Introduced in late 1983 as a 1984 model, the Renault 25 was a large step forward in nearly every aspect from the Renault 20 / Renault 30 range it was replacing. Its five-door liftback body was penned by designers Gaston Juchet and Robert Opron of Citroën SM fame, and the unconventional style (the wraparound rear window was its most famous feature) was aimed at giving the car a notchback look in order to overcome customer preference outside France for formal sedans in the segment.
The 25 was one of the first cars designed from the start for aerodynamic efficiency; its drag coefficient (Cd) was 0.31, a key factor in improving fuel economy. The TS model briefly held the unofficial title of "world's most aerodynamic mass-production car" with a Cd of 0.28, and at its launch the 25 was easily the best in its class for fuel economy.
All Renault 25 models were front-wheel drive, with four or six-cylinder engines mounted longitudinally forward of the front axle. The 25's performance was above average for its class, with the V6 Turbo specification a match for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series.