Renault 18: Wikis


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Renault 18
Renault 18 sedan (North America)
Manufacturer Renault
Production 1978 – 1986
Assembly Billancourt, France
Envigado, Colombia
Ciudad Sahagùn, Mexico
Santa Isabel, Argentina
Mariara, Venezuela
Novo Mesto, Slovenia
Heidelberg, Australia
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Casablanca, Morocco
Colón, Uruguay
Valladolid, España
Predecessor Renault 12
AMC Concord
Successor Renault 21
Renault Medallion
Class Large family car
Mid-size car
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
4-door station wagon (Renault Sportwagon)
Layout FF layout
Engine(s) 1.4 L I4
1.6 L I4
1.6 L turbocharged I4
2.0 L I4
2.1 L diesel I4
2.2 L I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Related Renault Fuego

The Renault 18 is a large family car produced by French manufacturer Renault between 1978 and 1993 (with production for European markets finishing in 1986).



The Renault 18 was intended as a replacement for the Renault 12, which had been in production since 1969, though the 12 continued in production alongside the 18 until 1980. Unlike the earlier car, the 18 was designed rather quickly; the time between its initial conception and its actual launch was only eighteen months. Although Renault made numerous forays into international markets in countries such as Brazil with cars like the Renault 12, the Renault 18 was the first Renault intended as a true "world car", hence the slogan Meeting International Requirements. As well as France, the car went on to be manufactured in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Morocco, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela, with assembly line in Slovenia and sold in Algeria, Austria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Senegal, Sweden, Syria, the United Kingdom, the United States, Thailand, Turkey, and Zimbabwe.

Renault 18s in the UK

A survey by Auto Express magazine in 2006 revealed that the Renault 18 was the third-most scrapped car in Britain, with just 317 still in working order.

The initial range

After it went into production at Renault's Flins factory in France in December 1977, the Renault 18 was presented at the Geneva Salon in March 1978, with marketing sales beginning the following month.

Renault 18 saloon

Initially, the R18 was only available as a four-door saloon, in TL, GTL, TS and GTS trim variations. The TL and GTL were powered by the 1397 cc Renault Cléon petrol engine (which was developed from the 1289 cc engine from the Renault 12), which produced 64 PS (47 kW; 63 hp). Both models had a 4-speed gearbox. The TS and GTS were powered by the 1647 cc A-Type engine (which was the same as used in the Renault 17 TS) but without the fuel injection, which lowered the output to 79 PS (58 kW; 78 hp). The TS had a 4-speed manual gearbox, while the GTS had a 5-speed gearbox (with optional 3-speed electronic automatic transmission available for both models. The automatic versions of the TS and GTS models were called the TS Automatic and GTS Automatic to distinguish them from their manual transmission counterparts.

The 18 was Renault's first car to use the 1.4 L Cléon engine in the medium-size car sector. A point of interest with the 18 was its wheels: unusually for a car of such relatively large size, it utilized 3-stud wheels (similar to that of the Citroën 2CV), rather than the 4- or even 5-stud wheels of most of its competitors. The 18 gained 4-stud wheels in 1980.

The first estate models

Renault 18 wagon

By the late 1970s, European production of the Renault 12 was being gradually wound down, followed by the arrival of the estate versions of the Renault 18 on 1 March 1979. The R18 Estate ("Break" in French-speaking countries) was only available in TL and TS model variations. They were mechanically identical to their saloon counterparts except the rear suspension used in the estates was more like that in the bigger Renault 20 and Renault 30. As for equipment specifications, the estates were identical to the saloons, except the TS estate additionally featured shock-absorbent bumpers, door mouldings, and front seat head restraints from the 18 GTL saloon. The estate proved almost as popular as the saloon.

The Renault 18 estate was also sold (as the "Sportwagon") through American Motors (AMC) in the North American market from 1981 to 1986, and the saloon in 1981–82 as the Renault 18i. However, it was not a success. It was replaced by the Renault 21's North American equivalent, the Eagle Medallion.

The 18 was discontinued in Europe in 1986, but continued in production until 1993 in South America. In Argentina and Colombia, there were other versions too, namely the TX and GTX. The TX being the initial 1982 model, featuring the Douvrin 2.0 L four-cylinder powerplant, a first for a production 18 worldwide (there was a need for a powerful car to replace the Renault Torino luxury-sports range). There was also the GTX-II, featuring a basic on-board computer that displayed fuel consumption, etc. It was available with 1.6 L (TL), 2.0 L and 2.2 L engines. There was a special edition of the 18 with two-tone paint (black top and light grey bottom) called the American (later updated with central locking and other items, which was named the American 2).


