Renault Celebrates 40 Years Of Turbos With Special Display In Paris
It is often said that racing, and especially Formula 1, improves the breed; that the technology developed in the racing will in time to improve the cars we can buy for the road. And Renault is determined to prove as much at the Rétromobile show which is about to get underway in Paris, as it is showcasing the transfer of turbocharged engine technology from its F1 racing to its production cars by displaying 11 of its turbo models on its stand, including one that 40 years ago become the first turbocharged car to win an F1 race.
Renault introduced the turbocharged engine to F1 when it made its debut as an F1 constructor in the 1977 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. And two years later on its home round in France at the Dijon circuit Renault become the first turbocharged car to win an F1 race, with Jean-Pierre Jabouille triumphing and his team-mate René Arnoux following him home in third after a famous and frenzied battle with second-placed Gilles Villeneuve’s Ferrari. Renault in subsequent years was a contender for F1 championships yet fell short of becoming F1’s first turbocharged world champion, missing out at the last of the 1983 season to Nelson Piquet’s turbo BMW powered Brabham in the drivers’ title and to Ferrari, which also used turbo engines that year, in the constructors’ championship. Renault pulled out of F1 as a constructor at the end of 1985, by which time–underlining the extent that Renault had been a trailblazer–the entire F1 field used turbo engines. Turbos were then phased out of F1 by regulation for the start of the 1989 season, but brought back under a technical overhaul introducing hybrids engines for the start of 2014.
And to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Jabouille’s groundbreaking Dijon win as well as impact the turbocharging technology has had on Renault’s road cars 11 turbo-engined Renaults, including a 1979 RS01 F1 car and an early 1980 example of the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo (of which just 1820 were made, and homologated for rallying) will be displayed on Renault’s 600 m² stand at the Rétromobile show at the Porte de Versailles, which starts on Wednesday this week and continues until Sunday. The range of road cars starts with the 1980 Renault 18 Turbo and goes through to the 2018 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy.
Also a Renault Estafette van–a model celebrating its 60th birthday this year–adorned with the colors of the 1979 F1 team is serving as a store. The cars are exhibited by Renault Classic which maintains and operates ‘The Renault collection’, which comprises over 750 vehicles marking key milestones and innovations in the company’s century-plus long history. The cars are regularly showcased at exhibitions and shows as well as at vintage races and other events.
Images courtesy of Renault