Renault 9 TXE (1985)

Renault 9 TXE (1985)
Renault 9 Turbo (1985)

Renault 9 Turbo (1985)
Renault 11 Turbo (1986)

Renault 11 Turbo (1986)
Renault 21 Turbo D (1986)

Renault 21 Turbo D (1986)
Renault 5 GT Turbo (1987)

Renault 5 GT Turbo

The Renault 5 is a supermini produced by the French automaker Renault in two generations between 1972 and 1996. It was sold in the U.S. branded Le Car in the 1970s and 1980s.

First generation (1972–1984)

The Renault 5 was introduced in January 1972. It was Renault's first foray into the supermini market, and its most prominent feature was its styling by Michel Boue (who died before the car's release), which included a steeply sloping rear hatchback and front fascia. Boue had wanted the taillights to go all the way up from the bumper into the C-pillar, in the fashion of the much later Volvo V70, but this was not to be. The lights remained at a more conventional level.

Underneath the skin, it borrowed heavily from the Renault 4, using a longitudinally-mounted engine driving the front wheels with torsion bar suspension. OHV engines were borrowed from the Renault 4, Renault 8 and Renault 12, and ranged from 850 to 1400 cc.

Early R5s used an idiosyncratic dashboard-mounted gearshift in true French style, but this was later dropped in favour of a floor mounted shifter. The other distinctive feature was the door handles, which were formed simply from a cut-out in the door panel and B-pillar. Other versions of the first car included the Renault 5 Alpine (Gordini in the United Kingdom), Alpine/Gordini Turbo, and a four-door sedan version was called the Renault 7 and built by FASA-Renault of Spain.

The Renault Le Car, which was designed exclusively for the North American market and sold by American Motors saw its introduction delayed until 1976 due to high demand in Europe. This choice of name was much-ridiculed among Francophones, as it literally means "the coach". The U.S. version featured a 1297cc engine that produced 55hp, and the dash mounted gear change was substituted for a more conventional floor mounted unit. Sales continued through 1984.

Renault Espace Quadra (1987)

Renault Espace Quadra

The Renault Espace is a large MPV originally designed by Chrysler UK in Coventry, in collaboration with Matra of France. It was manufactured by Matra in France, and marketed by Renault. Originally designed for sale as a Talbot in the late nineteen-seventies, the car was finally launched in 1984 and currently in its fourth generation, it seats seven passengers; the Renault Grand Espace is a longer-wheelbase version which seats seven and holds their luggage too. Along with the Dodge Caravan, the Espace was the original minivan.

Espace I (1984-1991)

The Espace's design was originally conceived in the 1970s by the British designer, Fergus Pollock, who was working for Chrysler UK (formerly the Rootes Group), the UK subsidiary of Chrysler, at their design centre in Coventry [1]. Later Matra, who were affiliated with Simca, the then French subsidiary of Chrysler, were involved in partnership in the design.

The Espace was originally intended to be sold as a Talbot, and to be a replacement for the Matra Rancho station wagon. Early prototypes used Simca parts, and hence featured a grille reminiscent of the Simca 1307 (Chrysler Alpine).

In 1978, before the Espace went into production, Chrysler UK and Simca were sold to the French company PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA), and the Espace design was given to Matra.

PSA decided the Espace was too expensive and too risky a design to put into production, and Matra took their idea to Renault (PSA finally ventured into the minivan sector 11 years later with the Citroën Evasion/Peugeot 806).

The Matra concept became the Renault Espace. The design featured a fiberglass body mounted on a warm-galvanized steel chassis, using the same technique and assembly line at the factory as the Talbot Matra Murena. In fact, the introduction of the Espace required the relatively small factory to cease the production of the Murena, to make room for the Espace.

Renault 19 16S 3-door (1988)

Renault 19 16S 3-door (1988)
Renault 25 V6 Injection (1988)

Renault 25 V6 Injection

The Renault 25 is an executive car produced by the French automaker Renault from 1983 to 1992. The most luxurious and upmarket Renault ever at the time, it placed second in the 1985 European Car of the Year contest. Though the 25 suffered from reliability problems (particularly in models built before the car's 1988 revamp) it was consistently a reasonably good seller in its native France, despite failing to challenge the dominance of German brands in the executive car sector in the rest of the European markets. All 25s were built in Sandouville, near Le Havre, France.


Introduced in late 1983 as a 1984 model, the Renault 25 was a large step forward in nearly every aspect from the Renault 20 / Renault 30 range it was replacing. Its five-door liftback body was penned by designer Robert Opron of Citroën SM fame, and the unconventional style (the wraparound rear window was its most famous feature) was aimed at giving the car a notchback look in order to overcome customer preference outside France for formal sedans in the segment.

The 25 was one of the first cars designed from the start for aerodynamic efficiency (Drag coefficient 0.31) — a key factor in improving fuel economy. The TS model briefly held the unofficial title of "world's most aerodynamic mass-production car" with a Cd (drag coefficient) of 0.28, and at its launch the 25 was easily the best in its class for fuel economy.

All Renault 25 models were front-wheel drive, with 4 or 6-cylinder engines mounted longitudinally forward of the front axle. The 25's performance was above average for its class, with the V6 Turbo specification a match for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-Series.

Renault 4 Clan (1988)

Renault 4 Clan

The Renault 4, also known as the 4L (pronounced "Quatrelle", which could be heard as "4 wings" in French), is a supermini produced by the French auotmaker Renault between 1961 and 1993. It was the first front-wheel drive Renault.


The Renault 4 was Renault's response to the 1948 Citroën 2CV. Renault was able to review the plusses and minuses of the 2CV design and come up with a larger, more urban vehicle. In the spring of 1956, Renault Chairman Pierre Dreyfus launched this new project: designing a new model to replace the rear engined 4CV that would become an everyman's car, capable of satisfying the needs of anybody. It would be a family car, a woman's car, a farmer's car, a city car. It would also be suitable for motorists around the world.

The production Renault 4 was finally revealed at the Paris Salon de l'Automobile in 1961, in the L version (L for Luxe), hence the popular name 4L.

Early versions used engines and transmissions from the Renault 4CV. The initial transmission was a 3-speed manual, an obsolete feature when compared to the four-speed manual of the thirteen-year old Citroën 2CV. Unlike the 4CV, which was a full monocoque, the R4 body was bolted on to a chassis. However, the body had a structural role and the chassis could twist if the body was removed without proper shoring. This semi-monocoque construction would later allow Renault to build other models on the R4 platform like the Renault 6 and the successful Renault 5. The R4 had four-wheel independent suspension. A surprising, yet often unnoticed, feature on the R4 is its shorter wheelbase on the left than on the right. This allowed a very simple design of the rear suspension using transverse torsion bars, and didn't affect the handling of the car. The front torsion bars were longitudinal. During its production run it was regarded as an estate car but in retrospect some now say the Renault 4 pioneered the hatchback body style, and is therefore significant in the history of car design. It was not the first, however, to introduce a top-hinged single-unit tailgate, which is one of the distinguishing features of the hatchback body style: the 1954 Citroën Traction Avant also included this innovation, while the earlier Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk1 of 1953 also had a small top-hinged tailgate.

Renault 21 2.0 Turbo Quadra 4-door (1989)

Renault 21 2.0 Turbo Quadra 4-door (1989)