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Jay Leno Goes Full Throttle in a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo2: Video

Jay Leno Goes Full Throttle in a 1985 Renault R5 Turbo2: Video

A commuter-turned-mad-machine ready for rally racing

You gotta love it when manufacturers bring race-proven performance to the street. Back in the ‘80s, that’s exactly what Renault did with the R5 Turbo2, a boxy giant-slayer that looks the part of a sideways dirt-slinger all the way down to the hugely flared rear fenders.

This thing is just dripping with old-school-cool, which means it fits right in at Jay Leno’s Garage. Originally, the mighty mite used to be (as Jay puts it) “just a front-wheel drive, front-engined, econobox.” Now, however, it’s so much more. For starters, the engine is in now behind the seats, and now features a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder producing just under 200 horsepower, all of which flows through a five-speed manual transmission. The suspension was also completely reworked, and of course, don’t forget that glorious new body work. The product of racing homologation, just 200 were produced with the same aluminum roof as the example seen here.

This thing is a straight-up rally superstar for the road. Check it out in length in this 27-minute, 44-second video, which includes a look at all the technical details, and a stint on the streets of Southern California.

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Renault Shows Off Futuristic AEX Infotainment in Paris

Renault Shows Off Futuristic AEX Infotainment in Paris

The new era of personal assistants, Renault’s way

Renault showed off at the Paris Motor Show with its new personal assistant, the Augmented Editorial Experience, or AEX, which was developed as an A.I. that would help the driver and the other occupants of the car enjoy each trip to the fullest.

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The Renault Megane RS Is Quick to 60 mph, but it's a Turd in the Top End

The Renault Megane RS Is Quick to 60 mph, but it’s a Turd in the Top End

An acceleration test shows just how limited that 1.8-liter really is

We’ve praised the new Megane RS up and down. It’s attractive, it’s sporty, it’s got the proper interior appointments, and it stands out in a crowd where models like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R thrive. With that said, its spec sheet doesn’t disappoint either. 276 horsepower and 288 pound-feet of torque isn’t exactly something to sneeze at, at least not coming from a car this size anyway. But, engine size matters; transmission gearing matters. And, that’s painfully evident in this acceleration and top speed test put together by AutoTopNL.

From the start, things look good; the RS manages to hit the 62.1-mph barrier in around 5.8 seconds. That’s just 0.9 seconds slower than the Civic Type R and 1.1 seconds faster than the Ford Focus RS, both of which are more powerful. What happened after that run to 60 is what’s a bit discerning. It was able to run to 140 from nil in around 27 seconds, which again isn’t bad for a car with this kind of power, but beyond that, this thing is the definition of a turd. So much so that in the first attempt the driver couldn’t even hit the RS’ top speed of 155 mph. He got close, at 152, but never made it to the top of the hill.

The driver did manage to hit a top speed of 155 mph, but it wasn’t until he slowed down to 140 mph, then jumped on it again, spending 46 seconds in the process – again, that’s a turdishly slow as it gets. It’s like the car just loses all motivation beyond 135 mph or 140 mph. So what’s the reasoning behind this? Well, first off, that little 1.8 liter starts to fall off in a major way beyond 5,000 rpm. Second, it’s pretty clear that the transmission is geared more for top speed than acceleration from third on up. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a tactic to provide a high top speed on paper without having to mention that it has a significant effect on mid-to-high-range acceleration.

Either way, this video is very telling of what you can really expect from the new Megane RS. It’s not a bad vehicle by any means, but it’s probably not going to win any acceleration contests – not now, and not ever. Well, unless you do some serious modification. And, in that case, by all means, please send us some video.

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Renault Explains How the New Megane R.S. Came to Be

Renault Explains How the New Megane R.S. Came to Be

French automaker has its signs on the hot hatch title

We already know that the hot hatch segment is one of the most competitive scenes in the entire auto industry. Whether it’s the Volkswagen Golf GTI, the Ford Focus ST, or the new Hyundai i30 N, there’s no shortage of competitors looking to become the best of the best. The Renault Megane RS also belongs on this list. It just so happens to that Renault is ready to unleash the next-generation model with an ace up its sleeve: four-wheel steering.

