One hundred twenty years ago, Louis Renault built his first small car. He immediately introduced several innovations. The car had a universal joint drive, a self-developed three-speed gearbox with ‘prise directe’ - direct drive – and a reverse gear. Renault immediately excelled in the first automobile races in history, with Louis and his brother Marcel at the wheel. But when the latter died in a crash in Paris-Madrid in 1903 it was the end of competition at once. Renault focused on its industrial development and grew into the largest car manufacturer in France, not only with cars in all performance classes but also with delivery vans and lorries.
After the war the brand also started to take an interest in competition again via Gordini and Alpine, among others. Renault has also been in F1 for 40 years. They were the first with a turbo engine and were the engine supplier for leading teams like Lotus and Williams, and nowadays Red Bull, MacLaren and of course their own Renault team. Renault also built the first closed car, and they claim to have invented the minivan as well with the Espace. In between they introduced various iconic models: the 4CV ‘Bowler Hat’, the R4, the R16 and so many more. From 13 July to 26 August you can discover the fascinating history of the brand at Autoworld from some fifty iconic models.
For more detailed info please contact the museum
Parc du Cinquantenaire 11
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