Renault Fuego: grey turbo

The Renault Fuego (Fire in Spanish) is a sport hatchback that was manufactured and marketed by Renault from 1980 to 1986, replacing the Renault 15 and 17 coupés of the 1970s.

Marketed in the United States by American Motors Corporation (AMC), the Fuego was also assembled in several countries in South America, where production continued until 1992. According to Renault, 265,367 Fuegos were produced, 85% of those manufactured in France from February 1980 to October 1985. Spanish production for European markets continued into 1986.

The Fuego’s exterior was styled by Michel Jardin, and the interior by Francois Lampreia, both working under direction of Robert Opron. Automotive journalist L. J. K. Setright said the Fuego “is blessed with a body which is not only roomy and aerodynamically efficient, but is also beautiful”.

The Fuego was the first mass-produced four-seat sports model to be designed in a wind tunnel, resulting in a drag coefficient (Cd) factor ranging from 0.32 to 0.35. In October 1982, the turbocharged diesel Fuego became the fastest diesel car in the world, with a top speed of 180 km/h (110 mph).

The Fuego became the best selling coupé in Europe during 1980 through to 1982. Variants included: 1.4 L TL, 1.6 L economy tuned GTL (LHD only); 1.6 L TS and GTS (manual and automatic transmissions); 2.0 L TX and GTX (manual and automatic transmissions). The TX was a downgraded version of the GTX, but differences varied by country. This model deleted alloy wheels, electric windows, central locking, air conditioning, fog lights, headlight wipers, etc. depending upon the market. A manual-only 2.1 L turbo-diesel was also produced for LHD European markets in the 1982-1985 period. This model was differentiated by the “bulge” in the top of the bonnet, extra vents in the front bumper, and “Turbo D” badging on the grille, side and rear hatch glass.

The Fuego Turbo (1.6 L/1565cc with a manual transmission) was added in 1983 to coincide with the facelift.

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