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Petrolicious Shows Some Love To The Dinalpin A110

Petrolicious Shows Some Love To The Dinalpin A110

It’s the Franco-Mexican cousin of the Renault Alpine A110 like you haven’t seen before

The Renault Alpine 110 is arguably one of the French automaker’s best creations. It’s also one of those models whose history extends all the way to Mexico. Yep. From France to Mexico…to Spain…to Bulgaria where it was named "Bulgaralpine.” That’s the story of the Dinalpin A110, a Renault Alpine 110 that was built under license by the DINA company in Mexico.

The weird history notwithstanding, the Dinalpin A110 is actually a great-looking car, at least if you don’t try to stare too long at the three-lug wheels. One such owner of the Franco-Mexican sports car is Dave Griffiths, who got a lead for the car after winning one on an auction site in Puerto Rico. Eventually, Griffiths found himself with a Dinalpin A110 and proceed to restore the car, giving it some hot rod love with drivetrain parts from the Renault Alpine parts bin.

Eventually, he got his Dinalpin A110 to produce 120 horsepower, double the output of the original model. Sure, the output isn’t anything to get excited about, but with a weight of just 1,500 pounds, there’s enough power-to-weight ratio there to make it more than just an ordinary Dinalpin A110. And to think that Griffiths ended up with this car by wasting time on the Internet.

Oh, look! A Ferrari Testarossa!

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Five Indian-Market Cars Fail Horribly During Global NCAP Crash Testing

Five Indian-Market Cars Fail Horribly During Global NCAP Crash Testing

Indian-market vehicles have no airbag requirements and low safety standards

It’s not a secret that the U.S. and Europe of some pretty strict safety regulations for vehicles, but there are other markets that have very low or even non-existent safety regulations for cars. One such market is the Indian market, where new car safety standards are minimal at best, with Global NCAP calling them “Clearly sub-standard” in a recent media release. And that brings me to our conversation today – the five Indian-market vehicles from Renault, Maruti-Suzuki, Mahindra, and Hyundai that recently failed Global NCAP testing.

See, in the Indian Market, airbags aren’t required, and up until October of 2017, front and side impact testing isn’t a requirement for new cars on the market. Talk about driving blind, right? Safety structures that are designed to crumple in certain areas help to eliminate injury to front adult passengers, but that clearly isn’t enough protection – especially for a market where driver’s like to do interesting stunts like drive on two wheels while rotating tires (don’t act like you haven’t seen at least one of those videos that have gone viral in the past.)

These failures in safety aren’t exactly a new problem, as Indian-market cars have been disappointing on that front for a while, but we decided to take a look at all of the videos anyway. Continue reading to the crash test videos for each Indian model that was tested, and be happy that you weren’t the test dummy.

Continue reading to learn more about the crash test results

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Petrolicious Profiles One Man And His Renault R5 Turbo 2: Video

Petrolicious Profiles One Man And His Renault R5 Turbo 2: Video

Take a peek at one Renault’s most unheralded performance cars from the 1980’s

Every automaker in the world has that handful of models that get lost in the halls of history, be it for this reason or anther. For Renault, a case can be made that the Renault R5 Turbo 2 falls in this category. Not a lot of people remember the R5 Turbo and the reason for that is really simple. Production only lasted four years and only 3,576 units were made. True story: it was even sold in the U.S. for a time under the name “Le Car.” And yet, 30 years after production ended in Belgium, at least one of them has lived to see the roads of today. That model is owned by one Christophe Guerin, a gentleman from France who counts a 1984 R5 Turbo 2 as one of his most prized possessions.

This episode of Petrolicious tells the story of Guerin and his beloved R5 Turbo 2 to go with countless memories of being fortunate enough to have spent most of life a stone’s throw away from the iconic LeMans race track. As you can imagine, Guerin never ran out of stories to tell, which makes the six-and-a-half minute episode of Petrolicious seem to short. But in that time, we get a chance to hear from someone who not only got to spend a lot of his life on one of the most iconic race tracks in the world, but who also found a life-long love and appreciation for a car that’s largely been forgotten as the decades have piled up.

