Hot stuff Hot stuff by dfsiopmhy6


Renault chooses Ricardo
as development partner
for its exciting turbocharged
Renaultsport Mégane 225

Torque vectoring
Ricardo technology for SUV stability — and fun

Heavy duty
Meeting EPA 2010 standards
Cost down                                        Bernd Bohr, head of Bosch Automotive
Identifying savings to improve margins           Larry Burns, GM’s fuel cell enthusiast

                                                                         Summer 2004
Hot stuff
Renault’s X84 Mégane programme made industry history, with
seven mainstream models developed in-house and launched in
just 18 months. Ricardo was given complete responsibility to
develop and deliver the prestigious high-performance Mégane
Renaultsport 225 version which, as Tony Lewin discovers,
involved not just a potent engine and radical chassis upgrade but
design, trim, seating and manufacturing too

8 MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225          Ricardo Quarterly Review   Summer 2004
   n an automotive industry fond of talking in the language of code     development of new models in the many other sectors in which
   words and obscure project numbers, the name X84 commands             Renault competes.
   especially high regard. Mention this three-character combination        By March 2004, with the seven-seater, long-wheelbase Grand
to any expert in the sphere of manufacturing, engineering               Scénic released for production, the Mégane line-up became
development or programme management – even at a competitor              complete: it now comprises the original five-door Hatch and three-
company – and he or she will nod respectfully, professing admiration    door Sport Hatch, the innovative Coupé-Cabriolet with its folding
for a job well done and the achievement of what, by common              rigid glass roof, the Sport Saloon and Sport Tourer wagon on the
consent, has been a major feat of industrial organisation.              extended wheelbase, the five-seater Scénic minivan and, of course,
   For X84 is the project code under which Renault developed its        its lengthened Grand Scénic derivative.
new family of Mégane models, a range extending to an                       Each of these seven core models had to be separately designed,
unprecedented seven different body styles and rolled out on to the      developed, engineered, tested and calibrated; each had to stand on
market with equally unprecedented speed: just eighteen months           its own merits in Europe’s highly competitive lower-medium B-
separated the start of production of the first versions launching the   segment where Renault managers were confident that the
range and the final models completing the line-up in March 2004.        combined offering had the potential to become Europe’s top-selling
What is more, the whole seven-model set was developed within the        model range.
space of 29 months – another sector record.                                Yet from the early stages of the programme it was clear that while
   No other automaker has ever brought such a broad spectrum of         the company’s highly organised in-house vehicle development staff
related models to market in such a short space of time. Directly        had sufficient capacity to undertake the seven core model
paving the way for that world-class feat, Renault undertook an          programmes, the specialised nature of the sports version meant that
intense examination of its own internal processes: crucially, new       its development would be handled by Renault’s high-performance
        and carefully honed procedures allowed this massive             division, Renault Sport Technologies (RST), based in Les Ulis, in the
                programme to be successfully steered through its        south of Paris. The task was all the more demanding as RST was
                        many stages without totally swamping the        also to manufacture the Mégane sport derivative – on the same
                               company’s engineering resources or       assembly line as the already popular Clio Renaultsport 182 and
                                       adversely affecting the          Clio V6 Renaultsport 255.

