Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 - One of the WTCC Independent entries favorites
The Chevrolet Cruze RML TC1 has been the car used in the World Touring Car Championship since 2014. This model was launched after the Chevrolet, driven by Yvan Muller, won the Drivers’ championship title in 2013 with a Cruze 1.6T model of the RML Group from Wellingborough in UK.
New challenge after four very successful years
The RML Group has been directly involved in all four major championship titles in each WTCC season from 2010 to 2013, but in 2014 withdrew its own team, supplying a new model to independent teams like ROAL Motorsport, Campos Racing, Bamboo Craft and Munnich Motorsport.
With Chevrolet’s blessing, the team was given the task to design a new Cruze which meets the new TC1 Super 2000 regulations of the competition, as well as improves the racing and the overall standard of the series.
Chevrolet RML Cruze failed to impress on debut
The timeline of the project was very tight and the last-minute preparations became evident as the season began and the results were below expectations. In the later stages of the first season, RML released some technical updates on the car after they got feedback from the team drivers and engineers. The impact of those changes could be immediately seen in the finale of the 2014 season. The next year, the car continued to improve with new modifications and had won a few places at the podium in the first rounds of the season.
Formidable spec numbers for the the WTCC entrant
The length of the car is 4805 mm, the width is 1950 mm, wheelbase is 2715 mm and the minimum weight is 1100 kg, including that of the driver. It’s actually quite a big car and reaching the weight limit was a big design challenge, even with the regulation changes. The engine has been carried over from the previous year’s car and has had no development, although its performance is still strong and reliable.
The Chevrolet Cruze RML TC1 has a 1600 cc turbocharged 4-cylinder in-line with a transversely installed engine. Transmission type is front-wheel-drive with 6-speed sequential shift gearbox and a mechanical limited slip differential. The front and back suspensions are with coil springs, anti-roll bar and gas-filled dampers. The brakes system is made of a dual circuit hydraulic system with 4-piston calipers and 378 mm steel ventilated discs in front, while 2-piston calipers and 280 mm steel ventilated discs are installed in the back.
The latest challenges in 2016 WTCC for RML Cruze TC1
The future for this car in the WTCC was looking bright as it was almost on par with the factory-backed Hondas in 2014 and 2015, but still was far behind the dominant Citroen C-Elysee. In 2016, Cruze RML TC1 couldn’t match the factory backed Honda’s but still was good enough to battle for the top of the WTCC Trophy for the independent entrants and make a couple of surprises in the battle with ‘the big guns’.