Renault’s Upmarket Barnstormer to face off Porsche Cayman

Renault has been working for some time at rebooting its long-dormant Alpine brand with the launch of a new sports car. But we’re glad to report that the wait is finally over. Almost.

What you see here is the Alpine Vision. It’s the latest in a string of concept cars that have sought to forecast what the new model will look like, following the A110-50 concept of 2012, the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo design revealed last year, and the more recent Alpine Celebration concept presented this past summer. As you can see, this latest concept looks close to production-ready to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and Alfa Romeo 4C.

Renault hasn’t revealed much in the way of technical specifications, except to say that it packs a turbocharged four-cylinder engine made by the folks at Renault Sport that ought to propel the coupe to 62 in under 4.5 seconds. Today’s announcement in Monte Carlo is clearly more about the design that draws its inspiration from the legendary Alpine A110 that debuted in 1969. The shape looks familiar from the previous Alpine Celebration concept, but without the flashy details, the Vision concept gives us a clearer idea of what to expect. Those round auxiliary headlights are pure retro rally and the proportions classic, but the detailing is strictly modern – particularly at the tail end.

The project faced setbacks after Caterham pulled out of the joint venture, but Renault promises we’ll see the finished product “later this year.” Production is set to take place at the historic Alpine factory in Dieppe, France, where the Renault Sport division was based until recently. Sales are scheduled to commence next year in Europe, to be “followed by other markets worldwide” – The word is that it will be available downunder – fingers crossed!

Renault goes Full Impact with its new F1 colour scheme


Renault has revealed its definitive 2016 livery two days ahead of the start of the new Formula 1 season.

In early February Renault launched its works team return with what it described at the time as “a show car” featuring a predominantly black livery with flashes of yellow.

The team, which took over Lotus towards the end of last year following protracted negotiations, ran with that look throughout the two pre-season tests at Barcelona’s Catalunya circuit.

But it has always been Renault’s intention to return to its more traditional roots in terms of its colour scheme.

The RS16 now sports a matt yellow body, with the front and rear wings in black and some small touches of gold towards the rear.

“Today is about what’s in the season to come, and the important thing is the colour, that it says a lot about your identity and who you stand for,” said Renault managing director Cyril Abiteboul at the livery launch in Melbourne’s docklands area on Wednesday.

“Tonight is about our identity and what Renault stands for.

“I look around and it looks like people are trying to disappear from the Tarmac, so we’ve gone for something different.

“I think it works well. We’ve gone for yellow, which has been the colour of Renault since 1946, so we’ve been true to our history.”

The colour is similar to that used on the Renault RS01 sportscar for its launch.

It is believed the matt finish across the entire car means a weight-saving of almost half a kilogram compared to the use of gloss.

CHANGE of Venue for RCCA Feb Meeting


Our next general meeting to be held on the 1st of February will not be at our usual venue in Five Dock.

 The car club has been graciously  invited to hold our next general meeting at McCarrolls Renault  Artarmon.

 The sales manager, Sam Stratten has invited us to his dealership to hold our next general meeting and to peruse the new Clio 220 Trophy which is being released in Feb.

 They have also kindly offered to supply some refreshments after the meeting while looking at the new Clio. I am sure we can bend Sam’s arm to tell us a little bit about what might be coming our way this year from Renault.

 If you know someone that might not see this email can you please advise them of the venue change.

 Parking is limited on site, but there is a side street on the opposite side of the road for off street parking if needed.

Could you please advise if you will be attending this meeting to help with catering.  Click for Alistair’s email

Venue –

McCarroll’s Renault Artarmon
Address: 395-397 Pacific Hwy,
Artarmon NSW 2064
Phone:(02) 8424 6888

 Sales Manager / Host  Sam Stratten

 Normal start time for the meeting – 8pm

 Thanks look forward to seeing you at the next Meeting



joyeux Noël

Merry Christmas

To the Members, Family and Friends of the RCCA

Best Wishes for 2016

Jugiong 2016

I guess everyone is thinking how quickly the year has passed!

Here are the Supp Regs and Entry form for Jugiong 2016




In memory of Wayne Griffiths 1949 – 2015

Members of the RCCA were stunned at the recent passing of a  much loved member – Wayne Griffiths.   Wayne was a life
member and a member of the RCCA for over 45 years. There
was not much Wayne didn’t try in motorsport.  Bob Sprague reflects on the memory of him pushing an Escort around Amaroo in the 70s and later all sorts of Hondas. He rallied with Tim Francis in Civics and also competed in the Southern Cross International Rally several
Wayne was a mechanic who learned how to wring the last little
bit out of a Honda motor. He eventually settled on motorkhanas
as his corner of motorsport and achieved great success. He built
his own cars and was very quick on the right day. He was
Australian Champion in 2002 and 2006 as well as numerous
State outright and class wins. Wayne also participated in the official side of motorkhanas being the chair of the panel that controlled the sport in NSW.
Of recent times Wayne found an old Civic and returned to tintop ‘khanaing. He supported events, encouraged members to compete and enjoyed driving. At All French Car Day this year Wayne put up his hand to drive the Bob Sprague’s ute full of club stuff so he could be there in his new Megane.  A reflection of the selfless character that Wayne was.

