Kugelfischer: Renault, Lotus: The European Union

Sponsor, Brands, Specialists and Suppliers: The Companies that supported the Chapman /Lotus Road & Racing Programme

Kugelfischer: Renault, Lotus: The European Union

Figure 1: images from the net


Lotus cars sold

They were bought for their:-

  • Performance –road or track
  • Driving pleasure
  • Reputation and image
  • Aesthetics
  • Symbolism
  • Owner identification /personality extension etc.

All the above were integrated within a total framework design.

The above list is heavily dependent on a select group of components [either bought in proprietary or in house manufacture] that delivered the desired outcomes and met strict criteria.

Many of these components often contributed significantly to the overall aesthetic, many are extremely functional and beautiful in their own right .They formed part of a complementary whole.

In this series we examine:-

  • significant Individual components from all the marque types
  • Briefly explain their role /contribution /evaluation
  • Analysis form and function with regard to their integration, where appropriate
  • Provide suppliers/specialist advertising materials where appropriate

Understanding Lotus’s use of proprietary parts provides invaluable learning opportunities not just historical but right up to the present day. These lessons are not just applicable to automotive engineers/ designers but to the wider Industrial /Product Design professions.

The Skillful and creative adoption, absorption and integration of components was a powerful factor in the Chapman design methodology and contributed significantly to both competition and commercial success. It also feed his ability to mutate parts and materials to his desired ends.

The use of components is a fundamental skill of the Industrial Designer and the direct provision of added value.

The exact interpretation of sponsorship in conjunction with Lotus is difficult to establish objectively. The appearance of a sponsor’s logo on a car is not necessarily evidence of financial support. Access to historical archive and contracts is sought wherever possible but with the passage of time and for various reasons these are not always available or accessible to the public.

This series also embraces the specialist suppliers to Lotus. We are particularly interested in those suppliers and products that have a connectivity with aviation.

In constructing the historic sponsor series, the A&R looks only at the logos worn in period and assumes the company involved had no objection to Lotus promoting their products. The A&R sees much to be gained by the wider promotion of sponsors but in the event that a specific organization disapproves for any reason that article will be removed.

Sponsorship is an instrument of mutual benefit and promotion. Subscribers might like to see A&R articles on Sponsorship and Product Placement to understand the numerical / financial reach provided by sponsorship with its ability to identify and project status through identification.

The principle continues particularly with regard to education based exhibitions [see below for details]

Each of these articles is devoted to a company/ organization that is believed to have sponsored or supplied specialist items to Lotus.

The intention of each article is to: –

  1. Explain the sponsors own history and outline their products and services – past-present and future
  2. Explain the historical connection with Lotus and the contribution made both in competition and the production cars
  3. To suggest how these two interlocking facets may be translated into exciting, interpretive, educational and commercial exhibitions

Subscribers might to see complementary and structured pieces to this article: –

  • Primary sponsors like Gold Leaf / John Player Specials
  • Product Placement
  • Separate dedicated series on engines and gearbox
  • Logo on Lotus

Kugelfischer Company Profile /Abbreviated summary from wiki

“Kugelfischer is the name for a mechanical fuel injection (MFI) pump. It was produced by FAG Kugelfischer and later by Robert Bosch GmbH [1] Derived from diesel pumps from the early 1960s, the Kugelfischer system was a mechanical injection pump for performance vehicles.[citation needed] It was among the first units with manufacturer-customizable fuel delivery maps which used rpm, throttle position, temperature, and sometimes barometric pressure as inputs. This was accomplished mechanically, not electronically, using cones (irregularly shaped, two-dimensional cams) to encode the maps. [citation needed]

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was fitted to a variety of production vehicles from BMW, Ford UK, Lancia, Peugeot – 404 and 504 between 1961 and 1983, and others.[citation needed] It is perhaps best known for its use by BMW in the 2000tii/2002tii (and later, the 2002 Turbo) from 1970 to 1975, the 1964–1976 Porsche 911/911S/Carrera RS/RSR/Carrera MFI, and the BMW M1 supercar from 1978 to 1981.[citation needed] Due to high manufacturing cost however, it became economically undesirable with the introduction of cheaper electronic engine management systems (and continuous-injection mechanical systems) by the end of the decade.[citation needed] However, the Kugelfischer system continued to be used as a specialty injection pump for purpose-built race engines into the 1980s such as the 1982 Porsche 911 SC/RS”

Figure 2 images from the net

In the Chapman/Lotus era the Company was identified with fuel systems mainly production road cars.

