Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki

Renault 9

The Renault 9 and Renault 11 are two small family cars produced by the French manufacturer Renault for model years 1981-1988 in sedan (Renault 9) and hatchback (Renault 11) configurations — both styled by prominent French automobile designer, Robert Opron.

Variants were manufactured by American Motors, as the Renault Alliance (1983-1987) and Renault Encore (1984-1987) for the North American market — as well as for the Colombian market from 1983-1999.

The models use a transverse front-wheel drive engine configuration feature four-wheel independent suspension. They were chosen the European Car of the Year for 1982 as well as the Motor Trend Car of the Year.


There were 4 phases of Renault 9/11. All though Renault 11 that was released in 1983 was only available in phases 2 and 3. So phase 2 of renault 9 is phase 1 of renault 11. So there is much confusion about the phase naming. The phase 1 was released in 1981 when renault 9 was released, phase 2 released in 1983 when renault 11 was released, phase 3 in 1987 and the phase 4 called "broadway" that was never released in Europe, was released in turkey in year 1997.


The Renault 9 was launched in the fall of 1981 as a four-door saloon while the 11 arrived in the spring of 1983 as a three or five-door hatchback.

Both had been developed under the Renault code name L42 and were designed by Robert Opron. Renault had begun the conception of the Renault 9 in 1977, as a "four meter" model (referring to its length) to fit between the Renault 5 and the Renault 14. Opron conceived a traditional three-box design to appeal to the traditional customer and avoid the poor reception that had met the Renault 14's styling. Exhaustive consumer clinics suggested buyers rejected innovation, resulting in a non-descript design, albeit of modest elegance. By the time the models entered production, Renault had assigned more than 500 people to the project, logging 14,500,000 hours of study and testing, constructing 44 prototypes, testing 130 engines, and test-driving prototypes more than 2.2 million km.

The Renault 9 was awarded the 1982 European Car of the Year, while the Alliance appeared on Car and Driver's Ten Best list for 1983, and was the 1983 Motor Trend Car of the Year.

Although the 9 and 11 cars had different names and body styles, they were in fact identical under the skin, and were intended to jointly replace the older Renault 14. The 11 was also distinguishable from the 9 by its front end, which featured square twin headlights, which had been introduced on the North American Alliance. The 9 also received this new front end in 1985 and both models were face-lifted for a final time with matching nose and interior upgrades for the 1987 model year.

A version of the 9 was manufactured and marketed by American Motors Corporation (AMC) in the United States as the Renault Alliance and bearing a small AMC badge. With 623,573 examples manufactured for model years 1982-1987, AMC offered the Alliance as a four-door sedan, two-door sedan (with higher rear wheel arches than the 4-door) and as a convertible, beginning in 1984.

The Renault 9 and 11 continued in production until 1988, when it was replaced in Europe by the Renault 19.


At launch, both cars used Renault's ageing C-type overhead valve engines in 1.1  or 1.4 litre format, and a basic suspension design which won few plaudits for the driving experience. The exceptions were the 9 Turbo and the 11 Turbo hot hatch, which used the turbocharged engine from the Renault 5. Although the cars were heavier than the Renault 5, the power from the engine was enough to ensure higher performance, thanks to its 115 PS (85 kW). The rally-tuned version was impressively fast, producing about 220 PS (160 kW).

The newer F-type engine which had been developed in collaboration with Volvo appeared in later years in 1.7 L guise, powering the upmarket GTX, GTE, TXE and Electronic (Electronique in France) versions. The Alliance and Encore, while comparatively underpowered, had a definite advantage in ride and handling against other small cars available in America at the time and even had their own SCCA spec-racing series, the Alliance Cup.


  • TC - 1.1 L - 1108 cc; 48 PS (35 kW; 47 hp)
  • GTC - 1.2 L - 1237 cc; 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp)
  • TL - 1.4 L - 1397 cc; 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp)
  • GTL - 1.4 L - 1397 cc; 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp)
  • TSE - 1.4 L - 1397 cc; 72 PS (53 kW; 71 hp)
  • TXE - 1.7 L - 1721 cc; 82 PS (60 kW; 81 hp)
  • GTX - 1.7 L - 1721 cc; 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp)
  • GTE - 1.7 L - 1721 cc; 95 PS (70 kW; 94 hp)
  • Turbo - 1.4 L - 1397 cc; 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp)
  • Turbo - 1.4 L - 1397 cc; 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp)
  • GTD - 1.6 L - 1595 cc; 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp)

Different versions around the world[]


The Renault 11 was manufactured between October 1984 and December 1994 in Renault Argentina's Santa Isabel plant with the following trim levels: GTL, RL, RN, TR, TS, TSE, TXE. Manufacture of the Renault 9 began in 1987 until 1997 in the same versions like the R11 and according ADEFA 144.262 vehicles made (R9) and 79.037 (R11).


SOFASA started manufacturing the Renault 9 in 1983, launching the version GTL with 1400 cc and modest 60 metric horsepower (44 kW). This model's engine capacity was reduced to 1300 cc and became the entry model when the better equipped GTS (1400 cc) was launched in 1985.

The next European face-lifted versions of the Renault 9 in the country were known as the Gama 2. In 1987, the TL (1300 cc) was introduced followed by the much more advanced TSE 1.3 and GTX 1.4 in 1988. The latter featured front power windows, a spoiler, and a better interior. The new top-of-the-range TXI was launched in 1989 and introduced updated front lights, power mirrors and the TIR - An infrared remote control to operate the locks. In 1990 SOFASA marketed a 50-vehicle, 50th special edition Prestige with leather seats and alloy rims.

In 1992 these versions ceased production and three models were introduced: The basic Brío (1.3 L), the mid-range Súper (1.3 L) and the Máximo (1.6 L). In 1995 the Brío was renamed Brío RN so it could be differentiated from the more sophisticated Brío RT. A more powerful variant of the RT was called Óptimo.

By mid-1996 SOFASA decided to experiment a much more flexible way to offer cars to the market. Called R9 Personnalité, the idea allowed customers to choose from different engines and accessories so they could assemble the car they wanted within their budget. This was possible through special software in dealerships. A year later, a face-lifted version featured fuel injection, assisted steering and a completely new interior.

After 16 years of production, the Renault 9 was discontinued in Colombia and was replaced by the Renault 19 and the Renault Mégane. It became the quintessential family car in Colombia, reaching over 115,000 units built and sold between 1983 and 1999, a record in the automotive Colombian history up to that time.

United States[]

In 1987, AMC offered the one-year-only GTA coupé and convertible, which included a 2.0 L engine, sport suspension, aerodynamic body kit, and Ronal wheels.

Production of the Alliance and Encore (renamed the Alliance Hatchback in the 1987 model year) was discontinued after Chrysler's buyout of AMC in 1987.