Renault R17 Profile

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Renault R17 General Information

It is a real shame that this car did never get more recognition and success than it did. But there are 2 remarkable key subjects in the story of the Renault R17:

1st it is amazing how marketing affected rallying already in the early 1970s. Renault found themselves in exact the same situation as Ford and Lancia. Ford created the GT70 as a purpose built rally car alongside the Escort Mk1. For Lancia it was the Stratos to be the purpose built rally car with the Beta Coupé living alongside it. Renault had through their Alpine daughter brand the A110. The A110 was in contrast to the Stratos and the GT70 not a purpose built rally car, it was more a sporty plastic kit around a tubular subframe using Renault technology. It was built for a certain species of customers in the first place and more or less by coincidence a perfect rally car. The Renault Alpine A110 won the 1973 makes title and such, like the Stratos, was hugely successful - this is the difference at Ford, the GT70 was at least off tarmac no quicker than the Escort, so it seemed easy for Ford to kill off their super car in favour of the road car lookalike Escort for marketing reasons. Here Renault was more in line with Lancia: The success of their rally super car could not stop Renault thinking about its marketing value for Renault road cars, yet it was the same success that hindered the road car based rally car to turn into a big story.

2nd the Renault R17 was a beauty at the time. It was an unusual road car as what Renault did was to turn two different sporty coupés out of the R16 base. Actually R15 & R17 were quite independent designs, the platform was more related to the R12 but engines and gearboxes based on the R16. If it is difficult to position these R15 & R17 coupés, both were later replaced by the Renault Fuego. But the Fuego never showed the aggression of an R17 and was clearly a coupé version of the 4-door saloon R18. If you remember the R16 was a big hatchback, about Renault Mégane size or even bigger and unfortunately there are not many sexy coupés around in that Mégane, Focus, Golf, Astra category these days, are there? Back in the early 1970s Renault turned out these two coupés: R15 & R17. The attempt was probably comparable to Alfa Romeo's Alfetta GT and the GTV6. Both sporty Renault coupés were of similar size and created on the same platform. The R15 was a functional, civil coupé with loads of glass area. The R17 was its big, sporty sister with huge, brutal looking rear pillars and twin head lights. If you remember that we are talking about the early 1970s, they really were gorgeous cars at the time.

To turn the R17 into a rally car was a brilliant idea. Renault is another make that has a rally heritage dating back decades earlier than the WRC exists. And engine tuner Amadée Gordini always worked close with the team. There were well famous Renault rally cars like R8 Gordini or R12 Gordini. And the same link was used for the R17 Gordini. And the car was good. Jean-Luc Thérier won on the R17 Gordini's only 2nd WRC start, the Press on Regardless in the USA 1974. But unfortunately this is as far as the success story would go. On most events the car struggled to keep up with the Alpine and in the long run Renault not only threw their weight behind the Alpine again, but for some reason concentrated more and more on French events only.

Renault R17 Related Content

Renault R17 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Renault R17 Gordini (74-76) 160/7000 180/6000 4260.1630.1310 980 (6.1) FWD (2440)
Renault R17 TS (72-76) 125/6250 150/4500 4260.1630.1310 980 (7.8) FWD (2440)

Random Renault R17 Photos

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Renault R17 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
45th. 1980 WRC Rally of Great Britain P. Thomas . UNKNOWN #112 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
10th. 1977 WRC Acropolis Rally R. de Libran J. du Roure #25 [UNKNOWN] 12:06:11
6th. 1976 WRC Rally Morocco J. Privé C. Tilber #16 [UNKNOWN] 22:34:17
5th. 1975 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo J. Piot J. de Alexandris #20 [UNKNOWN] 6:51:15
6th. 1974 WRC USA Press on Regardless Rally B. Darniche A. Mahé #4 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
1st. 1974 WRC USA Press on Regardless Rally J. Thérier C. Delferrier #12 [UNKNOWN] 5:29:47
3rd. 1974 WRC USA Press on Regardless Rally J. Nicolas G. Phillips #9 [UNKNOWN] 5:35:49
8th. 1974 WRC Tour de Corse J. Piot J. Jaubert #12 [UNKNOWN] 5:37:45

Renault R17 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1976 WRC Safari Rally J. Privé . UNKNOWN #23 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally Morocco F. Turcot G. Passat #95 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally J. Piot J. de Alexandris #35 [UNKNOWN] SS99 clutch
Ret. 1975 WRC Safari Rally J. Simonian P. Huth #31 [UNKNOWN] SS99 driveshaft
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally J. Piot J. Jaubert #9 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1974 WRC Safari Rally J. Nicolas C. Delferrier #17 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine