The Renault 19 was a small family car produced by the French manufacturer Renault between 1988 and 1995.
Released in 1988, the 19 was the replacement for the 9 and 11, both of which were ageing and outdated by the late 1980s. The 19 was styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro, featuring Renault's new E-type (or "Energy") engine in a 1.4 L displacement and F-type 1.7 L and 1.8 L versions. Base models used the OHV C-type "Cléon" engine in either 1.2 L or 1.4 L capacities.
Intended to be Renault's last numeric-named car, the 19 ushered in a new naming policy, with the sedan versions of the 19 being known as the 19 Chamade. However, the "Chamade" badge was dropped following the 1992 facelift. In 1991 a convertible bodystyle built by Karmann was introduced. Although the R19's exterior design, which was relatively conservative, like that of the Renault 9/11, received a muted response, it was praised for its interior comfort and handling.
In the summer of 1992, a revamped model was introduced with a substantially restyled front and rear, while left hand drive market versions received a new dashboard and interior - right hand drive models retained the original design.
The 19 was sold in Europe until 1995, and is still produced for South American markets in Argentina. The 19's platform and running gear would continue to be used in its replacement, the first generation Mégane.
The Renault 19 16v hot hatch had a distinctive air inlet on the bonnet, a rear spoiler, 15 in "Speedline" alloy wheels, sideskirts, bucket seats and a trip computer. The braking system was uprated to include 259 mm vented discs on the front and discs on the rear as well as an uprated lower suspenion setup. Phase 1 editions also benefitted from unique front and rear bumpers, while the Phase 2 retained the original bumpers found throughout the range but added colour-coded tops,rubber inserts and discreet lower splitter. The very last models were called executives and came with leather interior as standard. A 16s version was also produced in Europe which was as above but without a bonnet vent. The gear ratios were also revised to allow for the extra weight found in the safety equipment the later models carried. 0-60 mph acceleration times were in the region of 8.2 seconds and boasted 137 bhp; an impressive feat for a 1.8 litre normally aspirated engine in a reasonably priced small family car of its day. The 19 laid the foundations, along with the Renault 5 GT Turbo, for the Renault Sport department of the company, which develops high-performance tuned versions of standard Renault cars.