Summer 2004          Ricardo Quarterly Review                                                   MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225 9
Low volume, high profile                          Ricardo to take responsibility for the            for sourcing the changed items using
Such niche models are ideally suited to the       complete vehicle programme rather than            Renault’s existing supply base wherever
specialised skills a leading independent          simply work on the engine to provide the          possible.
development organisation like Ricardo can         required 225 horsepower. Though the                  The move into the area of style and trim
provide. What Renault Sport needed was a          horsepower hurdle was in itself a significant     was not as intimidating as it sounds, notes
turnkey programme delivering a complete           one – at that time the target was significantly   Allsopp. Ricardo already had extensive
and polished high-performance car into a          more than any existing competitor in the          experience allied to powerful CFD
smooth production start-up, but with              market – the engine development work lay          software in aerodynamics,
minimum load on its own already hard-             comfortably within Ricardo’s acknowledged         allowing confident prediction
pressed staff. Yet while the build numbers        area of expertise; it was by linking this work    of high-speed stability
were to be low – a maximum of 25-30 a day         with the development of the sports model’s        issues and the
– the stakes were high: top-performing            complete chassis systems and its styling          airflow
models such as the planned 225                    and trim upgrades that the programme
horsepower Renaultsport Mégane act as             would break new ground for both Ricardo
high-profile brand heroes and have a major        and Renault. Adding yet more to the
influence on the public perception (and thus      programme content was Ricardo’s
sales) of the commercially vital large volume     responsibility for establishing the
mainstream models. World-class                    manufacturing feasibility of all the
engineering and programme delivery were           design enhancements,
thus essential requirements, more especially      ensuring the smooth start-
so as the great success of the smaller Clio       up of production and
Renaultsport 172 and 182 had helped push          dealing with any
customer expectations up to very high             manufacturing issues
levels.                                           until Job One plus
   “At Renault Sport Technologies we wanted       90 days. Effectively,
a partner able to undertake the engine and        Ricardo would be
vehicle development at the same time,”            responsible for the
remembers Dominique Huet, programme               delivery of
manager at Renault. “That combination of          everything – either
skills is pretty rare. The final choice fell on   directly, or via
Ricardo because of their savoir-faire in          outside suppliers –
engine work and the strength of their vehicle     involved with the
team based in Leamington.”                        exciting new vehicle.
   It was in a series of meetings between            The task, as
Renault and Ricardo beginning as early as         programme director and
2000 that the outline features of a possible      MD of Ricardo Vehicle
high performance derivative began to take         Engineering Bob Allsopp readily
shape. What Ricardo UK managing director          concedes, was a challenging one:
Clive Hickman describes as a “broad-                 “This is very much a niche product: we’re
ranging request for quotation” was                talking about a maximum of 30 cars a day,         performance of the new front bumper
systematically refined over a period of six       so it was important that the business case        design, and the recruitment of French-
months as both sides did exploratory work         was commercially viable at these                  speaking engineers made a major difference
on the project and used their findings to         comparatively low volumes. The Renault            in dealing with interior and exterior trim
assess the feasibility of the various solutions   Sport team was always very focused on             suppliers including major Tier One providers
and determine a closer final specification.       ensuring that the engineering requirements        such as Faurecia for the sports seats and
   Unusually, the specification called for        supported the financial criteria laid down by     Plastic Omnium for the bumper systems.
                                                     Even at this stage, observes Allsopp,          Managing next-tier suppliers
  “We wanted a partner able                       Ricardo was still competing against other         “It was always part of the turnkey
                                                  engineering services providers and working        programme that all these systems would be
  to undertake the engine                         at its own cost and risk: indeed, serious         outsourced,” explains Allsopp. “Dealing with
  and vehicle development at                      work, including mule and prototype vehicle        French suppliers was something that was
  the same time – that                            build, had begun in January 2001, the             new to us: it took some managing, but ran
  combination of skills is                        contract being finally awarded in April 2002.     smoothly once our French engineers were
                                                                                                    on board. Renault Sport is a very small
  pretty rare. The final choice                   Programme definition                              group: they have to rely either on
  fell on Ricardo because of                      Having established in principle that Ricardo      mainstream Renault engineers or their
  their savoir-faire in engine                    would deliver a high-profile, high-               nominated engineering partners – RST
                                                  performance Mégane with best-in-class ride,       always referred to us as their engineering
  work and the strength of                        refinement and handling, the two companies        partners. You have to remember that there
  their vehicle team.”                            began the phase exploratoire to set the           was no spare resource at Renault as they
            – Dominique Huet,                     technical targets for the vehicle and             were launching seven cars at the same time.”
                                                  determine the best ways of achieving those            Once the design of the body and interior
         programme manager,                       targets; Renault’s famous Technocentre near       trim components marking out the Mégane
                 Renault Sport                    Paris would complete the aesthetic design         225 as the sports variant had been frozen
                                                  package, but Ricardo would be responsible         by Renault’s Technocentre, Ricardo had the

