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10 things you didn’t know about Renault

10 things you didn’t know about Renault

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 30th July 2012

Best Renault facts stats
1. Until recently, the fastest Renault ever wasn’t an F1 car! Instead, it was the 1978 Alpine A443, which managed a stonking 236mph at Le Mans. The engine? A humble 2.1ltr V6 turbo.
Best Renault facts stats2. Renault won whatʼs regarded as the first ever Grand Prix, held at Le Mans in 1906. Thirty-two cars completed 12 laps of a 64-mile circuit – six laps on the first day, followed by an 4 overnight rest and six laps the next. Ferenc Szisz won in his Renault AK 90CV.

Best Renault facts stats
3. Essentially a racecar for the road, the lightweight Renault Spider wrapped an all-aluminium body around the 150bhp, 2ltr 16V engine from the Clio Williams. They were so hardcore, the non-UK models came without a windscreen. The French must like picking flies out of their teeth.Best Renault facts stats


4.  The Renault Clio won the European Car of the Year twice – the Mk1 in 1991 and the Mk3 in 2006.

Best Renault facts stats


5. The Renault Alpine GTA Le Mans special edition featured a wider body than the standard GTA, BBS split rims and a host of other mods. Bizarrely, it had the same mechanicals as other GTAs, but a catalytic converter, actually reduced its power output!
 
Renault facts stats
6. The Renault RS01 was the first turbocharged Formula One car. All of its rivals used 3ltr n/a engines, but in 1977 Renault chose to exploit the rule that allowed turbo’d engines of up to 1.5ltr in capacity. Eventually their rivals would follow suit, but for the first couple of years it was so unreliable it earned the nickname ‘the yellow steam kettle’.

Renault facts stats
7. Until 2006, the mid-engined  255bhp Clio V6 was the most powerful hatchback in the world. Earlier models had ‘only’ 230bhp and the 3ltr, 24v n/a engines were sourced from the V6 Laguna.

Renault facts stats

8. In 1994, the Espace F1 was revealed at the Paris Auto Show. Built to celebrate ten years of the Espace, as well as Renault’s participation in Formula One, it shared the GP car’s 800bhp V10 engine, six-speed sequential gearbox and rear suspension, all in a carbon fibre body. It could do 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 194mph!
Renault facts stats
9. There are technically four versions of turbocharged Renault 5s: the Renault 5 Turbo, built for homologation; the Renault 5 Turbo 2, similarly mid-engined but not as lightweight as the earlier models; the Renault 5 Gordini Turbo; and the best known version, the legendary Renault 5 GT Turbo.

Renault facts stats

10. A six-wheel drive Renault 5 was built by a French company called Leotard. Several were made, and it’s believed there’s at least one still alive and well in the UK. Anyone ever seen it?