on the sides of the front fenders. The plus sign was designed resembling the Chevrolet logo.
The sporty aspect has been consistently pursued in the interior. The black leather upholstery of the seats has a distinctive stitching finish. The front seats incorporate the R+ logo, as do the special footwell mats and the dash panel. All the decorative strips are finished in a satin aluminum look. From the special sports-styled steering wheel and the non-slip aluminum pads of the pedals to gearshift knob, the driver has full command of the enormous power of the sporty Lacetti. The gear-shifting itself shows how much attention was paid to the details: Firmer bushes give a more precise feel to shifting, the gearshift itself is quicker to match the increased engine response.
And power there is. A mechanically driven supercharger with a pressure of 0.5 bar joins forces with a charged air intercooler to raise the output by more than 40 percent (previous figures in brackets): 127 kW/172 hp at 6,000 rpm (90 kW/123 hp) and 230 Nm at 4,900 rpm (165 Nm) provide surging acceleration. The Lacetti WTCC R+ touches 100 km/h in around 8 sec and races on to a maximum speed of over 215 km/h. The power unit can be recognized from the R+ logos on the engine cam covers and on the distinctive tailpipe of the modified exhaust system. To ensure that the power is transmitted cleanly to the road, the R+ has a limited slip differential.
The brakes also grip faster and last longer. At the front, the Lacetti has larger-diameter 325 mm discs, and the calipers all-round are fitted with particularly fade-resistant brake pads. The four lightweight pistons of the front calipers are supplied by the British specialist Alcon and coated with silver. Good road contact is ensured by the 215/45-17 low-profile,
high-performance tires. They are mounted on large 17x7 inch special alloy spoke wheels that also increase the track width.
The suspensions have also been fundamentally modified. At the front and rear, the Nubira is lowered by 30 mm, and the standard suspension link bushes have been replaced with heavier-duty items for a more spontaneous feel and sharper handling. The springs and dampers have also been uprated for the same reasons. Larger diameter stabilizers reduce body roll and contribute to the sporty driving performance. For better vision at night, the Philips Power2Night upgraded lighting gives much higher (+ 30%) range and intensity for safer driving.