Cars.  US Renault experience turns out to be catastrophic with “Premier”

Cars. US Renault experience turns out to be catastrophic with “Premier”


In 1976, Renault decided to attack the American market. With this, he established a partnership with the AMC brand to distribute the R5 which became “Le Car” on the other side of the Atlantic. A slight failure because Americans are not ready for the city’s small cars.

AMC is not performing well and regulators are taking control and creating a range from its French designs adopted according to American requirements: R9 and R11.

The Nevada R21 will follow quickly, becoming the Medallion. But this is not enough. America wants a sedan, over the ranks; Renault itampa.



The profile of the central cell is recognizable but limited by the hydraulic structure. With a Cx of 0.31, Giugiaro worked well. Although the car has smaller external dimensions than those of the American “medium-sized” sedan, it offers a space worthy of “full size”. Photo DR

Giugiaro at work

Robert Opron, designer of Renault, will create a design studio in the USA, California, at the AMC premises. The other teams, the Italdesign team in Turin and Giorgetto Giugiaro work together to select the best project.

Eventually, the work will be shared; Italdesign sets the exterior style with a bow and sharpness with key targets but Cx of 0.31.

The interior is an American work that avoids the trap of European design. The dashboard is large and the interior has deep seats.

Style is a patch

AMC-Renault is building a new factory in Bramalea (Ontario, Canada) to produce the Premier.

A car that must be built with ready-made parts without sacrificing a lot of European coffins; The platform is from R21 slightly extended and the doors are taken from R21 and R25.

Wiring is equal to 21; locks and remote are from Neiman. Fortunately, the Prime Minister deceives unless you consider his biography, which reminds you of something …


An ad that will no longer be used today… The message is targeted.  Photo DR
An ad that will no longer be used today… The message is targeted. Photo DR

The Prime Minister was in the ranks

Presented at the North American car show in Detroit in January 1987, the car went on sale in two versions: the LX and ES. The ES is a long version, equipped with a 3-liter gearbox, 150 hp PRV V6 and a ZF automatic gearbox; The LX receives AMC 2.5 l 4-cylinder with automatic gearbox.

The middle version of the DL was to receive 4 cylinders and a manual gearbox. The equipment, as well as velvet-covered chairs, was rich with the presence of a computer on board.

DL will never be sold. A two-door version in 1989 with a 1990 station car was planned.

Water project

In November 1986, Renault CEO Georges Besse was assassinated by Action Directe; Raymond Lévy inherits and redistributes the card. Renault’s financial situation is deteriorating because of its operations in Europe and Raymond Lévy is far from sharing the company’s aspirations in the United States.

Thus, the AMC-Renault subsidiary was quickly sold to Chrysler in March 1987; Chrysler puts the Jeep and Eagle alone.

AMC and Renault cars disappear from the environment after the production of 200 Premier. It was Eagle who sold the Premier, then Dodge under the Monaco name from 1990.



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