Wayne was also quite an authroity on some odd ball cars that , being an oddball myself , were in my personal realm.  Much conversation and good advice about P76s and Austin 7s was of great value and I will  greatly miss his guidence and friendship

Thanks, Wayne .

One thing is for sure, he will be missed out on the tarmac by the ‘khana mob.

30th August – Nightingale Wines French car day.

Destination: Nightingale Wines

Meet at Pie in the Sky, 1296 Pacific Highway, Cowan at 8.15am or earlier if you want a pie ‘n’ chips, for 8:30am departure. Note we are departing at 8:30am sharp!

Convoy up the Pacific Motorway to Calga then take the Peats Ridge Rd exit to Wollombi.
Will regroup at Wollombi, drive is approx 1hr 15min.

Depart Wollombi at 10am.
Drive to Nightingale Wines via Paynes Crossing Rd. Nightingale Wines,
1239 Milbrodale Road, Broke.
Approx drive from Wollombi is 30min. Arrive 10:30am

Shannons Sydney Classic – Sunday 16th August

Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek
RCCA will be displaying cars in Area B and
Renault 16s will be featured on Pit Lane.

Display cars by pre-purchased ticket only.
Public welcome from 10am, $20 per person

RCCA August Meeting – Guest of Honour : Molly Taylor!

RCCA August Meeting – Guest Speaker – Molly Taylor

Where: Veteran Car Club Hall, 134 Queens Rd Fivedock

When: 3rd Aug 15 at 8.00pm


The RCCA is very pleased to announce that champion rally driver Molly Taylor will be speaking at our August meeting.

The event is open to RCCA members and their immediate families. In addition members may invite one (1) non-member guest.

Molly is one of Australia’s best known international rally drivers, having competed in the British, the European and more recently in the 2014 Junior World Rally Championship with considerable success.

Now in 2015 Molly is competing, in the Australian Rally Championship, competing in a RenaultSport Clio R3. This RenaultSport built and Neil Bates prepared Clio won the ARC in 2014 in the hands of Scott Pedder /Dale Moscatt. This year with her co-driver Bill Hayes, Molly has taken a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the first three rounds. This places them second overall in the series. Their next event is Rally Australia at Coffs Harbour, where the ARC cars compete against the best in the world.

Come hear Molly speak about all this, and more! It will be a fascinating evening!



Renault Captur – High riding fun wagon

Renault Captur has finally arrived in Australia. On sale in its home market since May 2013, you might say the Captur is fashionably late to the local market – though it certainly won’t be the last to arrive, with at least two more competitors expected before the middle of the year.

Already it has racked up impressive sales in Europe – approaching 200,000 units – but its arrival has not been without some controversy. New European NCAP crash testing rules and the Captur’s absence of curtain airbags have cast some shadows over the car’s introduction, but to dismiss Captur from your shortlist on this account would be foolhardy. Make no mistake, the new Renault compact SUV brings with it unexpected practicality and impressive value.

In terms of its physical size, the front-drive only Captur sits at the bottom end of the Small SUV segment locally, competing with such rivals as the Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax and Peugeot 2008. Renault says its latest high-riding hero combines all the best bits of an SUV with the practicality of a people-mover and the footprint of a hatch, and considering it shares its underpinnings with the Light segment Clio, it’s that last point that is arguably most pertinent.

What Renault has done to maximise the available space of the Clio platform with the Captur is most impressive. Sure the mechanical package is largely unchanged with engine and transmission choices, and suspension, steering and braking components, all common to the Australian-spec hatch. But the rear seat room and cargo area is remarkably generous, and when viewed against its nearest competitors appear gigantic.

Sat behind a 180cm-tall adult, I found rear seat head, leg, knee and toe space to be more than adequate and the high-set bench also provides a good view out of the windows. The bench is, however, just that, and is quite formless and rather firm. Meantime, the Captur’s stiffer suspension set-up does little to foster a comfortable ride.

But this is one small downside in a long, l-o-n-g list of upsides.

Not only is the Captur spacious inside the cabin – easily accommodating four adults – it’s also very practical. The cargo bay offers a split-level floor which is not only double-sided (the removable panel is carpeted on one side and vinyl on the other), but can be set at a 45-degree angle to save your shopping from self-destruction on its trip home.

The rear bench can slide longitudinally through 160mm which, in conjunction with lowering the cargo floor, expands cargo space from 377 to 455 litres. On top of that, the rear seat splits 60:40 and the parcel shelf, of course, is removable. All up, Renault says the Captur delivers up to 1235 litres of cargo space, which places it in the enviable position of being up there with next-segment (larger) SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan QASHQAI.

