NEW!!! 2016 RENAULT 4
Retromania continues to rage across the motoring world, with manufacturers
referring to inspiration from classic designs to style modern technology.
The Renault 4 was originally regarded as a rather small estate at the time
of launch, however later became regarded as an early hatchback. The
front-wheel drive family car marked the first of its kind produced by the
Renault brand, which later became famous for the Renault 5, Twingo and
Clio. The 'Quatrelle' therefore is genesis for the Renault brand.
During its lifetime, the Renault 4 received very little cosmetic and
mechanical modification, aimed squarely throughout its life as an entry
level stepladder through the motoring world's glass ceiling. The final
models of 1992 equally lacked the creature comforts as did the earliest
examples, but still continued to sell strongly regardless.
Different body types did exist throughout the course of its long reign.
Initially the simple hatchback Quatrelle in addition to the less powerful
and ill-equipped R3 were available, a pick-up truck, a panel van
(Fourgonette), an off-roader (Sinpar 4x4) and a cabriolet (Plein Air). The
Fourgonette became particularly iconic in France, commonly referred to as
the Boulangerie van.
The Fourgonette van even continued on sale until 1993, becoming a common
sight across France until its replacement by the Renault Express/Extra,
based on the second generation Renault 5. Sales proved so strong, that even
following the introduction of the Renault 5 in 1972, the 4 continued in
production for further decades.
So this was the first front-wheel drive small Renault ever made, who cares?
Well millions of people worldwide associate France with many products. Most
Netcars readers will immediately recognise Champagne, Brie and the baguette
as typically French products. Also many will also recognise a French film
by its quirky and artistic structure. Similarly, certain cars become
synonymous with the French automotive industry and culture. The Citroen DS
and 2CV will forever remain architects of a formerly romantic backdrop to
Parisian and French life, whereby a man could refer to a youthful woman as
'mademoiselle' without being labelled a sexist and racial unrest was not
The Renault 4 was another pioneer of this beautiful illusion. Whether
scaling the Pyrenees mountain roads or strolling l'avenue des Champs
Elysees, the Renault 4 was home. Thousands of rusting examples still litter
the streets from the beautiful Cannes to the derriere of France around
Calais. Relics of a bygone era, most are sadly doomed to terminal rust as
their numbers are rapidly decreasing. However this increasingly rare sight
still helps to maintain a character that the current common place Peugeot
206+ and Renault Clio just don't create. The R4 also appeared in countless
films and TV series, art work, music videos and other forms of media.
The Renault 4, along with the Citroen 2CV, mobilised the masses. With an
appeal ranging from farmers to young learner drivers, from the Gendarmerie
to the local Boulangerie, a simple design became a symbol of hope and
affection across France. Furthermore, as production spanned the globe, the
appeal did similarly. The Quatrelle saw particular success in markets in
South America, including Columbia where it became a strong seller.