Renault 9 and 11

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Renault 9 / 11
R9 phase 1 bis Broadway.jpg
Renault 9 phase 1 bis_Broadway
Production1981–1989 (France)
1983–1987 (United States)
1983–1996 (Taiwan)
1984–1997 (Argentina)
1983–1999 (Colombia)
1985–2000 (Turkey)
DesignerRobert Opron
Body and chassis
ClassSmall family car (C)
Body style
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel drive
PredecessorRenault 14
SuccessorRenault 19

The Renault 9 and Renault 11 are small family cars produced by the French manufacturer Renault for model years 1981–1988 in saloon (Renault 9) and hatchback (Renault 11) configurations — both were styled by the French automobile designer, Robert Opron.

Variants were manufactured by American Motors Corporation (AMC), as the Renault Alliance and Renault Encore for the North American market. The car was produced in Turkey until 2000.

The models use a transverse front-wheel drive engine configuration, and feature four wheel independent suspension. They were chosen the European Car of the Year for 1982, as well as the Motor Trend Car of the Year from Motor Trend and Car and Driver 10Best from Car and Driver (C/D) for 1983.


Renault 9 (phase 1)

There were three facelifts given to the Renault 9/11 during its career. However, the Renault 11 that was released in 1983 was only available in phases 2, 3, and 4. There was never a phase 1 Renault 11, which leads to some confusion. The Phase 1 is the original model released in 1981 as the Renault 9, Phase 2 was released in 1983 when the Renault 11 was also introduced, while the more aerodynamic Phase 3 appeared in 1987.

Finally, the Phase 4, which was not sold in most of Europe, was released in Turkey in 1997. This final revision had more rounded head and tail lights, as well as ovoid body cladding around the bumpers and boot lid, which aimed to give the car a more modern look. It carried an "Broadway" badge as well as the Renault 9 designation, but note that "Broadway" had already been used on special editions of the earlier phase models.


Renault 9 Turbo (phase 2)
Renault 9 phase 3, rear

The Renault 9 was launched in October 1981 as a four-door saloon (in right-hand drive form for the UK market in March 1982), while the 11 was launched at the beginning of 1983 (in the UK from June that year) as a three or five door hatchback.

Both had been developed under the Renault code name L42, and were designed by Robert Opron.[1] Renault had begun the conception of the Renault 9 in 1977, as a "four metre" model (referring to its length) to fit between the Renault 5 and the Renault 14.

Opron conceived a traditional three box design to appeal to the traditional customer and avoid the poor reception that had met the Renault 14's styling. Exhaustive consumer studies suggested that buyers rejected innovation, resulting in a rather nondescript design, albeit of modest elegance.

By the time the models entered production, Renault had assigned more than 500 people to the project, logging 14,500,000 hours of study and testing, constructing 44 prototypes, testing 130 engines, and test driving prototypes more than 2.2 million km.[2]

1985 Renault 9TL Biarritz 1.4
Renault 9 second facelift (phase 3)

Both cars were also more conservatively engineered, although they retained front wheel drive, Renault abandoned the Douvrin (or "Suitcase") transmission in sump engine which it had shared with Peugeot-Citroen in the Renault 14, in favour of its in house power unit – the venerable C-type "Cléon" engine with an end on mounted transmission. This mechanical layout, along with the 9/11's suspension design, was to become the basis of all small Renaults for the next 15 years or so.

The Renault 9 was awarded the 1982 European Car of the Year, while the Alliance appeared on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 1983,[3] and was the 1983 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The well-equipped Renault 11 TSE Electronic of 1983 was the first car in its class to have a synthetically voiced trip computer, but only because Renault moved up its launch date by a few days in order to get ahead of Austin's Maestro Vanden Plas.[4]

Although the 9 and 11 cars had different names and body styles, they were identical under the skin, and were intended to jointly replace the older Renault 14. The 11 was also distinguishable from the 9 by its front end, which featured square twin headlights, which had been introduced on the North American Alliance. The 9 also received this new front end in 1985, and both models were face lifted for a final time with matching nose and interior upgrades for the model year of 1987.

A version of the 9 was manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in the United States as the Renault Alliance and bearing a small AMC badge. With 623,573 examples manufactured for model years 1982–1987, AMC offered the Alliance as a four-door sedan, two door sedan (with higher rear wheel arches than the four door) and as a convertible, beginning in 1984.