Lotus Connections

Kugelfischer is associated with the Lotus type’s 93T/94T and possibly, and of course the Renault Turbo engines that powered these cars.

Unfortunately the editors have been unable to draw Kugelfischer components, our nearest equivalent is of the later type Renault Turbo engines and 98T.

Renault Engine from wiki:

The EF-Type was a Turbocharged 90° V6 engine developed by Renault Sport, the engine was used by Equipe Renault Elf in Formula One from 1977 to 1985. This engine derived from the CH series designed by François Castaing, the F1 engine was developed by Bernard Dudot.

Renault’s decision to use its 1500 cc V6 turbo engines in F1 was one of the boldest decisions ever taken in the sport. In nine full seasons competing against normally aspirated 3000 cc engines, they gave an excellent account of themselves, with:

  • One World Championship Runner-Up title in 1983.
  • 20 race wins (15 with Renault, 5 with Lotus).
  • 50 pole positions (32 with Renault, 18 with Lotus).
  • 51 podium finishes (25 with Renault, 20 with Lotus, six with Ligier).

Ultimately, as a result of their success, all F1 teams adopted turbo engines in the 1985 season.

Manufacturer Renault Sport
Production 1977–1986
Configuration 90° V-6
Displacement 1.5–1.5 L (1,492–1,494 cc)
Cylinder bore 86 mm (3.39 in)
80.1 mm (3.15 in)
Piston stroke 42.8 mm (1.69 in)
49.4 mm (1.94 in)
Compression ratio 7.0:1-7.5:1
Turbocharger Garrett or KKK
Fuel system Electronic fuel injection
Fuel type Gasoline
Cooling system Water-cooled
Power output 510–1,200 bhp (380–895 kW; 517–1,217

Renault Engine EF1

EF1 [edit]


Based on the 2-litre “type CHS” engine and developing 510 bhp (380 kW; 517 PS) at 11,000 rpm, this engine underwent several major changes (metallurgy, mixed air-water exchanger) before bringing the Renault RS01 its first points in 1978 and its first pole position in 1979.

  • EF1: 1.5 L (1,492 cc) Bore x Stroke 86 mm × 42.8 mm (3.39 in × 1.69 in) 7.0:1 Compression, one Garrett turbocharger.


With its two small turbochargers, this engine reduced turbo lag considerably. It brought Renault its first F1 race win with a turbo engine (Dijon 1979). It would undergo a number of significant changes over the years (electronic injection and two-flap air intake in 1982, water injection at air intake in 1983) and its horsepower would gradually increase, eventually reaching 700 bhp (522 kW; 710 PS). In all, it claimed 15 race wins, 30 pole positions and 19 pole positions and saw both Renault and Alain Prost finish second in the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships respectively. It was also supplied to the Lotus team in 1983.

  • EF1: 1.5 L (1,492 cc) Bore x Stroke 86 mm × 42.8 mm (3.39 in × 1.69 in) 7.0:1 Compression, two KKK turbochargers.
  • EF4[edit]
  • 1984[edit]
  • This engine marked the return of Garrett turbochargers. Fitted to the Renault RE50, Lotus 95T and Ligier JS23, it could not break the dominance of the Porsche built TAG V6 engine which powered the McLaren MP4/2 to 12 wins out of 16 races. It nevertheless notched up 11 podium finishes and three pole positions and allowed Lotus driver Elio de Angelis to finish the 1984 season in 3rd place. 1984 marked the first year since 1978 that a Renault engine did not win a Formula One race. By 1984, the Renault turbo was producing approximately 750 bhp (559 kW; 760 PS) in race trim and around 900 bhp (671 kW; 912 PS) for qualifying.
  • EF4: 1.5 L (1,492 cc) Bore x Stroke 86 mm × 42.8 mm (3.39 in × 1.69 in) 7.0:1 Compression, two Garrett turbochargers.
  • It was the last engine to be badged “Renault Gordini”, as there was now a new name to promote: Renault Sport.

