The Renault 4, also known as the 4L (pronounced "Quatrelle"), is a hatchback economy car produced by the French automaker Renault between 1961 and 1992. It was the first front-wheel drive family car produced by Renault.
The car was launched at a time when several decades of economic stagnation were giving way to growing prosperity and surging car ownership in France. The first million cars were produced by 1 February 1966, less than four and a half years after launch, a commercial success for Renault because of the timing of its introduction and the merits of its design. It was exceptionally spacious for its size, and although regarded as a small estate car when launched, it is now seen as the first hatchback family car. Along with the Renault 16, it pioneered the popularization to the European private motorist of the hatchback during the 1960s. The only car to pre-date its front-wheel drive and top-hinged hatchback, was the 1954 Citroën Traction Avant Commerciale, which was marketed at commercial travelling salesmen.
The Renault 4 was Renault's response to the 1948 Citroën 2CV. Renault was able to review the advantages and disadvantages of the 2CV design and come up with a larger, more urban vehicle. In early 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.
Renault launched the model as the R4 in July 1961 with an engine capacity of 747 cc. A deluxe version with opening rear quarter-light windows and extra trimmings was offered. A less powerful version of the car, with a 603 cc engine, was marketed in France as the Renault R3 and discontinued in October 1962. De luxe and super versions of the R4L received a version of the engine from the Renault Dauphine giving them a four-cylinder engine capacity of 845 cc. The 747 cc R4 model continued to be listed with an entry level recommended retail price, but it was mostly the slightly larger engined L versions that found their way into customers' hands. By 1965 Renault had removed the extra 'R' from their model names: the Renault R4L had become the Renault 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. Like the 4CV, 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 Rodeo. (The successful Renault 5 used the R4 running gear in a monocoque shell).
The R4 had four-wheel torsion-bar independent suspension.
Axle - Trailing arm
Because the rear torsion bars are located
one behind the other, the wheelbase is
longer on the right side than on the left
The R4 features a shorter wheelbase on the left than on the right. This concept (also employed in other Renault models) allowed a very simple design of the rear suspension using transverse torsion bars without affecting handling. The front torsion bars were longitudinal. The longitudinal layout of the front wheel drive engine and transmission with engine behind the front axle, and gearbox/differential in front is identical to the Citroën Traction Avant. The suspension is also very similar, the only difference, being the deletion of the Citroen's flexible beam between the rear wheels, to give the Renault 4 fully independent rear suspension. This is ironic as Louis Renault, the company's founder had been the harshest critic of the Traction at the time of its launch in the 1930s.
Der Renault 4, die auch als 4L (ausgesprochen "Quatrelle") genannt, ist ein Fließheck Kleinwagen von der Französisch Autohersteller Renault produziert
Renault 4, також відомий як 4L (вимовляється як "Quatrelle"), це автомобіль седан економіки виробництва французького автовиробника Renault
De Renault 4, ook bekend als de 4L (uitgesproken als "Quatrelle"), is een hatchback economie auto geproduceerd door de Franse automaker Renault
رينو 4، المعروف أيضا باسم 4L (وضوحا "Quatrelle")، هي سيارة هاتشباك الاقتصاد التي تنتجها شركة رينو الفرنسية لصناعة السيارات
רנו 4, הידוע גם בשם 4L (מבוטא "Quatrelle"), היא הכלכלה hatchback רכב המיוצר על ידי יצרנית המכוניות הצרפתית רנו