The first hatchback in the middle class

Paris, February 5, 2015

With 4.24 meters in length, it would now be classified in the Golf class, but in 1965, he belonged to the middle class: the Renault 16, 50 years ago, the French icon came on the market. The manufacturer will celebrate the birthday in Retromobile Salon ( 4 to 8 February 2015), a classic car show in Paris. At the stand of Renault Classic are there seven R 16 to see, but also two pre-war models and two concept cars. So you want to trace the history of the Renault family cars in its basic features.

Crossover between wagon and sedan

Long before the VW Golf and Passat R 16 was the first midsize car with hatchback. As a family vehicle, the car came in 1965 ?? So the middle of the baby boom ?? just right. Show premiere was at the Geneva Motor Show. With the large tailgate and not less than six side windows, he wore the boxy blueprint of 1961 launched R 4 on the middle class. Designer was Gaston Juchet, which the then Renault boss Pierre Dreyfus said, ". . Cars must not consist of only four seats and a luggage compartment One must consider space" The result of the development process should be a modern family car with the functionality of a station wagon and elegance of a Limousine ?? in modern terminology so a crossover.

As in a Van: Removable seats

The Renault 16 offered a still decent luggage capacity from 346 to 1200 liters, the rear seat left shift, fold and even expand. The car had a 55 hp 1.6 - liter engine and front-wheel drive ?? then a rare feature in the segment. 1966, the newcomer was elected Car of the Year, ahead of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow ?? it is one at Renault still proud. In 1968, a TS ( Tourisme Sportif ) added with a whopping 83 hp. The following year, the R 16 TA (Transmission Automatique ) was the first French car with an automatic transmission, which was built in France.

1.8 million units from 1965 to 1980

The facelift in 1970/1971 brought especially larger taillights. 1973. came a TX version with 93 hp on the market. Until production ceased in January 1980 around 1.8 million units from R 16 were built. Of which remained about one half in France, the other was exported ?? even in the United States. In 1976, the Renault 20 to R 16, a slightly larger relative with the same Hatchback Concept page. Even his successor Renault 25 followed the same basic idea. Only in 1984 invented the designer with the Espace a new concept: the van. Together with fellow initiated in 1984 Chrysler Voyager belonged to the Espace among the first members of the genus. A high seating position, as well as seven can be folded and expandable single seats characterized the new model.

Safety Concept Embodied in a New Innovative Car

In 1991, then presented at the IAA, the Scénic as a study, a new incarnation of the family car ?? this time as a compact MPV. The name was then for Safety Concept Embodied in a New Innovative Car ( ie about safety concept in a new, innovative car). The French accent on the e was only added in the production version, which started in 1996 as Mégane Scénic. The conclusion of the family car history as it is shown at the Paris Exhibition, forms the R-Space. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2011, the dynamically acting car with 4.25 meters in length has compact dimensions. A large, far-reaching up windscreen and a panoramic roof should make the interior a light-filled nest for the family. Today the family car range of Renault Scénic and Espace includes, in addition also the station wagons Clio and Mégane Estate and SUVs Captur and Koleos . ( sl)