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Renault 15 and 17 (1972 - 1980)

Last updated 27 April 2013

 
4
Agreeable coupe pairing, nice to drive, comfortable, full-length Webasto roof option on 17TS
Rust, rarity, smaller-engined 15s don't live up to their promise on the road
300,443
were produced
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Introduction

The existence of the Renault 15 and 17 is attributable to the success of the Ford Capri. Once it became clear that Ford's Euro-sized Pony car was a substantial hit, rival manufacturers founf themselves scrambling to produce rival cars. In Renault's case, the obvious course of action was to spin-off a Coupe body from the new - and rather impressive - 12. That meant France's most convincing Capri rival would be comfortable and blessed with great front-wheel drive dynamics.

For the class of 1972, Renault took the interesting course of offering its new Coupe in two forms - the 15 was the lower-specification model with single headlamps and conventional side windows, while the 17 had quad-headlights and highly characterful louvred rear quarter windows. It was the addition of this feature, and the frameless side-windows, which allowed the 17 to truly stand out from the crowd. But the drivetrain was a great draw too - as Renault's engine range was among the best in Europe at the time.

You could buy your 15 and 17 with a 1289cc, 1565cc, 1605cc and 1647cc engine, and it was the latter used in the top-dog 108bhp 17TS. Still a highly desirable car to this day - especially when fitted with the full-length Webasto roof.

 

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