2024 Renault Rafale

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The new 2024 Renault Rafale is basically a shorter “coupe” version of the recently introduced new generation Renault Espace (Which, of course, morphed from a cool Minivan into yet another SUV).

Although at least Renault made some effort and gave both cars different designs, they share most of their interiors. I think the Rafale design is quite a mess, with enough lines to actually design 2 more cars. This is just way overdone everywhere. Inside and out. While at the same time, ending up looking quite generic. Without the Renault logo, it could basically be anything from anyone, including a variety of Chinese manufacturers.

Let’s play the “old man card” here and reminisce a bit about the much simpler-looking designs Renault used to offer here in the US, a long long time ago…

The Fuego coupe was always one of my favorites. I think this car still looks modern today. With much more personality than anything Renault has to offer today. It was sold in the US from 1982 to 1985 through AMC dealers.

The Renault 18 was sold as a sedan and wagon and both versions were offed in the US from 1981 to 1983 for the sedan, and until 1986 for the wagon. The US model was of course not as clean looking as the car sold elsewhere with its huge 5MPG bumpers and smaller sealed-beam headlights.

Of course, the Renault most Americans remember is the LeCar compact. Which was trying very hard to compete against the VW Rabbit. The Renault LeCar was an Americanized version of the Renault 5 and was available in the US from 1976 to 1983.

How about going bat even further with the cool Renault 17 coupe? It was actually sold in the US until 1979.

Renault isn’t the only French manufactures guilty of super busy designs these days. They all do it. Peugeot and especially Citroen currently offer mostly overdone, forced, and ostentatious designs. Which is really too bad…

Conversation 2 comments

  1. Thank you for the memories. I almost bought a Le Car Black Beauty with a pull back fabric roof in 78. It only had 3 lug nuts on the wheels which concerned me. If I lost one, could I drive it with only 2? I bought a Fiat 131 which was bigger for my trips back and forth to my Marine Corps base in NC.

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