10 MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225                                                        Ricardo Quarterly Review                       Summer 2004
responsibility for using the digital data from      “What we then had to do, which is again
the styling clays to                             part of Ricardo’s expertise, was to establish
develop the fully                                a validation plan at the increased power and
                                                 torque that gave Renault the confidence that
                                                 they’d got a very durable product,” added
                                                 Thatcher. That involved putting together for
                                                 both engine and vehicle a validation
                                                 programme that focused on high engine
                                                 speed and high performance (a very
                                                  different duty cycle to the normal type of
                                                   vehicle) to ensure the product to be
                                                       delivered was saleable and durable.

                                                            Monthly programme reviews
                                                             Alternating each month between             “Renault was so impressed
                                                             Renault Sport’s offices in                 by Ricardo’s thermal
                                                             northern France and Ricardo in
                                                             the UK Midlands, monthly
                                                                                                        management solutions on
                                                             programme reviews brought                  the Mégane 225 that they
                                                             together all the disciplines               have asked us to validate
                                                              involved in the project – not just
                                                               engineering and testing
                                                                                                        similar thermal solutions for
                                                               specialists from both Renault            future high-volume models.”
                                                             and Ricardo but Renault’s sales                         – Bob Allsopp, MD,
                                                           and marketing representatives and                              Ricardo Vehicle
                                                      also engineers from the main Renault
                                                 organisation. The fact that the uprated                                       Engineering
                                                 engine was to be built in the mainstream,
                                   defined       high-volume Cléon plant meant the engine
                           engineering                                              ,
                                                 programme was run under GMP the main                 of its competitors.
                     drawings with the           Renault powertrain group, further adding to            “Our objective was to have a car that was
              suppliers. Following approval,     the reporting channels involved.                     fun and safe,” explains Renault Sport’s
       these drawings were then used for            “Here in Britain the programme reviews            Dominique Huet. “Fun like the Clio 172, and
 manufacture of both prototype and               tended to be engineering reviews,”                   predictable like the Audi S3 – and of course
production tools and parts.                      remembers Bob Allsopp. “So we would go               the arrival of the Focus RS as a competitor
    By early 2002 the engineering                through, say, the chassis systems, the               had shifted the cursor during the course of
specification of the base engine had been        thermal systems or the underbonnet                   the programme.”
firmed up (see panel on page 12) utilising       installations. But once we’d got up and                In the words of Ricardo UK MD Clive
the Clio 172 crankshaft and a revised            running with the main programme there
turbocharger. Faced with the challenge of        would also be ride and drives very frequently
putting 225 horsepower and over 300 Nm of        with both teams to evaluate
torque through the front wheels, Ricardo had     where we were and what
proposed a highly innovative dual axis front     progress we were making.”
suspension which was designed to eliminate          Ride and drives were a
the potentially dangerous handling condition     crucial element in developing
of torque steer – an acknowledged problem        the Mégane 225 as a
on high performance front wheel drive            thoroughly rewarding driver’s
vehicles.                                        car, yet one which would also
    “We even went to the trouble of building     be comfortable, refined and
two mule cars based on the old Mégane to         safe on the limit. These events
demonstrate the effectiveness of this unique     were held in many locations,
suspension geometry,” recalls Allsopp.           including Renault’s proving
“Renault quickly saw the advantages of the       ground, in a location between
concept, especially after we had gone on to      Rouen and Paris.
fit engines delivering the required                 Here, the vehicles would be
performance levels.”                             assessed against the product
    The horsepower jump from the 165 of the      planners’ stipulations which,
donor engine to the 225 in the Renaultsport      according to Allsopp, were very
Mégane 225 was a big uplift for a volume         clear indeed: “We actually
engine. Nevertheless, the raised output level    started off wanting the car to
and how they would get there was a               sound far more racy, whereas
challenge relished by the Ricardo engine         Renault product planning
team. “Yet,” says programme manager              positioned it as safe and fun
Robin Thatcher, “we knew it was do-able          and with a sporty feel – they did       Ricardo managed suppliers for instrumentation and
based on our predictive work in the              not want it as narrowly focused         interior trim (above), as well as seating and exterior
exploratory phase.”                              and uncompromising as some              trim for sporting Mégane version.

