WATCH THIS: When Renault put an 800hp V10 F1 engine into an MPV
It’s 1995 and Renault is in the middle of a period of F1 dominance that’ll stretch from 1992 to 1997. Its powerplants have just secured three Constructors’ Championships in a row, so what does a company do when it’s making the best engines in the world? It puts one into an Espace people carrier.
It may sound ridiculous, but it actually happened – and there’s a video too. The engine in question was 3.5-litre, 40-valve Renault RS5 V10, and came from a 1993 Williams F1 car. The only change Renault made to the engine was to increase its output from 515kW to 588kW – or around 800bhp. The result? A people carrier with a 0–62mph time of 2.8 seconds, a top speed of 194mph and room for all the family. The Renault engineers were thorough – they made sure the car had stopping power to match. Thanks to ceramic brakes, the F1-upgraded Espace could go to 168mph and stop in less than 600m.
Watch the video below to see Alain Prost driving the beast. It’s in French, but it still gives you an idea of the power and sheer silliness – or brilliance – of the Espace F1.