Renault 18 TL Wagon (1979)
Renault 18 TL Wagon
The Renault 18 was a medium-sized automobile that was designed and built by the French manufacturer Renault between 1978 and 1994.
The Renault 18 was intended as a replacement for both the Renault 12 and Renault 16, which had been in production since 1969 and 1965 respectively, though both these models continued in production alongside the 18 until 1980. Unlike earlier Renaults, the 18 was designed rather quickly; the time between its initial conception and its actual launch was only eighteen months, which is probably how it was called the Renault 18. Although Renault made numerous forays into international markets in countries such as Brazil with cars like the Renault 12, the Renault 18 was the first Renault intended as a true ‘world car,’ hence the slogan “Meeting International Requirements.” As well as France, the car went on to be manufactured in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and sold in Algeria, Austria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Slovenia, Sweden, Syria, The United Kingdom, The United States, Thailand, Turkey and Zimbabwe.
The Initial Range
After it went into production at Renault's Flins factory in France in December 1977, the Renault 18 was presented at the Geneva Salon in March 1978, with marketing sales beginning the following month.
Initially, the R18 was only available as a four-door saloon, in TL, GTL, TS and GTS trim variations.
The TL and GTL were powered by the 1397cc Cléon engine (which was developed using the 1289cc engine from the Renault 12), which produced 64bhp. Both models had a 4-speed gearbox.
The TS and GTS were powered by the 1647cc A Series engine (which was the same as used in the Renault 17 TS) but without the fuel injection, which lowered the output to 79bhp. The TS had a 4-speed gearbox, while the GTS had a 5-speed gearbox (with optional 3-speed electronic automatic transmission available for both models [the automatic versions of the TS and GTS models were called the TS Automatic and GTS Automatic to distinguish them from their manual transmission counterparts]).
As mentioned earlier, there were initially only four different models available in the R18 range at the time of its launch. Because the TL was the entry-level model (which was distinguishable from the GTL, TS and GTS by its wheel rims [which were carried over from the Renault 12]), it came equipped with reversing lights, two-speed wipers, intermittent screen wipe, electric windscreen washers; voltmeter; engine coolant temperature gauge; fuel gauge; six-figure mileage recorder; trip recorder; handbrake warning light; defective front brake discs warning light; day/night position for interior rear view mirror; rheostat for adjusting brightness of dashboard lights; illuminated ashtray, heater panel, boot and glove box; heated rear screen; anti-dazzle headlight adjustment; adjustment for direction of headlight beam; cigarette lighter; drivers side sun visor; passengers side sun visor; vanity mirror in passengers side sun visor; full carpeting; cloth upholstery; front armrests with grab handles; rear door armrests incorporating ashtrays; childproof rear door locks; passengers side interior courtesy light; front door pockets; center console incorporating coin tray; reclining front seats; and places for loudspeaker pods in the front doors. The GTL, TS and GTS models all additionally featured H4 iodine headlights, styled wheel rims, a foam-filled steering wheel, quartz clock, drivers side interior courtesy light, and a map reading light for the front seat passenger. The GTL and GTS further added black rubber protective mouldings along the doors, rear fog lights, headlight wash/wipe, shock absorbent bumpers, remote-adjustable drivers door mirror, adjustable head restraints on the front seats, and factory-installed radio equipment. The GTS was the top specification model, which added everything from the GTL plus central locking and electric front windows. As for the options list on all models, you could get imitation leather upholstery, tinted glass or metallic paint whichever you preferred. For the GTL and GTS, you could also get a sliding fabric sunroof, and exclusively for the GTS, you could get air conditioning.
Despite not being a particularly ground-breaking car, the 18 was Renault's first car to use the 1.4 Cleon engine in the middle class sector. A point of interest with the 18 was its wheels. For a mid-sized car, it utilized 3-stud wheels (similar to that of the Citroën 2CV), rather than the 4-stud wheels of most of its competitors.
The First Estate Models
By the late 1970s, European production of the Renault 12 was being gradually wound down, followed by the arrival of the estate versions of the Renault 18 on the 1st March 1979. The R18 Estate was only available in TL and TS model variations. They were mechanically identical to their saloon counterparts except the rear suspension used in the estates was more like that in the bigger Renault 20 and Renault 30. As for equipment specifications, the estates were identical to the saloons, except the TS estate additionally featured shock-absorbent bumpers, door mouldings, and front seat head restraints from the 18 GTL saloon. The estate proved almost as popular as the saloon.
