fire wellA French-designed car, an important milestone in Argentine automotive history, two years after its birth in Europe, it hit the local market. be specially made At the Renault plant in Cordoba.
It all started when Renault France wanted to do a car breaker, with two doors and with the roof falling well behind. Plans began in 1976, and four years later, the model that succeeded the Renault 15 and 17, and which was based on the Renault 18, was already a reality with the Fuego Coupe.
The model debuted in Europe with great success and was a great wake-up call for the global automotive industry, accustomed to the design featuring high-end but not the biggest brands. However, its life in Europe was quite short and its successes accumulated beyond its parent company, as it did in Argentina.
40 years after the creation of the Renault Fuego in Argentina.
In 1981, a year after its launch in France, it was already announced in 1982 that it would be manufactured in Córdoba, where the brand still operates today in Santa Isabel, and where today the anniversary with the Renault Fuego club being celebrated and others. distinguished guest.
The reality of the long-awaited Coupe and Fuego
By the 1980s, Renault already had some experience with small coupes with fluoride 15 and 17. Even then, It was far from reaching the prestige of high-end manufacturers, while most direct rivals such as Opel or Ford directly abandoned that segment.
Regardless of the context, Renault got to work and built one, under the direction of Robert Opron (of Citron fame), with a design by Michael Jordin. ‘Fastback’ with rounded outline and a large sloping rear window, getting as a result car with low aerodynamic coefficient (cx) of 0.34. Production began at the French Maubuse Construction Automobile Plant.
One of the successes of this design was that the large trunk and four comfortable seats made the Fuego Coupé a practical model, a concept that was very prevalent at the time and highly valued. Other innovations were added to it, such as the fact that it was one of the first production cars with turbocharging, with resources derived from Formula 1, and very good standard equipment.
Renault celebrates anniversary with Club de la Coupe Fuego in Argentina.
In addition the selection of engines was very wide, all four cylinders, arranged for a long time. From 1.4 liter and 64 hp propellers to 2.0 liter 110 hp. Then a turbocharged 1.6-liter and 132 hp were added, with which the Renault Fuego reached a maximum speed of 200 km / h.
Its end in Europe, its continuation in America
From the moment of its first refurbishment in 1984, the Fuego Coupe was successful in both Europe and America, to the point of being the best-selling coupe in the Old Continent during 1981. However, year after year, sales fell and the model struggled to survive in European countries, where it was permanently discontinued in 1987.
His path in Argentina was different and he made many achievements. It was produced by a local subsidiary of Renault from 1982, receiving continuous restyling until 1992.
Among the versions leaving the plant in Córdoba was the GTX 2.2 in 1988, equipped with a modified 2,200 cm3 engine capable of developing 116 hp, with a main innovation being the inclusion of disc brakes on all 4 wheels.
Fire GTA . Born
Around the end of 1988, the GTA version of the Renault Fuego was presented similar to the GTX version, but with a total exterior redesign That included the body-colour trim.
Finally, in 1991 the GTA Max version was introduced, a Local development practiced on Fuego GTA, The main feature was its engine revamp, which went on to deliver 123 hp of power and was capable of reaching 198 km/h.
This latest version was developed by competition car designer Orest Bertas.He had a great relationship with the Argentine subsidiary of Renault, leading the brand’s official squad and winning several championships in the TC2000. Its performance and aerodynamic design allowed it to become a highly sought-after model in the 1980s and 1980s. Use in sports competitions for 90.
Renault Fuego GTAmax, manufactured in Argentina.
In Oreste’s case, he was accompanied by Juan María Traverso, who made the team “unbeatable” from 1986 to 1993, winning eight consecutive titles, six for Traverso, one for Oltra (with the Benavidez competition team) and Another for Guerra. The Ford Sierra XR4 couldn’t go on track with those coupes.
Legends of the Fire expanded to the Rio Negro circuit on April 3, 1988. In that test Traverso won with his Fuego almost under fire and caught the push of his opponent, Silvio Oltra. Upon exiting the car the pilot himself recounted his feat, “A hose broke and I began to lose oil, mainly on the exhaust pipe. I managed to spill out practically all of the lubricant over the last three laps, causing Engine temperature soared. Get it up to red hot.”
his last day
After great successes, and breaking the structure of everything known, In 1992, Renault’s Córdoba plant finished the Coupe Fuego.
Overall, it 19,952 units manufactured in Santa Isabel in a decadeWhile 265,257 copies were made worldwide.
Compared to other models, it does not find a logical explanation for its remembered importance in production and sales numbers, but the truth is that it is regarded as one of the most “revered” cars in the retinas of thousands of people around the world. is kept in. ,