Renault Dauphine (1957)

Renault Dauphine (1957)
Renault Floride (1959)

Renault Floride (1959)
Renault Fregate (1959)

Renault Fregate (1959)
Renault Floride (1960)

Renault Floride (1960)
Renault Dauphine (1961)

Renault Dauphine (1961)
Renault 8 (1962)

Renault 8 (1962)
Renault 4 Parisienne (1963)


Renault 4 Parisienne

The Renault 4, also known as the 4L (pronounced "Quatrelle", which could be heard as "4 wings" in French), is a supermini produced by the French auotmaker Renault between 1961 and 1993. It was the first front-wheel drive Renault.

History

The Renault 4 was Renault's response to the 1948 Citroën 2CV. Renault was able to review the plusses and minuses of the 2CV design and come up with a larger, more urban vehicle. In the spring of 1956, Renault Chairman Pierre Dreyfus launched this new project: designing a new model to replace the rear engined 4CV that would become an everyman's car, capable of satisfying the needs of anybody. It would be a family car, a woman's car, a farmer's car, a city car. It would also be suitable for motorists around the world.

The production Renault 4 was finally revealed at the Paris Salon de l'Automobile in 1961, in the L version (L for Luxe), hence the popular name 4L.

Early versions used engines and transmissions from the Renault 4CV. The initial transmission was a 3-speed manual, an obsolete feature when compared to the four-speed manual of the thirteen-year old Citroën 2CV. Unlike the 4CV, which was a full monocoque, the R4 body was bolted on to a chassis. However, the body had a structural role and the chassis could twist if the body was removed without proper shoring. This semi-monocoque construction would later allow Renault to build other models on the R4 platform like the Renault 6 and the successful Renault 5. The R4 had four-wheel independent suspension. A surprising, yet often unnoticed, feature on the R4 is its shorter wheelbase on the left than on the right. This allowed a very simple design of the rear suspension using transverse torsion bars, and didn't affect the handling of the car. The front torsion bars were longitudinal. During its production run it was regarded as an estate car but in retrospect some now say the Renault 4 pioneered the hatchback body style, and is therefore significant in the history of car design. It was not the first, however, to introduce a top-hinged single-unit tailgate, which is one of the distinguishing features of the hatchback body style: the 1954 Citroën Traction Avant also included this innovation, while the earlier Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk1 of 1953 also had a small top-hinged tailgate.

Renault 16 (1965)


Renault 16

The Renault 16 was an executive car produced by French manufacturer Renault between 1965 and 1980 in Sandouville, Le Havre, France.

The R16 was voted European Car of the Year by a board of European motoring journalists in 1966. Over 1,845,959 R16s were produced during the model's lifetime.

In the autumn of 1965, Renault launched one of the world's first hatchbacks - a halfway move between a saloon and estate bodystyle which would eventually become the most popular car bodystyle in the world.

It sold well in most of Europe, winning praise for its spacious and comfortable interior. Equipment levels were also high for the price. Initially, Renault sold the R16 with just a 1.4 L gasoline engine in GL specification; then followed the 1.6 L TS which could top 100 mph. The top-line model was the TX, which was launched in 1973 and had a 5-speed manual transmission. Equipment included power windows and central door locking, features previously unknown on family cars in Europe.

Production of the Renault 16 lasted until 1980 when it was finally replaced by the less successful Renault 20. Even by this stage, when it was nearly 15 years old, the Renault 16 was still one of the most popular and highly rated family cars on sale in Europe. Current Renault styling chief Patrick le Quement has made no secret his admiration for the R16 - and incorporated a subtle tribute to its "bird-beak" grille in the corporate look he devised for many of the models (Laguna, Mégane, Scénic) that the company launched in the 1990s.

By the time the Renault 16 ceased production most other European manufacturers had at least one hatchback on sale, with the idea just starting to rub off on Asian and American makers. The most significant hatchbacks influenced by the Renault 16 between 1965 and 1979 include the following: Austin Maxi (1969), Fiat 127 (1971), Peugeot 104 (1972), Volkswagen Golf (1974), Chrysler Alpine (1975), Opel Kadett City (1975), Rover SD1 (1976), Ford Fiesta (1977), and the Chrysler Horizon (1977).

Renault 8 Major (1965)

Renault 8 Major (1965)
Renault 10 Automatic (1966)

Renault 10 Automatic (1966)