  • April 1978: The Renault 18 went into production.
  • 1980: All models gained a new alternator with built-in electronic regulator.
  • July 1980: The 18 Diesel was added; it was mechanically similar to the Renault 20 Diesel, coming equipped with a 2068cc engine (rated at 66 bhp (49 kW)), negative offset front suspension, and larger four-stud wheels. The 18 Diesel came in two trim levels: TD and GTD. The basic TD (which was available as both a saloon and estate) had a four-speed gearbox and the equipment level of the TS, while the GTD (which was exclusively available as a saloon) had a five-speed gearbox and the equipment level of the GTS. Power-assisted steering was optional on the GTD, while a five-speed gearbox was optional on the TD.
  • 1981: Introduction of the 18 Turbo. It had the 1565cc engine (rated at 110 bhp (82 kW) bhp, five-speed gearbox, front suspension set-up from the Diesel models, four-stud alloy wheels, rear spoiler, dashboard and interior fittings from the Renault Fuego.
  • 1982: The negative offset front suspension previously available in the Turbo and Diesel models was now made standard across the 18 range. Outside, the front indicator lenses were now clear instead of orange, while the bumpers and door handles were now black polyester instead of chrome. Inside, the seats were restyled. The TL was now available with a five-speed gearbox (only as an option). The GTL obtained an "economy-tune" 73 bhp (54 kW) version of the 1647 cc engine, as well as a five-speed gearbox, higher final drive ratio, electronic ignition and an econometer gauge.
  • 1983: All models gained a front air dam, while the saloons additionally gained a rear spoiler. The three-stud wheel rims were replaced with the larger four-stud wheel rims (with the Base, TL and TD just having center caps, and the GTL, Automatic, GTS and GTD all having full wheel trims).
  • 1984: Introduction of the 18 GTX in France.
  • 1986: Renault 21 is launched as the 18's eventual replacement and the 18 is withdrawn from sale in the UK.
  • 1989: European production of the Renault 18 is discontinued. 2,028,964 Renault 18s were built in France alone.
  • 1993: The last Renault 18 rolls off the production line in Argentina.

Trim levels

Index Name Production Years Engine Size Notes
Renault 18 TL 1978–1986 1397 cc Specification includes:

Two-speed wipers
Intermittent screen wipe
Electric screen washers
Volt meter
Engine coolant temperature gauge
Fuel gauge
Six-figure mileage recorder
Trip recorder
Handbrake warning light
Defective front brake discs warning light
Day/night position for interior rear view mirror
Rheostat for adjusting brightness of dashboard lights
Illuminated ashtray, heater panel, boot and glove box
Heated rear screen
Anti-dazzle headlight adjustment
Adjustment for direction of headlight beam
Cigarette lighter
Drivers side sun visor
Passengers side sun visor
Vanity mirror in passengers side sun visor
Full carpeting
Cloth upholstery
Front armrests with grab handles
Rear armrests
Ashtrays in the rear doors
Childproof rear door locks
Passengers side interior courtesy light
Front door pockets
Center console incorporating coin tray
Reclining front seats
Loudspeakers in front doors.

Renault 18 GTL 1978–1986 1397 cc (1978-1982)
1647 cc (1982-1986)
Specification of TL plus:

Foam-filled steering wheel
H4 iodine headlights
Quartz clock
Velour upholstery
Styled wheels
Drivers side interior courtesy light
Map reading light for front seat passenger
Remote-adjustable driver's side door mirror
Rear fog lights
Headlight wash/wipe system
Pre-installation radio equipment
Shock absorbent bumpers
Adjustable front seat head restraints
Black rubber protective side mouldings.

Renault 18 LS 1979–1981 1647 cc Specification of TL, but sport-oriented.
Renault 18 TS 1978–1982 1647 cc Specification of TL, plus:

Foam-filled steering wheel
H4 iodine headlights
Quartz clock
Velour upholstery
Styled wheels
Drivers side interior courtesy light
Map reading light for front seat passenger.

Renault 18 GTS 1978–1983 1647 cc Specification of GTL, plus:

Electric front windows
Central locking

Renault 18 TD 1980–1985 2068 cc Diesel Turbo-diesel variant, no trim level.
Renault 18 GTD 1980–1986 2068 cc Diesel GTS trim level with diesel engine, 2.1-litre

External links

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