Equipment levels are equally generous with even the base model Captur Expression (from $22,990 plus ORCs) offering more standard kit than even some of its high-grade rivals. Headlining the list are cruise control, sat-nav, auto headlights and wipers. You can also expect 16-inch alloys, idle stop-start, a reversing camera and rear parking sensors, keyless entry and push-button start, LED daytime running lights, single-zone climate control and front and rear foglights as standard.

The base audio system includes Bluetooth telephony and audio streaming, AM/FM tuner and MP3/AUX/USB connectivity, all accessed via a full-colour 7.0-inch tablet-style touchscreen.

The up-spec Captur Dynamique adds a static cornering function to the foglights, washable and removable seat covers, two-tone paintwork, chrome trim garnishes, additional window tinting and 17-inch alloy wheels. It also features Renault’s premium R-Link audio system with Arkamys 3D sound at no extra cost.

A long list of personalisation options is also available.

abin storage is also admirable with seatback straps to hold tablets, maps and folders, door bins for loose items and bottles, a trio of cupholders in the centre console and a removable bin between the rear footwells. The slide-out drawer that replaces the glovebox on left-hand drive models is not available in Australia, with right-hand drive models scoring a regular ‘lidded’ glove compartment.

The pragmatic interior is also rather quiet compared to segment rivals, and though some additional road noise is transferred on 17-inch wheeled variants, is otherwise disturbed only by a slight amount of wind rustle off the wing mirrors.

This makes the experience at the wheel rather pleasant, as does the good driving position ergonomics and clear sight lines, excepting the upswept rear quarters (fortunately the standard rear-view camera eliminates any blind-spots when reversing).

Depending on variant, the Captur is offered with a choice of drivetrains, including a 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol in base model Expression and 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol optionally in Expression and standard on Dynamique.

The smaller TCe90 (90hp) engine provides 66kW and 135Nm and is available only with a five-speed manual transmission. It returns 4.9L/100km on the ADR Combined cycle and expels 113g/km of CO2. While the larger TCe120 makes 88kW and 190Nm and is available exclusively with a six-speed Getrag-sourced dual-clutch transmission, which adds $3000 to the base model’s price.

The latter engine and transmission combination is also offered exclusively in the high-grade Captur Dynamique, which tops the range at $27,990 (plus on-road costs).

Renault says the figures are enough to provide the TCe90 with a 0-100km/h time of 13.0sec en route to a v-max of 171km/h. The TCe120 will hit triple figures in 10.9sec and max-out at 192km/h.

The Captur tips the scale between 1134-1215kg, depending on grade, and can tow up to 900kg (braked), should you be so inclined.

Both grades of Captur are of front-wheel drive configuration with a strut (front) and torsion beam (rear) suspension arrangement. Both trim grades are halted by disc (front) /drum (rear) brakes, a combination common in this vehicle segment.

The set-up endows the Captur with tenacious levels of road-holding, though the ride may prove too stiff for some.

On the plus side, the lack of pitch and roll provides the Captur with exemplary cornering grip, and in combination with appropriately weighted and accurate steering, adds a lot of confidence to the drive. The braking performance is adequate, but not outstanding, though the pedal weight and feel, much like the steering, cooperates well with driver input.

We also found the manual model’s shift a little notchy and the throw a little long. The good clutch feel helps, but it’s not the sort of car where gear changes can be rushed.

This is a little bit of an issue when trying to maintain pace, with maximum power delivered (and best maximised) through a rather narrow rev band. Keeping the Captur here, and accessing this ‘band’ for overtaking, is an exercise in concentration if you’re trying to keep ahead of traffic, and also eats into fuel economy (we averaged 8.6L/100km on test).

If you’re content to plod along at the back of the pack, however, the three-cylinder engine’s thrum is a great companion with which to enjoy the passing scenery.

It’s obvious, then, that the four-cylinder variants are the pick of the bunch. The pace of the engine, and its delivery via the six-speed dual-clutch transmission, are more in keeping with the orientation of the car; and are likewise better suited to open-road driving.

The TCe120 engine feels at home both in and out of the city whereas the TCe90 is a better metropolitan companion. Sure, the ‘auto’ can be a little slow from the get-go, but once on the move is quite enthusiastic, managing winding roads and inclines capably.

The Captur’s 45-litre tank should cost just over $40 to fill, based on present petrol prices, and with the average fuel economy of both models on test close to 8.6L/100km, we reckon you should be able to comfortably travel more than 500km between fills.

As an agile and tenacious mover with enough space for young families to make the most of – not to mention that five-year warranty and roadside assist, decent capped-price servicing program and strong equipment list – the Captur seems to have been worth the wait.