In Spanish, Fuego means fire. It isn't entirely unbefitting then that Renault's Opel Manta and Ford Capri fighter had the unhappy knack of, yep, catching fire. That was just one of its problems. It was also prone to rust and, worse, many were recalled during its 1980-1995 production run for steering wheels that would detach. The Eighties might have been full of decent front-wheel drive faux sportscars. Thankfully, not all of them had questionable French reliability like this one.
Still, people liked its slippery looks (it had a drag coefficient of 0.35 -- impressive today, amazing for 1980) and it offered unique styling by Michel Jardin and Robert Opron -- he who designed the Citroën SM -- but you either loved or hated the black plastic strip running the entire length of the car.
Despite Renault's ad campaign that linked the Fuego Turbo to Alain Prost and the company's Formula 1 efforts, the car's performance was modest and the handling terrible.
Derived from the Renault 18 saloon, it did the 0-100kph sprint in a leisurely 10 seconds. Launched with a 1.4-litre and a 2.0-litre variant with 64- and 112bhp respectively, they didn't exactly set pulses racing. And when the Turbo was introduced in 1984 with 132bhp through desperately scrabbling front wheels (torque-steer hampered every smooth start) it was the ridiculously big 'turbo' decals that got more attention than the improvement in performance. Worse were the TV spots for the blown version; one invited you to enter "The Turbo Zone" and you might have -- until you noticed the blue smoke pouring out of the exhaust. Dodgy valve seals and blown head gaskets were two other common issues...
It sold OK across Europe, less so in the US (that's where it must have gotten that 'Few Go' nickname...) and once the novelty of it being referred to as the French version of the Porsche 924 had worn off and owners were met with sky-high service bills, it was easier to scrap the car than to find a willing buyer.
And, poor build quality back then means it's almost impossible to find one in any sort of working order today.