Renault was founded in 1898 by the brothers Louis, Marcel and Fernand Renault. While Marcel and Fernand were responsible for the management, it was Louis who was responsible for the engineering. He managed to produce several cars incorporating his own inventions two years prior to founding the company. From its very first years Renault has a strong reputation for innovation and has participated in all major racing competitions with major wins. In 1899 the company launched the first sedan car in production. It incorporated several techniques for mass production in 1905 including the Taylorism in 1913. During WWI the company produced tanks, which were deemed to have a major contribution to the successful outcome of the war for the Allies. In 1925 Renault introduced its diamond-shaped logo. It was the 40CV model, which wore it for the first time. This model won the Monte Carlo rally and set a number of records: a world record with 3,384.74 km covered in 24 hours at an average speed of 141.03 kph; a lap record of 178.475 kph in 1925 as well as a record for fuel economy. After WWII in 1945 the company was nationalized and became Régie Nationale des Usines Renault (RNUR). During the period between 1945-1975 it continued to expand and introduce new lines and models. One of its most successful cars from that period was the first small car, affordable by everyone - the 4CV, which was followed by Renault 4 in 1961 and Renault 5 in 1972, which was a major success. The company also launched in 1965 an upmarket car - the Renault 16 model, which is also the world's first production hatchback. This trend for upmarket models continued during the 1980s with Renault 25 and Espace in 1984, which is Europe's first multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). The most successful 1990s models of Renault are the Clio (Europe's Car of the year for 1990, which is created as a replacement of Renault 5), Laguna in 1993 (made to replace Renault 21), Mégane in 1995 (made to replace Renault 19). In 1996 Renault was privatized. In 1999 it acquired 36.8% of Nissan and bought Samsung Motors and Dacia. At present Renault is the eleventh largest manufacturer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009) and its current portfolio includes the Clio (supermini cars), Espace (large MPVs), Fluence (four-door saloons), Kangoo (panel vans), Koleos (four-door SUVs), Laguna (liftbacks, estates, coupes), Mégane (saloons, hatchbacks, coupes, convertibles, estates), Modus (mini MPVs), Scénic (compact MPVs), Twingo (hatchbacks). Specific technical data for various Renault car models may be checked out after clicking on the model names provided below.
|Initiale||1995||~ 3.5 l (3500 cc)||292 kW (398 ps)||360 Nm (265 ft-lb)||305 km/h||4880.00 mm||1994.00 mm||1442.00 mm|
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