As recently as this week, even though the wraps will come off the Melbourne car on Wednesday, the carmaker's Jerome Stoll was giving nothing away.
"In Melbourne it will be different," he said, referring to Renault's all-black testing colors, "but just as elegant."
Amateur photos of the final livery – all yellow with black wings – have now emerged from a filming of the RS16 car this week on a Sydney beach.
Kevin Magnussen was present for the shoot, and the Danish newspaper BT quotes him as saying this week: "We have a good starting point that we feel comfortable with.
"We are not entirely satisfied with performance, but we are happy with what we have achieved in the short time available."
Observers in the Albert Park paddock have confirmed that the yellow RS16s are now being worked on by mechanics inside the team's garage.
02/03/16 Renault have become the first team to reveal their 2016 Formula One car – the RS16.
Well, not exactly. The car is a rehashed version of the E23 and as SommersF1 notes, the nose is the one the defunct Lotus team took to the 2015 Abu Dhabi GP, but never fitted.
Jerome Stoll stated the predominantly black livery would be the one we will see through the two winter tests in Barcelona, but that the livery will change for the first race in Melbourne: “It will be equally elegant, but maybe not black."
02/03/16 (GMM) Renault on Wednesday revealed a black livery for its return as a works F1 team.
The RS16 became the first car of the 2016 season to be unveiled, at an event held before the world's media at Renault's Technocentre on the outskirts of Paris.
A sign of how eagerly the world of F1 was tuning in was that the Renault Sport website – set to stream the event live over the internet – crashed.
Bob Bell was revealed as chief technology officer, Frederic Vasseur as 'racing director', Kevin Magnussen alongside Jolyon Palmer, and Esteban Ocon as third driver, on loan from Mercedes.
As for the black livery, it might be a nod to Enstone's recent Lotus guise, but whether it will be replaced by much more yellow by Melbourne is now an open question.
"This is the car that will be in Barcelona in two weeks," said Renault Sport president Jerome Stoll.
"Will it be black in Melbourne? Guess," he smiled.