Renault 16 Club Tilburg.

Renault 16 in pieces.


The facts.

Development and changes.




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Performance and economy

The cylinder head that converts the standard 16 into the TS (Tourisme Sport) shares most of the ingredients of the Gordini developed units in the 1100 series. The normal head of the all aluminium high camshaft engine, which has wedge-shaped combustion chambers, is replaced by the new head with inclined valves opening into hemispherical combustion chambers. A Weber progressive twin choke carburettor supplies the mixture on one side of the head and a new exhaust manifold, specially developed in collaboration with Peugeot, extracts it on the other. With minor alterations to valve timing but not cam profile, a small increase of bore and stroke, aluminium-tin bearing shells and strengthened block and pistons to maintain longevity, the engine develops 83 b.h.p. (gross) at 5,750 r.p.m. compared with the 16’s 55 b.h.p. at 5,000 r.p.m. and torque of 87 lb. ft. at 3,500 r.p.m. against 77 lb. ft. at 2,800 r.p.m. In view of the comparative lack of sound deadening aluminium castings relative to cast iron and the proximity of the engine to the bulkhead in its position driving forward to the front wheels, the engine must be extremely well insulated and mounted. Though now it revs freely and smoothly up to nearly 7,000 r.p.m. (the revcounter has a yellow sector beginning at 5,400 r.p.m. and is redlined at 6,000 r.p.m.) it remains so quiet as not to intrude on normal conversation, right up to near maximum speed. Only when revved hard in the gears does the contented hum become slightly harsher but it never looses its smoothness and feeling of unburstability.

An automatic choke is included as standard on the TS and after a dab of throttle to set in operation, the engine usually fires first time from cold though occasional difficulty was experienced in starting from hot. Idling is speeded up for the first few minutes, but thanks to the thermostatic fan, it warms up very quickly. The thermostat had a fairly high setting on our test car and the temperature gauge was regularly at the high end of the green sector but it never showed any signs of overheating, even after long periods of city traffic in the recent hot weather.

With more emphasis on extra power than on low speed torque and the latter more attributable to additional capacity than to the revised head, the improved performance is much more noticeable over the upper half of the range than lower down, though the engine is still extremely flexible, pulling smoothly from under 20 m.p.h. The 20-40 top gear acceleration is not significantly improved but the 50-70 m.p.h. time of 12.1 s. is a drop of 4.3 s. Improvements of similar order are evident accelerating from rest with the 0.60 m.p.h. down by 4.6. s. to 12.3. The good aerodynamic shape of the car shows its influence in top speed and the additional power takes the maximum from just below 86 m.p.h. to over 101 m.p.h. with the ton just possible within a mile accelerating from rest.

Partly as a result of its shape and tractability, the 16 is economical for a 1,5 –litre car and little is lost by the new engine. Our overall figure of 25.7 m.p.g. falls less than 1,5 m.p.g. short of the standard car figure and is considerably better than all the other cars in our comparison chart with the exception of the much slower Peugeot 204. The much higher maximum speed raises the touring consumption speed to 65 m.p.h. and lowers the figure correspondingly to 28.5 m.p.g., a consumption which most owners would be able to surpass quite comfortably on that long tour round France. In deference to Continental octane’s, the compression ratio is unchanged at 8.6:1 and the engine is quite tolerant of four-star grade or slightly less. With the 11-gallon tank range under normal circumstances falls not far short of 300 miles.

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