Summer 2004           Ricardo Quarterly Review                                                    MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225 11
Key programme achievements                           suspension, tuning of the steering system,          handling, steering feel and NVH (noise,
                                                     springs, dampers, roll bars and tyres.              vibration and harshness) – and performance
   Ricardo responsible for delivery of               However, it was not until last minute tuning        targets like engine torque, engine power,
   complete vehicle                                  was complete for the suspension and                 emissions and top speed which are objective
   Chassis, including brakes, steering,              subframe bushes that satisfaction was finally       in nature. There are also investment and
   suspension                                        pronounced.                                         cost targets that have to be met through
   Innovative front suspension                          Early on in the programme, Ricardo CFD           each gateway: the whole business model is
   Engine upgrade                                    simulations using the company’s VECTIS              reviewed each time, not just the engineering
   Thermal systems                                   software had shown that with the much-              of the project.
   Interior trim specification and sourcing          raised performance, aerodynamic issues                 While costs and timing were clearly under
   Seating                                           would come increasingly into play. With the         constant assessment, one engineering
   Exterior trim and aerodynamics                    aid of VECTIS an aero package was                   deliverable stood out as the most ambitious
   Bumper systems                                    developed in the shape of a very small              target of all: “Ultimately,” says Clive
   Managing T2 suppliers                             spoiler on the back of the tailgate, and the        Hickman, “ride and handling was the hardest
   Manufacturing implementation                      results were vindicated with excellent              of the subjective targets to reach – and of
   Production quality assurance                      stability as soon as the first correctly-bodied     these it was probably handling that was the
                                                     camouflaged prototypes could be tested at           most difficult to achieve. To a certain extent
                                                     high speed in late 2002. The CATIA data for         the target book sought to establish the
Hickman it was to be a “car you would want           the spoiler’s critical dimensions was then          handling suitable for a road car, but
to drive every day of the week, not just on          sent to Renault’s designers near Paris, who         ultimately the vehicle was going to be used
Saturdays and Sundays.”                              adjusted its appearance only very slightly:         by people on a test track, so we had to
   Both the Renault Sport sound quality and          on the final production car the tiny lip on the     make some detailed changes to optimise the
the dynamic performance of the car were              tailgate is hard to spot at first glance, but its   handling performance.”
recognised as being extremely important but          effect is important.                                   “In the end, Renault’s overall X84
challenging deliverables. Following a                                                                    programme director, Carlos Tavares,
complex programme of test and analysis the           Gateway requirements                                appointed one man as his delegated
experts professed themselves delighted with          The gateways – programme assessment                 authority for all ride and handling matters,”
the resulting sound quality. There was,              points – that Renault set were rigorous and         recalls Bob Allsopp. “He is a brilliant
however, much more debate about the                  challenging: there were no soft options,            engineer, tough and without any English,
achievement of the required dynamic                  according to Ricardo. The gateways include          which didn’t make it any easier. But if he
performance. Extensive work had been done            fixed criteria – vehicle attributes which can       liked it we got a tick in the box – and if he
on the geometry of the innovative front              lead into subjective areas such as ride and         didn’t we knew we had more work to do.”

