Renault 19 Chamade Prima
The Renault 19 was a small family car released by the French manufacturer in 1988. It was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and featured Renault's new E-type ("Energy") engine ranging from 1.2 L to 1.8 L, and base models used the OHV C-type "Cléon" engine. The 19, to be Renault's last car with a numeric name, marked the beginning of a new naming policy, with the sedan versions known as the 19 Chamade until 1992, when a facelift was introduced. In 1991 a convertible bodystyle was added, manufactured by Karmann. Whilst the exterior design of the R19 was conservative, the interior and handling were praised for their comfort. In summer 1992, the model was revamped with a restyled front and rear, and a new dashboard and interior only in left-hand drive versions. The 19 remained in production for the European market until 1995, and is currently being manufactured for South American markets in Argentina. Its platform and running gear were used for its replacement, the first generation Mégane.
The hot hatch version of the 19 featured a bonnet air inlet, spoiler, 15" Speedline alloy wheels, sideskirts, bucket seats and a trip computer. Its braking system was upgraded with 259 mm vented disc brakes on the front and regular disc brakes on the rear, as well as an uprated lower suspension setup. The Phase 1 edition also had unique bumpers, and the Phase 2 had colour-coded tops, rubber inserts and a discreet lower splitter, but the same bumpers as the rest of the range. The very last models were called 'executives' and came with leather interiors as standard. The 16s version also existed, but without the bonnet vent, and the gear ratios were revised for the extra weight in the safety equipment of the later models. With 137 bhp, the 19 could reach 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds, an impressive performance for a 1.8 litre normally aspirated engine in a reasonably priced car of its day. Through the 19 and the Renault 5 GT Turbo, Renault Sport was established, which produces high-performance versions of standard Renault models.
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