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.2. 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.
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.
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!
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’.
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!
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.
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?