The R18 station wagon was also sold in the North American market from 1981 to 1986, and the sedan in 1981-1982; it failed to even come close to living up to previous AMC products' reputation for reliability, and was not a success. It was replaced by the R21's North American equivalent, the Renault Medallion.
The R18 was discontinued in Europe in 1986, but continued in production until 1994 in South America, where it remains popular in the second-hand market. R18s also remain popular in Northern Africa. In Argentina, there were other versions too, namely the TX and GTX. There was also the GTX-II, featuring a basic onboard computer that displayed fuel consumption, etc. It was available with 1.6 L (TL), 2.0 L and 2.2 L engines. There was a special edition of the R18 with two-tone paint (black top and light gray bottom) called the American (later updated with central locking and other items, which was named the American 2).
- 1978 - Renault 18 goes into production.
- 1980 - All models now have new alternator with built-in electronic regulator.
- July 1980 - Introduction of the 18 Diesel. It had a 4-cylinder 2068cc Diesel engine (which produced 66bhp), negative offset front suspension, and larger four-stud wheel rims (all of which were shared with the Renault 20 Diesel). The 18 TD had a 4-speed gearbox, while the 18 GTD had a 5-speed gearbox (which was optional on the TD). Since the basic 18 Diesel model was the 18 TD (available as both a saloon and estate), it was equivalent to the 18 TS, while the more luxurious 18 GTD (available exclusively as a saloon) which was equivalent to the 18 GTS. Power-assisted steering was optional on the 18 GTD.
- 1981 - Introduction of the 18 Turbo.
- 1982 - Revisions: negative offset front suspension, clear front direction indicator lenses (instead of the original orange ones), grey polyester bumpers and door handles (instead of the original chrome ones), and restyled seats. Optional 5-speed gearbox available on the 18 TL. The 18 GTL obtained an economy-tune 73bhp version of the 1647cc engine, as well as a 5-speed gearbox, higher final drive ratio, electronic ignition and an econometer gauge.
- 1986 - Renault 21 is launched as the 18's eventual replacement and the 18 is withdrawn from sale in the UK.
- 1989 - European production of the Renault 18 is discontinued.
- 1994 - The last Renault 18 rolls off the production line in Argentina.
- 2006 - A survey by Auto Express reveals that of the 131,241 Renault 18s registered in the UK between 1978 and 1986, just 317 remain.
TL (Touring Luxe)
Two-speed wipers; intermittent screen wipe; electric screen washers; volt meter; engine coolant temperature gauge; fuel gauge; six-figure mileage recorder; trip recorder; handbrake warning light; defective front brake discs warning light; day/night position for interior rear view mirror; rheostat for adjusting brightness of dashboard lights; illuminated ashtray, heater panel, boot and glove box; heated rear screen; anti-dazzle headlight adjustment; adjustment for direction of headlight beam; cigarette lighter; drivers side sun visor; passengers side sun visor; vanity mirror in passengers side sun visor; full carpeting; cloth upholstery; front armrests with grab handles; rear armrests; ashtrays in the rear doors; childproof rear door locks; passengers side interior courtesy light; front door pockets; center console incorporating coin tray; reclining front seats; loudspeakers in front doors.
GTL (Grand Touring Luxe)
As TL, plus foam-filled steering wheel; H4 iodine headlights; quartz clock; velour upholstery; styled wheels; drivers side interior courtesy light; map reading light for front seat passenger; remote-adjustable driver's side door mirror; rear fog lights; headlight wash/wipe system; pre-installation radio equipment; shock absorbent bumpers; adjustable front seat head restraints; black rubber protective side mouldings.
LS (Luxe Super)
Same as TL but with mechanical specification of TS
TS (Touring Special)
As TL, plus foam-filled steering wheel, H4 iodine headlights, quartz clock, velour upholstery, styled wheels; drivers side interior courtesy light; map reading light for front seat passenger.
GTS (Grand Touring Special)
As GTL, plus electric front windows and central locking.
TD (Touring Diesel)
Same as TS
GTD (Grand Touring Diesel)
Same as GTS
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