This is our chance to get to know Guerin and more importantly, get introduced to the Renault R5 Turbo 2, a street-spec car that was born out of Renault’s desire to beat the Lancia Stratos rally cars that dominated the rally scene back in the 80’s.

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Renault Sport R.S. 01 Is The Best Interceptor: Video

Renault Sport R.S. 01 Is The Best Interceptor: Video

You wouldn’t want this car on your rear-view mirror

The Dubai Police Force may have one of the most impressive collection of police cars in the world, but one car that it doesn’t have at its disposal is the Renault Sport R.S. 01. Actually, no police force in the world has the R.S. 01 in its garage, but that doesn’t mean we’ll never get to see one act as a police interceptor in our lifetime.

Thankfully, Renault was game enough to play along, which brings us to this video of an R.S. 01 playing the role of a police interceptor in France. The bit is made even more awesome since Renault tapped legendary rally car driver Jean Ragnotti. Together, Ragnotti and the R.S. 01 decide to apprehend a speeding motorcyclist running at close to 143 mph.

This takes us to a breathtaking scene of the R.S. 01 speeding along the French highway, running past just about every model Renault has in its lineup on its way to capturing the delinquent rider. The video ends with the rider sitting forlorn on the sidewalk with his hands behind his back as the R.S. 01 leaves the scene like the all-conquering road sheriff that it is.

It’s a great way to showcase the capabilities of the Renault track toy, but it’s even more awesome seeing it actually look the part of a police interceptor, complete with the livery and the flashing police lights inside the front grille. Kind of makes me wonder if there’s a future wherein we see the R.S. 01 as an actual police car. That is one car you wouldn’t want to see in your rear-view mirror. Maybe it’s because of its racy appearance or the fact that it has a GT-R sourced V-6 engine that pumps out 542 horsepower to go with a weight of just 2,469 pounds.

Whatever the case may be, the R.S. 01 police interceptor is arguably the coolest “fake” police car I’ve seen in a while. And yes, that includes a lot of the cars that the Dubai Police Force has in its garage.

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Evo Drives The Renaultsport R.S. 01: Video

Evo Drives The Renaultsport R.S. 01: Video

Renault may be more associated with mainstream cars and the occasional hot hatchback, but those who really know Renault are aware that there’s more to the French automaker than meets the eye. For one, its ties to the world of motorsports racing run deep. Some people might even say that Renault is a pillar in the racing scene as it has been involved - and succeeded - in top-tier racing for decades. Just as important is the well-known belief that Renault has one of the best breeding grounds for up-and-coming racers in the entire sport. All these things make the company a titan in the field, and with creations like the 2015 Renaultsport R.S. 01 race car, it’s place in the racing world isn’t going to be forgotten anytime soon.

The R.S. 01 can be best described as a proper race car. EVO seems to agree with that assertion, which is why it dedicated its latest YouTube video solely on the high-tech racer. There are a lot of things that can be taken out of the channel’s review of the car, including the unfiltered reactions of driving the car around the race track. Those are all important items that I’m not going to spoil for anybody who plans to watch the video.

What’s important is what the R.S. 01 has meant to Renault, both as a manufacturer and as a motorsports team. Sure, the company is involved in a lot of racing disciplines, including Formula One. But for my money, the launch of the R.S. 01 back in 2014 was really the first time in a long time that people saw what the company was capable of when the challenge of building a race car was presented to it.

The results certainly speak for itself. In addition to its concept-car looks, the R.S 01 is also teaming with state of the art technology, highlighted by a carbon fiber tub that helps the car weigh just 2,425 pounds. Combine that with a NISMO-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 engine - the same twin-turbo engine that can be found under the hood of the Nissan GT-R - that produces more than 500 horsepower and over 443 pound-feet of torque, and you have a race car that checks off every requirement one might have for the perfect racer.