Incandela states of the Renault Gordini V6 turbo engine:

“The indirect fuel injection is operated by a Kugelfischer plunger type injection pump system driven by the right bank‘s inlet cam shaft.

The injectors are located on the cylinder inlet ports connected to the two air collectors. Throttle is controlled by means of butterflies located at the inlet of each turbine, as slides apparently cannot be used because of the pressure of the compressed air “

Slater comments of the Lotus 98T:

“The original Renault EF4 engine had relied on electro- mechanical injection, with a cam on a Kugelfischer metering unit controlled by signals from a basic microprocessor-based electronic control units (ECU) handling five different control parameters….”

Bamsey notes:

“the fuel injection system incorporated a Kugelfischer metering unit and this was equipped with a pneumatic controlled 3D cam to adjust flow to match boost pressure, as well as throttle opening “


“They had changed their basic V6‘s compression ratio, pistons, lubrication and injection, having to use an injection system compatible with the boost pressure within the cylinder.

The German Kugelfischer pump was used as it could adapt fuel flow relative to boost which the contemporary alternatives Lucas pump could not”

Period Address for economic geography exercise

FAG Kugelfischer,

Georg-Schafer-strabe 30




Learning Opportunities

Our learning /educational opportunities are intended to be challenging thought provoking and requiring additional research and/or analysis.

These opportunities are particularly designed for a museum/education centre location where visitors would be able to enjoy access to all the structured resources available in conjunction with any concurrent exhibition.

Understanding the potential of componentry particularly proprietary items provides some of the following learning opportunities; in this instance we suggest the following might be appropriate:-

Specific to Kugelfischer

  • In the era who were the main manufacturers of injectors and electronics in the automobile sectors?
  • Can you detect national allegiance with engine / brand manufacturers?
  • What did Renault replace Kugelfischer with?
  • What is you’re evaluation of the Renault Turbo engines of the Lotus era? Provide examples in comparison/benchmarking
  • Examine German automobile component manufacturers in this series and connect commercial interrelationship
  • What is the iconography of Kugelfischer posters included? From what era do they date and what suggests this?
  • What is the size and value of the industry
  • How has it changed? And what is its future 2020 onwards?
  • Discuss the relationship with a multi-national mass-production brand/manufacturer and its links, how and why did it come into existence?


  • Use a technical dictionary where needed to define components and roles
  • Was there a viable alternative to the part under consideration?
  • Is what might it have been /cost?
  • Examine the suppliers/specialist advertising what does it convey? And what is its iconography?
  • Integrate this item with our series on the economic geography of motor sports locations and manufacturing bases
  • Has the component had exposure at any motor shows?
  • Does the company continue to supply classic/heritage parts?
  • What changes in technology and materials have impacted on Lotus through its history?
  • How does component design impact on form and function
  • Does the supplier/specialist have aviation links? If so what?
  • What is the importance of ergonomics and how does it influence modern automobile design?
  • Does excessive safety/ and or ergonomics impact negatively on aesthetics
  • What is the impact of standardization of platforms through mark ranges and indeed shared with other manufacturers? Could uniformity ultimately impact on sales even if economies of scale improved?
  • Enumerate Lotus bought in components
  • How has mass production and proprietary parts assisted the specialist car market?
  • Produce an engineering drawing of a selected component and consider the specification of the materials and assembly process, costs and volume
  • Explore an enumerate supplier/specialists components used in other Industrial Design fields
  • How did the supplier/specialist extract value from their sponsorship/support?
  • Explore Graces Guide for further background detail
  • Study the economic geography of the British auto industry what factors determined locations?
  • What have been the causes of change and circumstance that have impacted on British motor industry?
  • What has been the role of F1 /motor sport valley based around Bicester?
  • What is the importance of outsourcing to the motor industry?
  • Study a British car specialist like Morgan, TVR, Ginetta or Lotus where do they source parts? What are the advantages?

Exhibitions, Education, Economics and Entertainment

In the museum context the editors believe that commercial considerations are both necessary and complementary with its educational objectives.