                                                                                                         the reciprocating components in order to
Powerhouse rules                                                                                         withstand the increased mechanical and ther-
                                                                                                         mal loading. The top-deck thickness of the
165 horsepower engine uprated to 225                                                                     piston was increased for example, as was
                                                                                                         that of the connecting rod shank.
For a company like Ricardo it might seem a
                                                                                                            For the crankshaft the team chose to go
comparatively straightforward engineering
                                                                                                         further and select that of the Clio 172 engine
task to take an existing and well proven 165
                                                                                                         as a replacement. The increased thermal
horsepower two-litre engine and end up with
                                                                                                         loading of the more powerful engine required
a sports powerplant developing 225 hp.
                                                                                                         the selection of an intercooler and an
However, for the Renaultsport Megane 225
                                                                                                         enlarged radiator, again both sourced from
the task was not quite so straightforward:
                                                                                                         within existing Renault parts numbers.
because the sports derivative would only be
                                                                                                            Durability testing of the engine and vehicle
built in low numbers an entirely new engine
would be prohibitively expensive to produce.                                                             was based upon mission profiles developed
So instead the team set about achieving the                                                              jointly with Renault. This enabled the team to
required level of performance while minimis-                                                             focus on areas and patterns of loading criti-
ing the number of new components and                                                                     cal to the durability of the product in real
maximising the use of carry-over parts from                                                              world operation typical of this type of niche
both the original base engine and others in the         The initial stages of the development pro-       vehicle. According to John Tovell, Project
current Renault range.                               gramme involved a thorough review of the            Director for Ricardo on the 225 engine, “It
   In addition to this, the technical direction of   base engine. Every aspect of the original           was particularly pleasing just how robust the
the programme was closely aligned to the             design was investigated in terms of the sup-        base engine was under durability testing –
needs of the manufacturing plant. The 225 hp         porting design calculations and simulation          the base structure and carry-over compo-
engine was to be produced on the same auto-          work such as finite element and computational       nents performed extremely well at the new
mated production line used for a range of dif-       fluid dynamics analyses. This work quickly          rating, and enabled design changes to be
ferent Renault engines in mixed sequence. In         indicated the components of the base engine         kept to a minimum.”
introducing a new engine – and particularly a        which needed to be changed. A new tur-                 The success of the 225 engine team in
niche product to be produced in small quanti-        bocharger was specified to exactly the same         maximising the level of carry over from the
ties – it was essential that disruption was kept     package dimensions as that on the base              base engine is immediately apparent from
to an absolute minimum and for this reason           engine but capable of delivering the high           visual inspection, where only an expert would
the manufacturing engineers were involved            boost levels required to achieve 225 hp.            be able to spot the differences between the
from the outset.                                        Subtle design changes were also made to          base engine and the up-rated product.

12 MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225                                                           Ricardo Quarterly Review                          Summer 2004
                                                                                                     The Mégane in figures
                                                                                                     Emissions standard      Euro 4
                                                                                                     Engine code             F4Rt 774
                                                                                                     Capacity                1998cc
                                                                                                     Max power               225 bhp @ 5500 rpm
                                                                                                     Max torque              300 Nm @ 3000 rpm
                                                                                                     Max speed               236 km/h
                                                                                                     0-100 km/h              6.5 sec
                                                                                                     EU combined economy     8.8 l/100km

