Monday, February 22, 2010

Lookback: The Renault LeCar

Remember these? From the 1970's and early 80's? I was astounded to see them roving through traffic during that time and wondered "Why would you drive such a car?" Why indeed. But for every sack, there is a potatoe, as my mother says.


  • January 1972: Introduction of the Renault 5 in (127 mm) L and TL forms. Both models had rear pull handles, a folding rear seat, grey bumpers, wind up front windows, and a dashboard-mounted gear shift lever. The TL was better equipped, and had a vanity mirror for the front seat passenger, three ashtrays (one in the driver's door armrest and two in the rear), two separate reclining front seats instead of one bench seat, front pull handles, and three stowage pockets.
  • 1973: Gear lever moved from dashboard to floor, between front seats. TL gains heated rear window.
  • 1974: Introduction of the R5 LS, same as R5 TL, plus floor-mounted gear shift lever, stylish wheels, H4 iodine headlights, electric windscreen washers, fully carpeted floor ahead of the front seats, carpeted rear parcel shelf, electronic rev counter, daily totalizer, two-speed ventilation system, illuminated ashtray with cigarette lighter.
  • March 1975: R5 LS renamed R5 TS. The TS had all features of the previous LS, plus new front seats with integrated head restraints, black bumpers, illuminated heater panel, front spoiler, rear wiper, clock, opening rear quarter lights and reversing lights.
  • February 1976: Introduction of the R5 GTL. It had the 1289 cc engine from the R5 TS (albeit with the power reduced to 42 bhp), the equipment specification of the R5 TL plus grey side protection strips and some features from the R5 TS such as the styled wheel rims, reversing lights, cigarette lighter, illuminated heater panel, electric windscreen washers.
  • 1976: Introduction of the R5 Alpine, with 1397 cc engine with hemispherical combustion chambers, high compression ratio and & special 5-speed manual gearbox.
  • 1977: R5 GTL gets opening rear quarter lights.
  • 1977: R5 L gets new 845 cc engine.
  • 1978: Introduction of the R5 Automatic, similar to R5 GTL, but with 1289 cc (55 bhp) engine, 3-speed automatic transmission, vinyl roof and front seats from TS.
  • 1980: 5-door TL, GTL and Automatic models arrive.
  • 1982: Introduction of the R5 TX.
  • 1982: Introduction of the R5 Alpine Turbo, similar to the R5 Alpine, but with a Garrett T3 Turbo, new alloy wheels, stiffer suspension and disc brakes all-round.


    • B1B 0.8 L (845 cc/51.6 cu in) 8-valve I4; 36 PS (26 kW; 36 hp); top speed: 120 km/h (75 mph)
    • C1C (689) 1.0 L (956 cc/58.3 cu in) 8-valve I4; 42 PS (31 kW; 41 hp); top speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)
    • C1E (688) 1.1 L (1,108 cc/67.6 cu in) 8-valve I4; 45 PS (33 kW; 44 hp); top speed: 135 km/h (84 mph)
    'The C1E is a carburetor (Solex) model with ignition coil, condenser, points and vacuum timing advance. Spark Gap 0.8 mm, Dwell angle 49 deg with points gap ~ 0.18 mm. This engine, though a Renault 5 engine, was also put into early Clio Mk 1's for the initial production run. The wiki on the Clio (car) page does not list this engine as being in any Clio's but it was in early version. Being carburetor it is a non catalyst engine designed for unleaded fuel. Even with timing advance, the 95 RON octane fuel will cause knock at higher revs. 98 fuel will not knock so is preferable for motorway speeds, or use of octane booster (expansive per tank) or preferably 50 ml of acetone per tank of fuel. Economy is 35-50 mpg on 4 speed manual gearbox.'

    • 810 1.3 L (1,289 cc/78.7 cu in) 8-valve I4; 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp); top speed: 140 km/h (87 mph) (automatic)
    • 810 1.3 L (1,289 cc/78.7 cu in) 8-valve I4; 64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp); top speed: 151 km/h (94 mph)
    • C1J (847) 1.4 L (1,397 cc/85.3 cu in) 8-valve I4; 63 PS (46 kW; 62 hp); top speed: 142 km/h (88 mph) (automatic)
    • C2J 1.4 L (1,397 cc/85.3 cu in) turbo 8-valve I4; 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp); top speed: 185 km/h (115 mph); 0–100 km/h (62 mph): 9.1 s

    No comments: