Renault 14

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Renault 14
R14 001.JPG
Overview
Manufacturer Renault
Production 1976-1983
Assembly Douai, France
Haren, Belgium
Body and chassis
Class Small family car
Body style 4-door hatchback
Layout FF layout
Powertrain
Engine 1.2 L I4, 59 PS (43 kW; 58 hp)
1.4 L I4, 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) or 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp)
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,530 mm (100 in)/
2,560 mm (101 in)
Length 4,025 mm (158.5 in)
Width 1,624 mm (63.9 in)
Height 1,405 mm (55.3 in)
Curb weight 855 kg (1,885 lb)-890 kg (1,962 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Renault 6
Successor Renault 9 & 11

The Renault 14 is a small family car produced by the French manufacturer Renault between 1976 and 1983.[1] It was first shown in January 1976 with production beginning in June of that year.[2]

It was the first car to be produced in large volumes at the company's then new plant at Douai, although small pilot runs of the Renault 5 had preceded the 14's production in the factory.[3]

History[edit]

Renault 14 spare wheel

Featuring front wheel drive, the 14 was developed to compete in the small family car segment, which had been opened up by the Volkswagen Golf. Initially, the 14 was available in L and TL trim levels with a 1.2 L single overhead camshaft engine and later 1.4 L versions with 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) (R14 GTL) or 70 PS (51 kW; 69 hp) (R14 TS) joined the line-up. Both units were the X-type engine (commonly known as the "Douvrin" or "Suitcase Engine") jointly developed with Peugeot, although the 14 turned to be the only Renault vehicle that used the unit. The design was generally well thought out and practical with interior space a major selling point, including a rear seat that could either be folded or removed completely. In addition, the spare wheel was carried at the front, under the bonnet and above the transverse 4-cylinder engine that was inclined backwards by 72°. Although all Renault cars were by now front wheel drive, the 14 was the first of the manufacturer's models to incorporate a space saving Mini-like transversely mounted engine.[4] The exterior styling of the Renault 14 was praised by the motoring press as being fresh and ahead of its time and many have drawn a parallel between it and the later Peugeot 205.

Renault 14 side view

The 14 shared with several previous Renault models a rear suspension system using two full-width torsion bars positioned one behind the other, along with the resulting wheelbase difference of more than 1 inch (32 mm) between the left and right sides of the car.[4]

For 1979 Renault sought to compensate for a slow start in the marketplace, widening the range upmarket with a "GTL" version of the car taking its wheels and some other ornaments and interior styling cues from the newly launched Renault 18, and a "TS" with twin chamber carburetor and claimed power raised from 57 hp (43 kW) to 70 hp (52 kW).[5] In Renault 14 TS new Halogen "H4" lights brightened the way ahead after dark, and showroom appeal was enhanced with electric windows in the front, which was a first for this class of car in the French market.[5]

"The Pear"[edit]

Things got off to a bad start with a disastrous advertising campaign that compared the 14 to the shape of a pear. A preview at Paris' Pompidou Centre as a bare bodyshell did little to win it customers. The car would later gain a reputation for premature body corrosion which saw the 14 being dubbed as the "rotten pear" by the motoring press. In France, "La poire"' (literally "the pear", but also slang for "gullible") still refers to the 14. However, the best-selling Renault 5 also had a reputation for premature body corrosion, but the stronger and more adequate advertising of the R5 helped boost its sales and resulted in it being a sales hit.

The car also had a reputation for being difficult to start in damp conditions. The placement of the temperature gauge on the transmission tunnel behind the gear-lever, rather than on the instrument panel where it was directly in the driver's field of view, led to incidents of engine damage if the engine overheated and the driver failed to notice.

Relaunch[edit]

Launched in October 1979, 1980 models featured repositioned direction indicators

For 1980 Renault attempted to improve sales by relaunching the car it with improved equipment levels and a minor facelift that included, most obviously from the outside, repositioned front indicators. But the damage was done and the production run ended in 1983 with precisely 993,193[6] units sold over a period of just under seven years. Sales in the domestic French market did improve somewhat with the redesign.[2] The 14 is now a rare sight on the roads of Europe, even in its home country of France where they have tended to last longer than elsewhere due mainly to easy parts availability through the extensive dealer network. Many Renault 14s were used by the French police in the 1980s.

Its joint successors, the 9 and 11 appeared in 1981 and early 1983, respectively. The front end of the pre-facelift Renault 9 looked similar to the front end of the post-facelift Renault 14. However, both the Renault 9 and 11 had more conservative exterior body styling.

Timeline[edit]

  • 1976 - The Renault 14 was launched in L and TL trim levels, both of which came with a 1.2 litre Peugeot engine.
  • 1979 - The higher-specification R14 TS was added to the lineup, providing more power thanks to a twin-chamber carburetor.
  • 1979 - Model name changes: the R14 L became the R14, while the R14 TL became the R14 GTL.
  • 1980 - The R14 TS gained a larger 1.4 litre engine.
  • 1980 - The R14 LS was added, featuring the 1.4 litre engine from the TS but a more basic equipment specification like the R14.
  • 1982 - The R14 GTL got a lower-powered economy-tune version of the 1.4 litre engine from the LS and TS.
  • 1983 - Production of the R14 ended; the car was replaced by the Renault 9/11.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Data according to: Automobil Revue, catalogue edition 1979, p. 470-71.
  2. ^ a b Costa, André & Georges-Michel Fraichard, ed. (September 1981). Salon 1981: Toutes les Voitures du Monde. l'Auto Journal (in french) (Paris: Homme N°1) (14 & 15): 116. 
  3. ^ "Renault 14: When Renault decided to build the 14,they elected to do so in a new factory....". Autocar: 41. 19 March 1977. 
  4. ^ a b "Midi-Renault". The Motor (magazine): pages 24–26. 29 May 1976. 
  5. ^ a b "Automobilia". Toutes les voitures françaises 1979 (salon 1978) (Paris: Histoire & collections). Nr. 84s: pages 44 & 48–49. 2006. 
  6. ^ "Road test: 1980 Renault 14 TL". Ran When Parked. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 

External links[edit]