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Alain Prost Test-Drives The Renault Talisman: Video

Alain Prost Test-Drives The Renault Talisman: Video

Four-time Formula One world champion Alain Prost is an incredibly tough man to please, especially when you put him in a car with the intent of asking to review it. That comes with the territory of someone who knows what he’s talking about anytime he takes the wheel of a car. Renault, however, doesn’t appear to be worried about Prost’s incredibly high standards because in its mind, it has the car that can impress the Frenchman. That car is the new Talisman, Renault’s new mid-size saloon.

Granted, Prost’s status as a brand ambassador for Renault will cause suspicions on his objectivity. To his credit though, he does do a good job of calling it the way he sees, or in this case, feels it. During his time with the Talisman, Prost gives the mid-sized sedan a meticulous commentary, running through the minutiae of the car’s four-point steering and going into detail on the effectiveness of the shock absorption.

These are the kinds of things that a driver like Prost can notice without even thinking about it. He even performs a few driving tests on the Talisman to see how the car responds to these conditions. In the end, it’s not all that surprising to hear Prost rave about the Talisman. He is, after all, associated with the brand. But, his ties to the company notwithstanding, it’s still important to hear a running commentary of a new car from somebody with the knowledge and experience of Prost. At the very least, it gives us a fresh perspective from someone who has probably spent more time in cars that most of us put together.

Only time will tell if Prost’s observations about the Talisman are shared by its future customers. Hopefully, the car validates Prost’s observations and lives up to the hype. It’s arguably one of the freshest models Renault has released in quite some time and it would be a shame if it ends up falling short of its buzz.

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Chris Harris Test Drives The Renault Sport R.S. 01: Video

Chris Harris Test Drives The Renault Sport R.S. 01: Video

Chris Harris is one of the world’s most respected motoring journalists so it’s going to take a car that’s really special to get his attention. Renault seems to have one car that fits that bill, so the French automaker decided to invite Harris to race the R.S. 01 in the Renault Sport Trophy event at Silverstone.

For someone who has spent time behind the wheel of some of the fastest supercars and race cars in the world, Harris’ first impression of the R.S. 01 was music to the ears of Renault Sport. Not only was he openly gushing about the R. S. 01’s traction control and aerodynamic efficiency, he even went so far as to say that it had much better grip than any of the GT3 race cars he’s raced it in the past.

That’s high praise coming from Harris but it’s to be expected for a race car built by a company that’s been heavily invested in the highest levels of racing for decades. The R. S. 01 really is more than just a race car. Visually, it looks absolutely stunning; it’s a far cry from the company’s production models. But more important than its gorgeous aesthetics is the fact that the R. S. 01 was developed specifically to win races. It even has a Nismo-prepped, 3.8-liter, V-6 mill that’s been tuned to produce more than 500 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, all while being complimented by Renault’s robust expertise in the world of racing.

Harris may have been blown away by how R. S. 01 handled itself at Silverstone, but if the racer really is as good as advertised, Silverstone won’t be the only track where it’ll shine. If its form and development continues trending north, there might come a time when we begin talking about the R. S. 01 in historical terms.

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Renault Megane GT Makes Track Debut at Le Mans: Video

Renault Megane GT Makes Track Debut at Le Mans: Video

Though it’s nowhere near as quick and powerful as the upcoming Megane RS, the brand-new Renault Megane GT received a fancy track debut at the iconic Bugatti Circuit, the permanent race course that’s located withing the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, the hatch was showcased at the recent World Series by Renault meeting at Le Mans, where it lapped the Bugatti Circuit with legendary racing driver Jean Ragnotti behind the wheel. For the uninitiated, Ragnotti was a prominent racing figure in the 1970s and 1980s, scoring important victories for Renault in the World Rally Championship and driving in no fewer than eight 24 Hours of Le Mans races.

Based on the new-generation Megane, the GT is a sportier version of the hatch that slots between the standard model and the upcoming RS. Power comes from a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-pot that cranks out 205 horsepower, only 12 horses fewer than the Euro-spec Volkswagen Golf GTI. The unit mates to a dual-clutch gearbox with no manual on offer. At least not yet.

Sure, as this video shows, the Megane GT is far from being a track racer, but the sporty suspension and the slightly revised aerodynamics should make it a fun car for weekend getaways on twisty roads.

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