Renault’s line of RS cars represents the peak of its Motorsport pedigree (apart from the ultra-rare “Trophy R” Meganes).
But what does RS mean on Renault Cars?
In this short edition of Car Facts – where we answer your car questions – we are going to take a look at the meaning of RS for Renault Cars.
Different manufacturers use RS to denote different meanings (although, in general, RS is always used to denote a performance model of a car).
For example, RS on Fords stands for “Rally Sport”. On Porsches and Audis it stands for Rennsport, which is a sort of German for racing … as far as we can determine, it isn’t the exact word for racing in German but more of an Anglicised version to denote ‘the sport of racing’.
But what about with Renault?
RS Stands For Renault Sport
On Renault cars, the RS simply stands for “Renault Sport”. It is simply the initials of Renault Sport.
Renault Sport is Renault’s high-performance division of Renault, based in France.
Renault Sport is particularly famed for producing some of the best front-wheel drive performance cars in the world (most notably hot hatchbacks), especially the RS Clios and Meganes.
Along with Honda, Renault/RS would be the industry leaders in front-wheel driver performance motoring – the Honda Civic Type R and the latest & greatest RS Megane tend to trade blows in terms of which is the fastest FWD hot hatch around the track.
A Brief History Of Renault Sport
Renault Sport was actually formed back in 1976, as a merger between Renault’s Alpine racing/competition department and Gordini, which was another performance specialist for Renault.
The Gordini name is perhaps most famous for the Renault 5 Gordini Turbo:
The Alpine name is still used today, notably on the Alpine A110 – which was the first Alpine-badged car since the mid 1990s.
To further complicate matters, Renault recently announced that Renault Sport will be merged back into Alpine to create an Alpine business unit.
The Renault Sport name has a strong history and pedigree in top level motorsport, including Formula One:
If you’re interested in learning more about RS Renaults, then check out our Renault Megane II RS buyer’s guide, which goes into the history of the name.
We hope you found this edition of Car Facts interesting. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any queries or concerns.
To recap, RS stands for “Renault Sport” on Renault cars.
Make sure you check out Garage Dreams on YouTube as well – we have a growing database of mini documentaries on racing and performance cars throughout history.