The Renault 9 and 11 continued in production in France until 1989, a year after the launch of the Renault 19. However, production continued in other countries, with the end finally coming after nearly twenty years when production in Turkey was discontinued in 2000.


The Renault 11 Turbo was used extensively by Renault Sport for their Group A car in the 1987 World Rally Championship. Frenchman Alain Oreille managed a Group N victory in the 1985 Rallye Monte Carlo,[5] followed by the Group A victory in 1986 (enough for an eighth finish overall).[6] A Renault 11 Turbo was, however, piloted to a second and third-place finishes in the 1987 Portuguese Rally and San Remo Rally respectively with Jean Ragnotti in the driver's seat. The 11 Turbo also won the national Polish Rally Championship in 1985 and 1988, and both the Swiss and Portuguese rally championships in 1987. Its last result of importance was Oreille's fourth place overall in the 1988 Rallye Monte Carlo.[7]


Post-facelift (phase 3) Renault 11
Renault 9 Broadway (phase 4, Turkey)
Rear view of the Renault 11
Phase 3 Renault 11 GTL (with Turbo alloys)

At launch, both cars used Renault's ageing Cléon-Fonte engine overhead valve engines in either 1.1  or 1.4 litre format, and a basic suspension design which won few plaudits for the driving experience. The exceptions were the 9 Turbo and the 11 Turbo hot hatch, which used the turbocharged engine from the Renault 5.

The 11 Turbo was introduced first, and originally only with three door bodywork. Unlike the 5 Turbo or the 205 GTi, the 11 Turbo had a more comfort oriented focus.[8] Although the cars were heavier than the Renault 5, the increased power in later models was enough to ensure higher performance, thanks to its 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp). The rally tuned version was impressively fast, producing about 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp).

The newer F type engine which had been developed in collaboration with Volvo appeared from the end of 1983 on in twin carburetted 1,721 cc guise (F2N), powering the upmarket GTX, GTE, TXE, and TXE Electronic (Electronique in France) versions. These larger engined versions were specifically developed with American needs in mind, although they also happened to be well suited for a changing European market.[9]

Later iterations also received fuel injected engines. The Alliance and Encore, while comparatively underpowered, had a definite advantage in ride and handling against other small cars available in America at the time and even had their own SCCA spec racing series, the Alliance Cup.


  • TC – 1.1 L – 1,108 cc; 48 PS (35 kW)
  • GTC – 1.2 L – 1,237 cc; 55 PS (40 kW)
  • TL – 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 60 PS (44 kW)
  • GTL – 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 68 PS (50 kW)
  • GTS - 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 72 PS (53 kW)
  • TSE – 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 72 PS (53 kW)
  • TX - 1.7 L – 1,721 cc; 75 PS (55 kW)
  • TXE – 1.7 L – 1,721 cc; 82 PS (60 kW)
  • GTX – 1.7 L – 1,721 cc; 90 PS (66 kW)
  • GTE – 1.7 L – 1,721 cc; 95 PS (70 kW)
  • Turbo – 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 115 PS (85 kW)
  • Turbo – 1.4 L – 1,397 cc; 105 PS (77 kW)
  • GTD – 1.6 L – 1,595 cc; 55 PS (40 kW)
  • TDE – 1.6 L – 1,595 cc; 55 PS (40 kW)

Different versions around the world[edit]


Renault 11 in Argentina, built in Buenos Aires

The Renault 11 was manufactured between October 1984 and December 1994 in Renault Argentina's Santa Isabel plant with the following trim levels: GTL, RL, RN, TR, TS, TSE, TXE with the 1.4 M1400 engine by Renault Argentina and after by CIADEA. Manufacture of the Renault 9 began in 1987 until 1997 in the same versions and engines, plus the 1.6 like the R11 and according to ADEFA 144,262 vehicles made (R9) and 79,037 (R11). Today, the R9 is a very popular car in the country, like in the small and the big cities.

All versions of the R11 and R9 manufactured in Argentina, as well as in Colombia and Turkey, suffered the problems that the material with which the dashboard is made degraded with ultraviolet rays, and ends cracking (especially on the right side, since it doesn't have the steering column that supports it).