For these reasons our suggested outline Business Plan includes provision for promoting products and services which share Chapman’s ideals of mechanical efficiency and sustainability. In addition we propose merchandising that explain and interprets the social and cultural context of Chapman’s designs in period. It’s suggested there will be catalogue for on line purchasing.

In this instance we suggest the following exhibition titles might be appropriate:-


Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Taking the plunger
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Power, pumps and plungers
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Intercontinental Injection
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Continental Cooperation
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Fuel for Thought
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus No fuelling around
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus Pumps up the Pressure
Kugelfischer Renault Lotus European Union


  • Lotus Parts: Past ,Present Future
  • Lotus Parts: The Winning Factor
  • The Principle Part
  • Act the Part
  • Assign the Part
  • Lotus Components
  • Lotus Components :Parts and Parcel
  • Lotus Sponsors, Specialist and Suppliers:Form,Function and Forte
  • Lotus Components:Parts and Partiality
  • Lotus Aesthetics : With little to spare
  • Lotus Cars: Spare and Slender
  • Product launch with title of dedicated specific relevance

Conclusion: “The whole is greater………”

There can be little doubt about the significant contribution made by Kugelfischer in conjunction with Renault Turbo engines.

Nye suggest:

“Renault displayed remarkable courage in the first pioneering steps into the new F1 technology, and in some ways they paid the price of pioneering while always handicapped by their own labyrinthine management systems.

Second generation turbo engine manufacturers, like Ferrari and BMW and third generation like TAG Turbo Porsche, benefited from lessons learned at the Regie’s expense “

C 1985 witnessed the cost and horsepower escalation.Our thoughts and explanation of Lotus at this time are:

  1. The editors have not seen exact published budgets but deduction suggests they were considerable and possibly only affordable to multinational manufacturers able to heavily subsidise / invest in R&D
  2. The enormity of costs was a function of R&D , the complex sophisticated and increasingly electronic technology, the need for through integration, the speed of response especially in materials science as new problems were discovered often with ever increasing knock on effects
  3. There is the evident international dimension in the search for the most appropriate components, but also not far below the surface the commercial benefits of in house possible linked to secrecy
  4. International brand competition in the domestic car market place was fought out as brands exported around the globe, seeing volumes and market share , Renault and Honda perhaps being two good examples
  5. Where Lotus sits in this frame work is interesting, Chapman innovation and creative leaps had often compensated for lack of budget. This era reflects the present with results measured in minutiae but extracted at astronomical costs
  6. Kugelfischer were overtaken resulting from these issues we have identified but still significant in the Renault Turbo engines evolution
  7. Lotus needed the best driver to both compensate and extract potential despite Ayrton Senna they were unable to reach dominant success but were improving dramatically

Components were material to reliability and competitiveness.

Chapman’s design and manufacturing methodology rather confirms the adage that “the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts”.

It’s an interesting an important study to consider deployment of components. It contributes to aesthetics, assembly economics and sales [attractive components/ known accepted performance and servicing ability etc.]

It is equally and mutually relevant and beneficial to the component manufacturer.

Chapman and his colleagues often took the best / most appropriate mass produced item and almost reinvented it in its service to design objectives. In this manner many components acquired a new status and indeed their aesthetic was enhanced surrounded by the Chapman conceptual whole.

It’s also extremely significant how many of these components were also used in Lotus competition cars. This created a powerful dynamic and interrelationship. Many components:-

  • Performed well in competition gaining beneficial publicity and sales
  • Both the component and racing reputation carried through to road cars and assisted sales
  • The component manufacturer gained disproportionate publicity and assisted products sell in other applications
  • All together a beneficial spiral was commenced. Publicity of the era often opted to highlight the Lotus dimension in publicity material. In fact there was a powerful synergy.

The relationship between Lotus and is sponsor specialist suppliers is significant and worthy of close study and has lessons for Engineering, Industrial Design and Manufacturing disciplines.

Along the way it’s possible too to study the wider British motor component industry and how it has helped foster the specialist car manufacturers.

Sponsorship is a worldwide phenomenon of immense commercial impotence. Both to host and sponsor organization.

