Renault 16 Club Tilburg.

Renault 16 in pieces.


The facts.

Development and changes.




These were successful too

Any questions?

For relevant and updated info.


Mail Geert



Handling and brakes

The suspension is identical with that of the standard 16, the road holding being considered adequate to cope with the additional power and not worth improving at the inevitable expense of ride comfort. Double wishbones at the front are coupled to longitudinal torsion bars with a flexible bush in the mounting of the lower wishbone (the upper one is solid to maintain steering sensitivity) to permit longitudinal compliance at the wheel which will absorb the fore-and-aft resonance in the tread of the radial tyres, about which the car was designed. The rear wheels are carried on trailing arms mounted on transverse torsion bars and the compliance effect is obtained from a flexible mounting for the bush outside each trailing arm. Because the movement is very small in relation to the length of the torsion bar, the chance of this inducing rear wheel steering is negligible. On the 16, like his smaller brother the 4L, the two torsion bar casing lie one in front of the other which accounts for the wheelbase on the offside being 2,75 in. shorter than the other but this is not noticeable in practice. The suspension compliance is to cut out road roar and reduce the magnitude of low speed thumps, to which radial tyres are particularly susceptible, and the Renault bears out the theory in practice better than most cars for which similar techniques are used.

The springs are very soft as they must be to ensure a soft ride and the total travel very large. Anti-roll bars at each end keep roll angles down to some extent but we felt they could be strengthened without dire effects from excessive roll stiffness. Roll is still the limiting factor on cornering speed as on dry roads the adhesion, particularly with the new Michelins ZX tyres, is quite remarkable; the discomfort of passengers or the protesting squeals from the tyres are surer deterrents than the risk of breakaway. Often prodigious under steer accompanies soft suspension but once set up the Renault is virtually neutral because a mild initial understeer will convert to a very slight and completely controllable oversteer at very high speeds on long corners. This should not be confused with the tuck-in which often occurs when lifting off with a fwd car because, despite a sharper fall in power, the TS still shows almost negligible response to sudden deceleration, Until we raised the tyre pressure a little above recommended we found the tyre squeal rather embarrassing even within the confines of city speed limits. The steering is also at its worst under these conditions because in addition to being rather low geared and a little on the heavy side, castor effects are greatly influenced by the lock and power applied; accelerating hard out of tight corners provokes quite savage self-centring and care must be exercised not to let the steering wheel slip back through the hands too quickly. Most of these traits disappear on the open road, the steering feels lighter and pleasantly geared and the car can be hustled round corners with considerable verve though it could be caught out by S-bends lurching from side tot side with the roll transition.

The ZX tyres grip well in the wet and their breakaway point is less precipitous than the previous X-pattern. On light or trailing throttle, the Renault will corner inside many saloons on a slippery surface but too sudden application of power could break traction at the front end and then the car would run wide. Occasionally, when a high roll angle was induced on a wet road, the inside front wheel would lift or break traction and spin away the excess power, an effect we found very difficult to provoke on a dry surface.

To help stop the car from higher speeds, the front discs are 0,125 in. bigger in thickness and diameter and fitted with a servo. This brings pedal load required for a 0,5g stop down from nearly 50 lb. to 30 lb. although persistent locking of the front brakes (effectively prevented at the rear by the pressure relief valve) would not permit a maximum better than 0.9g. The brakes were unaffected by our fade test and survived the after splash with a small rise in pressure. The handbrake is a rather unsatisfactory affair awkward to reach under the facia and would not hold the car on the 1 in 3 gradient though, on the test car, it was obviously out of adjustment.


read on