SOFASA started manufacturing the Renault 9 in 1983, launching the version GTL with 1400 cc and 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp). This model's engine capacity was reduced to 1300 cc and became the entry model when the better equipped GTS (1400 cc) was launched in 1985.

The next European facelifted versions of the Renault 9 in the country were known as the Gama 2. In 1987, the TL (1300 cc) was introduced followed by the more advanced TSE 1.3 and GTX 1.4 in 1988. The latter featured front power windows, a spoiler, and a better interior. The new top of the range TXE was launched in 1989, and introduced updated front lights, power mirrors and the TIR – An infrared remote control to operate the locks. In 1990, SOFASA marketed a 50 vehicle, 50th special edition Prestige with leather seats and alloy rims.

In 1992, these versions ceased production and three models were introduced: The basic Brío (1.3 L), the mid range Súper (1.3 L) and the Máximo (1.6 L). In 1995, the Brío was renamed Brío RN, so it could be differentiated from the more sophisticated Brío RT. A more powerful variant of the RT was called Óptimo.

By the middle of 1996, SOFASA decided to experiment a much more flexible way to offer cars to the market. Called R9 Personnalité, the idea allowed customers to choose from different engines and accessories so they could assemble the car they wanted within their budget. This was possible through special software in dealerships. A year later, a facelifted version featured fuel injection, assisted steering, and a completely new interior.

After 16 years of production, the Renault 9 was discontinued in Colombia, and was replaced by the Renault 19 and the Renault Mégane. It became the quintessential family car in Colombia, reaching over 115,000 units built and sold between 1983 and 1999, a record in the automotive Colombian history up to that time.[10]


Oyak-built Renault 9

Built by Oyak-Renault in Bursa, the Renault 9 retained the original "Phase 1" bodystyle into the 1990s. A modernized, more ovoid design (phase 4) was released in Turkey in 1997 and was sold there until 2000. From 1996, the 1.4 litre engine (the only size available) received fuel injection in order to meet European emissions standards.

United States and Canada[edit]

U.S. 1987 Renault Alliance Convertible

The subcompact sized automobile was manufactured and marketed in North America by American Motors Corporation (AMC) as the Renault Alliance from model years 1983 to 1987, and with a three and five door hatchback variant, the Renault Encore marketed beginning in 1984. For 1987, AMC offered the one year only GTA Sedan and Convertible, which included a 2.0 L engine, sport suspension, aerodynamic body kit, and Ronal wheels. The Encore was renamed to Alliance Hatchback in the same year.

Production of the Alliance and GTA was discontinued after Chrysler's buyout of AMC in 1987. A total of 623,573 units were manufactured.


  1. ^ Byars, Mel (2004). The design encyclopedia. The Museum of Modern Art. p. 544. ISBN 978-0-87070-012-5.
  2. ^ "Histoire de la Renault 9" [Renault 9: History] (in French). Renault 9 et 11 Club de France. Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ "1983 AMC/Renault Alliance – 10 Best Cars". Car and Driver. January 1983. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  4. ^ Renaux, Jean-Jacques (1983-03-10). "BL passe la 3ème vitesse" [BL puts it into third]. Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 34 (764): 10.
  5. ^ Bridier, Gérard (April 1985). "Alain Oreille: à la force du poignet" [Of wrist strength]. Echappement (in French). Paris, France: Michael Hommell (198): 139.
  6. ^ Tinkkanen, Jouni. "Rallye Monte Carlo 1986, final results". Jonkka's World Rally Archives. Retrieved 2014-09-14.
  7. ^ Tinkkanen, Jouni. "Rallye Monte Carlo 1988, final results". Jonkka's World Rally Archives. Retrieved 2014-09-14.
  8. ^ De Leener, Philippe (1984-04-19). "Renault 11 Turbo". Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 35 (793): 129–130.
  9. ^ Pirotte, Marcel (1984-02-23). "Renault 11 TXE". Le Moniteur de l'Automobile (in French). Brussels, Belgium: Editions Auto-Magazine. 35 (789): 34–35.
  10. ^ "Renault 9 (1983–2000)" (in Spanish). 7 March 2005. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007.

External links[edit]

Media related to Renault 9 at Wikimedia Commons Media related to Renault 11 at Wikimedia Commons