With the Passage of time it’s likely to become more sophisticated and focused and the internet /multimedia technology will play greater role.

Sponsors have existed in motorsport before Chapman but he vigorously exploited the concept with Gold Leaf c 1967/68 and set a pattern for others to follow.

Sponsors of Lotus were likely to benefit financially and in terms of exposure to an extent greater than their investment. The benefits were, and remain essentially similar to present day:-

  • Access to mass international audience consistent with mass production distribution marketing branding etc.
  • Demographics of viewing audience and interest groups
  • Additional subsidiary /secondary advertising through media, news, magazines etc.
  • Identification with market /brand /marque leader in both F1 and road cars
  • Association with success and continuity evolving, developing technology, materials etc.
  • In period the identification with the charm ,charisma and ability to articulate that Chapman possessed
  • All the attendant glamour , drama ,danger ,and spectacle of F1
  • Ability to provide conducive hospitality to conduct business
  • Cost effectiveness of audience cost ratio
  • Possible further complex corporate benefits

Appendix 1: Context and operation of sponsorship from the net:-

  • Learn how sponsorship motives have evolved.
  • Be able to differentiate between advertising and sponsorship.
  • Learn the advantages of each of the key promotion tools.
  • Identify the six categories of sponsorship opportunities.
  • Distinguish between self-evident and strategic linkages.
  • Learn the trends in spending on sponsorships.
  • Gain insight as to how ambush marketing and leveraging play roles.
  • Develop a basic understanding of the three special cases of sponsorship.
  • Identify the five key sponsorship objectives.
  • Learn the importance of each sponsorship objective.
  • Understand the concept of matching.
  • Learn the potential components of a sponsorship plan.
  • View a comprehensive example of a sponsorship.

Gain an awareness of controversies regarding sponsorship.

Appendix 2 F1 and related racing results


Appendix 3.FAG, Germany


FAG Germany has been a world-leading Bearing manufacturer for over 100 years. FAG is commonly associated with the Schaeffler Group, one of the world’s largest automotive and industrial suppliers. FAG components have earned a reputation for quality and reliability, and are used in applications worldwide.


Marks of Excellence.P.Mollerup.Phaidon Press.1997.

ISBN: 0714838381

Graces Guides

Internet websites and local History

Aircraft of the Fighting Powers.Cooper&Thetford.Vol.1.Aircraft [Technical] Publications.1940.

An extensive bibliography is provided in A&R article on John Players Specials/Gold Leaf

Industrial Design A-Z.C&P Fiell.Taschen.

ISBN: 3822863106

Lotus Book.Taylor.Coterie.1998.

ISBN: 1902351002

Art of the Formula 1 Race Car. Mann, Codling.Motorbooks.2010


Lotus 24, 25, 28, 29, 33.Unique.

Lotus 49, 49B, 49C, 49F.Unique.

ISBN: 1842555185

International Corporate Identity.Olins.Laurence King.1995

ISBN: 1856690377

International Motor Racing 1978.Ed by B.Gill.Macdonald and Jane’s.1978

ISBN: 035409033X

The International Motor Show. Offical Catalogue.1966

Motor Racing Directory 1955-56 [Ed by staff of “Motor Racing”] Pearl Cooper.

Motor Racing Directory.Kettlewell.

ISBN: 0906556007

Autosport A-Z Motorsport Directory. [Annual editions] Haymarket

The Automobile.Reyat.Chand.2013.

ISBN: 8121902142

Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology.Hillier & Pittuck.Hutchinson.1967.

Lotus 49.Wagstaff.Haynes.2014.

ISBN: 9780858334121

Lotus 72.Wagstaff.Haynes.2012.


Colin Chapman.Lawrence Breedon.2002.


Colin Chapman.Ludvigsen.Haynes.2010.


Coventry Climax Racing Engine’s.Hammill.Veloce.2004.


Lotus, Coventry Climax and Cosworth Engine’s.Pitt.Unique.

The Anatomy and Development of the F1 Racing Car.Incandela.Haynes.1982.


The 1000 BHP GP cars.Bamsey.Haynes.1988.


Lotus 98T.Slater.Haynes.2016.