Renault Fuego (1980)
The Renault Fuego was a four-seater, three-door hatchback heavily based on the Renault 18, sharing its floorpan, drivetrain, dashboard and other items. Renault started production of the Fuego in 1980. European production went on into 1987 and Renault Argentina produced the 'Fuego GTA Max' up into 1992. It was sold in the United States through American Motors Corp. dealers from 1982 through 1985 inclusive. It replaced the Renault 15 and 17 coupés of the 1970s. It was the world's first car to feature remote central locking.
The car was a radical departure from the R15 and R17, as it introduced a rounded design instead of the wedge-shaped predecessors.
Model variants ran as follows, TL, TS, GTS, TX, GTX. The Fuego Turbo was added in 1983 with a midlife facelift to the front grille, bumpers and interior trim. While reliable and available with some of the best Renault engines of that time, the car had a bad image (not helped by the introduction of a turbodiesel variant). The Fuego was not directly replaced by another model in the Renault range.
A red Fuego appears in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill, while a gray metallic one appears in GoldenEye.
Renault sold the Fuego in the UK, aiming it at Opel Manta and Ford Capri buyers, but it was not a success, as French brands were still having enough trouble selling large quantities of their family cars in the early 1980s.
- February 1980: Introduction of the Fuego 3-door coupé. Available in the following models:
- Fuego TL - entry-level model (1397cc, 64bhp engine, manual choke, & 4-speed gearbox), 155 SR 13' tyres, heated rear window, rear fog light, split/fold rear seat, cloth upholstery...
- Fuego GTL - Middle of the range model, as TL plus 175/70 13' tyres, electric front windows, rev counter, height-adjustable steering wheel, front head restraints, analogical clock, central wheel covers, remote-adjustable drivers door mirror, laminated windscreen, opening rear quarter lights, H4 headlights, pre-installed radio kit, velour upholstery...
- Fuego GTS - Top of the range model (1647cc, 96bhp, engine, automatic choke, & 5-speed gearbox), as GTL, plus oil level gauge, power-assisted steering, optional 3-speed automatic transmission...
- 1981: Fuel reserve warning light standard on all models. GTS obtained modified gearbox.
- 1981: Introduction of the Fuego TX and GTX with 1995cc, 110bhp engine & 5-speed gearbox). TX as GTS. GTX as GTS and TX, plus rear wash/wipe, front fog lights, headlamp wash/wipe, 14-inch alloy wheels, leather steering wheel rim, gearlever gaiter, handbrake lever gaiter, digital clock, passenger side door mirror, bronze tinted windows, luggage cover...
- 1982: GTL obtained 5-speed gearbox. GTS got electronic ignition. GTS, TX and GTX got remote central locking. Optional 3-speed automatic transmission now available on TX and GTX.
- 1983: GTL got economy tune 73bhp 1647cc engine, 5-speed gearbox.
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