Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Car Of The Day: October 2, 2012

Today's car of the day is Majorette's 1978 Renault 5.

The Renault 5 (also called the R5) is a supermini produced by French automaker Renault in two generations between 1972 and 1996, and sold in the US as Le Car, from 1976 to 1983. Nearly 5.5 million were built.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Renault 5

The Love LeCar!  Wait, this isn't Herbie!  I'm not exactly sure what Majorette was thinking in introducing a pink Renault covered in hearts.  Are the Care Bears in need of a new ride?  Cause if so, this is it.

The Renault 5 was first unveiled on 10 December 1971, being launched at the beginning of 1972.

The Renault 5 was styled by Michel Boué, who died before the car's release, the R5 featured a steeply sloping rear hatchback and front dashboard. Boué had wanted the tail-lights to go all the way up from the bumper into the C-pillar, in the fashion of the much later Fiat Punto and Volvo 850 Estate / Wagon, but the lights remained at a more conventional level. The 5 narrowly missed out on the 1973 European Car of the Year award, which was instead given to the Audi 80.

The R5 borrowed mechanicals from the Renault 4, using a longitudinally-mounted engine driving the front wheels with torsion bar suspension. OHV engines were borrowed from the Renault 4, Renault 8, and Renault 16, and ranged from 850 to 1,400 cc.

Early R5s used a dashboard-mounted gearshift (the gearbox is in front of the engine)—later replaced with a floor-mounted shifter. Door handles were formed by a cut-out in the door panel and B-pillar. The R5 was one of the first cars produced with plastic (polyester and glass fibre) bumpers that have become an industry standard.

The R5's engine was set well back in the engine bay, above and half behind the gear box, allowing the stowage of the spare wheel under the bonnet/hood, an arrangement that freed more space for passengers and luggage within the cabin. The passenger compartment "is remarkably spacious" in comparison to other modern, small European cars. The Renault 5 body's drag coefficient was only 0.37 (with most European cars going up to 0.45).

Other versions of the first generation included the four-door sedan version called the Renault 7 and built by FASA-Renault of Spain. A five-door R5 was added to the range in 1979. The Renault 5 achieved, like the original Mini, a cult status.

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