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Renault 12

Originally shown at the 1969 Paris Motor Show, Renault 12 has joined the army or legendary vehicles forever and a day. Immediate success of the sedan modification urged the manufacturer to design the saloon and estate versions of the model to reach out the wider audience. What was so special about the car? Let’s put the finger on Renault 12 review.

Renault 12 Sedan Overview

The sedan version of the model has been in production in Europe till 1980. After this, it was produced under license in a variety of countries (i.e. Turkey, Romania). Upon the whole, more than 2.5 million units have rolled off the assembly line since the launch day.

The first Renault 12 featured 4343x1638x1435 mm dimensions & 2438 mm wheelbase. The chassis was, at that time, an embodiment of spaciousness and comfort. Similar to other Renault’s vehicles, this sedan had a front-wheel drive. Instead of a 4-wheel independent suspension, the company employed a rigid rear axle, supplemented by front double wishbone suspension and a stabilizer bar. Braking system consisted of front disk and rear drum brakes.

The 1.3-liter petrol engine was placed longitudinally. It produced 40 horsepower at 5250 RPM & 94 nm of torque at 3000 RPM. The powertrain received a 3-speed manual/automatic gearbox.

In 1970 Renault introduced a more powerful sedan modification – the Gordini; it was equipped with a 1.6-liter all-aluminum engine, replenished with double-barrel Weber carburetors. It produced 123 horsepower and could boast a 5-speed transmission. The chassis accommodated a reinforced crankshaft, ventilated disk brakes (front) as well as a tuned suspension. The car’s top speed reached 185 km/h.

The TS & TR Modifications

In 1972 Renault introduced the R12TS version of the sedan. It housed a double-barrel Weber carburetor but the same type of engine. Nonetheless, its power was increased to 63 hp, while the top speed reached 150 km/h. As distinct from the base model, the TS used extra headlights, a chrome-plated strip alongside the chassis, included headrests, a tachometer, and a cooling-fluid temperature clock.

The other modification, R12TR, featured an automatic transmission as standard, a simplified grille, updated tail-lamps & a more sophisticated dashboard.

Renault 12 Estate Detailing

To proceed with Renault 12 review, it’s necessary to provide a brief description of the estate modification. It featured a 5-door layout (4407x1638x1453 mm dimensions, 2438 mm wheelbase, 109 mm ground clearance) and a 1.3-liter engine. The powertrain ensured 54 horsepower at 5250 RPM & 88 nm of torque at 3000 RPM. The vehicle could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h for 16 seconds, reaching the top speed of 140 km/h. It consumed 7.8 liters of petrol per 100 km. Moreover, this estate boasted a 4-speed manual transmission, paired with front disc and rear drum braking system.

Other Markets

As stated before, Renault 12 was manufactured in different markets across the globe. Hence, in mid 1970s Dacia acquired a license for producing the vehicle (as Dacia 1300). As a result, a manifold of items in different body styles appeared. In 1971 Oyak-Renault (Turkey) introduced its own version of the model as sedan and station wagon (Renault Toros).

In addition, the car became a hit in Australia (later renamed Renault Virage) and reached both American markets. In the North-American market it was represented in three trims: 12, 12L & 12TL. In its turn, in the South-American segment it was sold both under Renault and Ford badges. It Brazil it was marketed as Ford Corcel, whereas in Argentina & Colombia it preserved its original name.

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