(Out of: Motor Road Test No. 20/68)
Sporting engine with all existing touring virtues…
safe road holding with roll…exceptional comfort…
When we last tested a Renault 16, the GL model, in February 1966, it was fresh from its success in the Italian (??) magazine Autovisie ‘s annual competition ( it is in fact a Dutch magazine, PvE) to select the car of the year, in this case the car judged to be the most outstanding introduction of 1965. It would be interesting to see if the voting had been significantly different had the panel been confronted with the Renault R 16 TS.
With only 55 b.h.p. (net) in a 19 cwt. Body, the ordinary 1,470 c.c. 16 falls short of lower priced rivals in performance and in response to uprate the engine substantially without sacrificing the comfort and refinement on which the car’s reputation is based. In this they have been remarkably successful. The TS engine, apart from a totally different redesigned cylinder head, has a capacity raised to 1,565 c.c., with negligible increase in weight. Maximum speed goes up by 15 m.p.h. to over 100 m.p.h. with corresponding improvements throughout the acceleration range. Despite speed limits these factors are still considered more important on this side of the channel than in France because there are fewer artificial inducements such as high petrol tax (comparatively) and capacity taxation to restrict engine size and performance.
But the TS has lost none of its
appeal to the large family seeking to cover long distances with a full
load over often poorly surfaced roads. The suspension has not been
stiffened, as it often is when power is increased, and the ride is still
soft enough to swallow bumps and irregularities in its path without
dropping below a cruising speed well into the nineties. Handling is
modified only marginally by larger section tyres so full use of the
performance will provoke even more roll and nibble into the reserves of
cornering power inherent in the standard car, but it still feels very
safe and stable. The front brake discs are slightly larger and servo
assistance is standard. Road and wind noise still intrude hardly at all
and though the distant hum of the engine is a little more pronounced, it
has lost none of its flexibility and is as smooth and free from
resonance as ever. Neither is fuel consumption seriously increased.