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Renault 9 and 11 Turbo (1984 - 1988)

Last updated 28 April 2013

 
4
Great to drive with strong performance and excellent dynamics
Overshadowed by the R5GT Turbo, few were sold new, and hardly any remain

Introduction

In late 1984, the Renault 9 and 11 Turbo models were launched. They weren't exactly bad news for a range, which previously lacked glamour, and were a welcome addition to the bugeoning hot hatchback market, competing against talented cars such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Fiat Strada 130TC. For Renault, turbocharging was a no-brainer - it was a forced-induction pioneer in Formula 1 and Group 4 rallying, and it wanted to exploit this in  its production car range.

The 9 and 11's turbo engine was a blown version of the brilliant and long-lived pushrod Cleon unit, and was a development of the powerpack debuted in the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo. It was developed into a far more civilised proposition for the 9 and 11, packing a far more tractable 115bhp. And with that, the 9 and 11 became front-running hot-hatchback contenders - but a few months later, the 5GT Turbo was launched, powered by he same engine, and the lightweight super-supermini soon stole the show.

But in many respects, the larger car was the better drive, and is well worth seeking out today. If you can find one.

 

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