Renault Fuego (1980 – 1986) Review

Renault Fuego (1980 – 1986) At A Glance


+Nice styling, excellent dynamics, and punchy turbo engine

-Lower powered versions are a little bit boring to drive

The Renault Fuego was launched at the Paris motor show in 1980, and looked like an exciting addition to the Capri/Manta market. It was described by Renault as an 'open plan' coupe - a boring description for the R18 four-seater car. It was aerodynamic too, with a drag co-efficient of 0.347, a class-leading figure in 1980. The Fuego shared its floorpan and drivetrain with the R18, but had new front suspension set-up, giving it more positive handling.

The initial engine line-up was as per the R18, with 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre Douvrins - and all models went well for their power. in 1982, the Turbo Diesel was introduced, making it the fastest compression ignition car on the market, with a top speed of 112mph. At the same time, Renault introduced the 132bhp Fuego Turbo (petrol), which was powered by a tuned version of the R18 Turbo's 1.6-litre power unit. It could sprint from 0-60 mph in 9.5 seconds, and powered on to 120mph. Clad with Turbo decals, and BBS alloys, it was less than subtle, but UK sales proved surprisingly strong. Renault stopped importing the Fuego into Great Britain in 1986.