The R16 undergoes a mild revamp. Among the most obvious changes are new rectangular taillights. The Grand Luxe and Super are replaced by the L and TL specifications, and a version of the TS's 1565 cc engine (with the cylinder head from the 1470 cc) is installed on both. The TA is discontinued and an automatic transmission is made available as an option across the whole R16 range.
October: Introduction of the Renault 15 and Renault 17 two-door Coupés. The R15 TL has the 1289 cc engine from the Renault 12 (rated at 60 bhp), whereas the R15 TS, R17 TL and R17 TS all has the 1565 cc from the Renault 16 TS (rated at 90 bhp) for the R15 TS and R17 TL, and at 108 bhp injection for the R17 TS). The R15 TL, R15 TS and R17 TL all has a 4-speed gearbox whereas the R17 TS has a 5-speed gearbox.
£659 (incl. P.T.)
De luxe £739 (incl. P.T.)
Has been called a utilitarian French box on wheels-which it is. But it is a remarkably efficient car, far more comfortable than it looks and a highly versatile means of transport. It has the 845 c.c. engine, with removeable liners, that buzzes away at the front driving the front wheels. There is a push-me-pull-me gear change on the facia that gives rapid changes once you get used to it, and suspension is independent all round. This Renault requires little attention, cooling system is sealed, there are no greasing points and a frugal appetite for petrol.
£899 (incl. P.T.)
You either describe this as a big brother to the 4, or a small brother to the 16. All three have the five-door concept and plainly belong to the same family. The 6/1100 has the soft and supple torsion bar suspension of the 4, with an 1108 c.c. engine driving the front wheels and a body style that is a step up from the square-box shape. It follows convention in having a lift-up tailgate and a fold-down rear seat to increase luggage capacity, while the bigger engine gives it a top speed of 84 m.p.h. and considerable agility if you work at it.
RENAULT 12 ESTATE
£1,120 (incl. P.T.)
The 12 showed its wedgeshape last year, but the 12 Estate is a newcomer to Earls Court, and a welcome one too. These Renaults must be particularly well proportioned, because they are much larger than they look. They have front-wheel-drive, with a 1289 c.c. engine that is good for over 87 m.p.h. and - unlike other Renaults - independent coil suspension at the front but a pressed steel rear axle guided by tie-bars and a central triangle. Seats are very comfortable and the estate has a long goods platform.
From £1,120 (incl. P.T.)
This is the car that broke new ground in motor car design. with its combination of saloon and estate car virtues. Renault led and others have followed. The 16 now has a more powerful 1565 c.c. engine driving the front wheels through a four-speed gearbox controlled by a steering column lever - something of a rarity these days. Comfort has always been its strong point, and the versatile seating. You can get the TL, which is a de luxe version of the basic car, or the TS, which is the high-performance member of the trio from Billancourt.
London show review