                                                                                                     vehicles conform in every sense to what is
                                                                                                     needed by the commercial sales network,
                                                                                                     triggering activities such as the press
   Other challenges included getting the right   gateway known as AMPSS – effectively                launch and dealer presentations. Again,
steering feel through the electric PAS system    the engineering sign-off of the complete            the consistent hard work of the 60-strong
(where, says Allsopp, supplier TRW did a         vehicle. In principle, changes after this           Ricardo team and their Renault
“sterling job”) and fine-tuning the car’s        stage of the programme should not occur.            counterparts led to a smooth passage
balance for high-speed track driving. This       However, the opportunity was taken to               through these gateways.
called for a particularly sophisticated          make final adjustments to the dynamics of
combination of characteristics rarely found      the vehicle, and to perform re-validation           Rewards
on the same vehicle: very safe but still         where necessary.                                    For all concerned, the payback for all the
rewarding handling for normal road                 The final two hurdles, labelled AF and            design and development time and the long
conditions where understeer had to be the        AC, are confirmations that,                           days and weeks of testing has come in
limit condition, and the ability to maintain a   respectively, the vehicle is capable                   many and exciting forms. On a vitally
high degree of driver enjoyment on the           of meeting all quality expectations                     important level the production start-up
racetrack where Renault knew the leading         when built at the planned line rate,                    at Renault Sport’s Dieppe plant with
magazines would be evaluating the car.           and that the manufactured                              strong support from Ricardo proved

Thermal problems solved through                                                                                    1   Hub carrier
software                                                                                                           2   Upright
Another issue during the Mégane’s                                                                                  3   Rectangular lower arm
development was that of thermal                                                                                    4   Anti-rotation link
management under the bonnet. With the
engine developing so much power in such
a confined space the excess heat was
difficult to deal with and at one stage after
hot-weather testing in Spain Ricardo
identified no fewer than 153 thermal
problems. Systematically and with the
assistance of simulation in VECTIS, these
problems were solved one by one, and
Renault was so impressed by the results            Complete
that it has gone on to ask Ricardo to
validate similar thermal solutions for future      chassis package
high-volume model lines.
   Through a constant process of                   Innovative front suspension design                  By adding a new, fixed lightweight aluminium
assessment, evaluation, engineering                                                                    upright (2) at the base of the suspension strut
refinement and re-evaluation the combined          Developed by Ricardo from an idea originating       and moving the steered hub carrier (1)
teams honed the complete design and                from a joint Renault Ricardo consultation, the      outboard, Ricardo’s designers were able to
generated results which saw it safely              innovative dual axis front suspension               choose the optimum steering axis to minimise
through the many additional stages which           overcomes many of the stability problems            the hub-level offset.
separate initial engineering approval and          suffered by high powered front-wheel-drive          The addition of an anti-rotation link (4)
the final sign-off giving the green light for      cars. Normal MacPherson strut front                 secures the upright so that the suspension
customer sales to begin. Throughout,               suspension designs rely on the rotation of the      strut no longer rotates when the steering is
Mégane 225s were being put through the             spring strut between the top mount and the          turned.
most punishing durability and extreme              lower L-arm (3) to achieve steering, thus pre-      Additional changes for the Mégane
climate routines all over the world, as well       defining the steering axis and making it            Renaultsport 225 chassis include a cross-
as certification testing, parts approval and       difficult to achieve the short distance between     brace between the front subframe arms to
type approval.                                     the hub centre and the steering axis (known         stiffen the frontal structure, while at the rear
   The biggest hurdle in terms of Ricardo          as the offset) that is key to interference-free     stiffer springs, dampers, bump stops and
responsibility, according to programme             steering and straightline stability under hard      transverse torsion beam serve to achieve
manager Robin Thatcher, was the Renault            acceleration.                                       optimum roll control during sporty driving.

Summer 2004          Ricardo Quarterly Review                                                    MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225 13
                                                                                                          smooth and largely uneventful, any
                                                                                                          isolated issues being quickly solved to the
                                                                                                          evident satisfaction of Renault; Renault’s
                                                                                                          financial and product planners were
                                                                                                          evidently satisfied, too, with a programme
                                                                                                          delivered on time and within the financial
                                                                                                          constraints of the project, and with all
                                                                                                          quality and performance requirements met
                                                                                                          or exceeded.
                                                                                                             But perhaps most important of all have
                                                                                                          been the independent voices praising not
                                                                                                          just the management of the programme
                                                                                                          but the exciting vehicle that it delivered to
                                                                                                          the Renault Mégane range. Press reports
                                                                                                          have been effusive in their praise for the
                                                                                                          power, speed, ride and handling of the new
                                                                                                          225 version, reserving special acclaim for
                                                                                                          the car’s mechanical refinement and
                                                                                                          smoothness at speed – proof indeed that
                                                                                                          Ricardo had fulfilled the precise brief laid
                                                                                                          down by Renault at the beginning of the

Clive Hickman,                                                                                            guidance and Plastic Omnium provided the
                                                                                                          front and rear bumpers. We worked with TRW
Managing Director,                                                                                        on the electric power steering: they did the
                                                                                                          electrical balancing of the system, which is no
Ricardo UK                                                                                                different to any other vehicle programme as the
                                                                                                          suppliers have to have an engineering input into
Which factors allowed Ricardo to win this                                                                 the programme.
contract from Renault? Was it the Ricardo
track record, or what you were offering on                                                                Who decides, for instance, what kind of
this programme?                                                                                           steering feel to go for?
It was absolutely this programme. One of the                                                              A target book is established at the beginning of
things Renault said to me at the time was that                                                            the programme and the team then works to
they knew we could deliver the engine – that                                                              meet those targets. Ultimately, things like
was never a risk to them – but this was the                                                               steering, handling, ride, noise and vibration,
first time Ricardo had delivered a complete                                                               which are subjective assessments, are verified
vehicle, and that was a big risk. At that stage                                                           through ride and drive clinics with the customer.
we didn’t have a track record on complete
vehicles, so we had to persuade them we                                                                   What special skills has Ricardo brought to
could do the job – and because of the calibre                                                             this programme?
of the Ricardo people Renault Sport was                                                                   I think the key skill that others probably could
prepared to take the risk.                                                                                not have provided was the programme
                                                       Were you competing with other suppliers or         management expertise. I believe that Renault
Was the full scope of the programme                    Renault’s in-house teams at this stage?            would say that we did a very good job to get
established right at the beginning?                    It’s very rare to be working in a single-source    the product launched when we did – despite
They came to us with a broad-ranging request           environment: we were up against other              any doubts they might have had before we
for quotation. Over a period of about six              companies, but we weren’t competing against        started.
months that broad range was refined, during            in-house because the new Mégane platform
the concept phase where both companies were            didn’t exist when we first started. At Renault     Does this success open new doors for
trying things out to refine the final specification.   they were running in parallel as fast as they      Ricardo?
                                                       could to get the seven main Méganes into the       One of the things we now have in our portfolio
So Ricardo was already working on the                  market: the Mégane Sport is a low volume           that we didn’t have when we began offering
programme before the contract had been                 vehicle but one which gives an important halo      complete vehicle engineering is a number of
established?                                           effect for the mainstream product.                 vehicle programmes that have been delivered
Yes – it’s part of our investment for the future.                                                         successfully to market and which have been
It’s the same with any job: you can’t win a            Did Ricardo do the whole vehicle,                  well received by the market. There are the
programme of this magnitude without making a           everything involved in all the changes?            BMW MINI, the Hummer H2, the Jaguar X400
level of investment in the definition of the           All of the changes were the responsibility of      (X-TYPE) diesel, and now the Renaultsport
product. Part of that comes down to helping to         Ricardo, but we did work with other partners to    Mégane 225. Those four vehicles have
develop the specification, helping to set targets,     deliver some of those. So, for example, whilst     established a strong reputation for Ricardo,
and ensuring that you’ve got the right set of          the brake system was our responsibility to bring   and we can now use the combination of all of
suppliers to deliver the component parts into          into production, Brembo was our partner and        those programmes to win the next programme
the system.                                            ultimate component supplier. In the same way       – whoever the customer may be.
                                                       Faurecia supplied the seating under our

14 MÉGANE RENAULTSPORT 225                                                              Ricardo Quarterly Review                          Summer 2004

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