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Iconic Classic Car: A Detailed Look Back At The Renault 4CV – HotCars

by Oct 29, 2022Blog0 comments

The Renault 4CV broke new ground in the French automotive industry, being the first French car to sell more than a million units.
Renault is one of those automakers that often flies under the radar despite producing great vehicles. One of Renault's best is a genuine beauty known worldwide. The car in question is the Renault 4CV. Notably, the 4CV debuted on the market in 1947 and lasted until 1961. As far as classic cars go, this one has quite the legacy.
The Renault 4CV, a supermini, can comfortably seat four. This iconic vehicle is the first French car to sell more than a million units. As such, the Renault 4CV is pretty essential to the history of French automobiles. This was a truly remarkable vehicle that, in many ways, helped define a generation of European rides. It may not be the most talked about car of today, but the 4CV made an invaluable mark on the automotive world. Despite the success of the Renault 4CV, many people hated the vehicle upon release. They hated the colors, and the design was ugly. Luckily, the car caught on, and people’s opinions started to match the massive sales figures.
The Renault 4CV is an engineering masterpiece in every sense of the word. People enjoyed driving it; the car was durable and unique for its time. The Renault 4CV may not have been the most stylish car, but it stuck out to the point that people still stop and stare at it today for all the right reasons. This is one model that we can't overlook when discussing iconic cars.
Here’s a detailed look back at the Renault 4CV.
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The Renault 4CV was on the market for several years. However, most people love the later models more than the earlier units. Notably, the 1958 model is a fan favorite. The 1958 Renault 4CV has a naturally aspirated straight-4 0.7-liter engine under its hood. The Renault 4CV has a maximum output of 21 horsepower at 4,100 rpm. As for torque, it’s 33.2 ft-lb at 2,000 rpm. This car is rear-wheel-drive, and the transmission is a 3-speed manual.
As anyone who sees the Renault 4CV can imagine, it’s not a very fast car. Speed is in no way the goal for this little car. The 1958 Renault 4CV has a top speed of only 59 miles per hour. According to reports, this model of the Renault 4CV accelerates from 0 to 30 miles per hour in 8 seconds, which is double what it takes many vehicles to go twice as fast. Though not practical by today’s standards, most cars made in the 1950s topped out at speeds between 65 miles per hour and 100 miles per hour. However, this still means the Renault 4CV was slow even for its time. Fortunately, the car makes up for the lack of performance with great character and uniqueness.Related: This Is The Fastest VW Beetle In The World
One of the things the Renault 4CV has going for itself is its exterior. As previously mentioned, people didn’t love how this car looked at first. While it’s not necessarily attractive, it has solidified itself because of its quirky nature. Even people who can’t call the Renault 4CV by name are familiar with it. This is because you could see the car literally everywhere, and it was even featured in movies. In particular, either old French movies or films set in France between the 1940s and 1970s. The vehicle stands out in many ways, but mainly because of the way the rear slants down from the top of the car. In many ways, the vehicle’s shape resembles a toaster, which gives it the quirky nature that keeps the Renault 4CV somewhat relevant for car enthusiasts today.
One of the most significant comparisons to the Renault 4CV is the Volkswagen Beetle. The cars have very similar designs and came about around the same time. However, the Beetle largely outlived the Renault 4CV on the market and still has a more prominent reputation today. So, we can’t help wondering how the 4CV may have evolved if it had been around for longer.
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Of course, the interior of the Renault 4CV is nothing exciting. However, where it matters is how it captures a time in auto history when drivers only used cars for transportation. This car has all you need and none of the extras, which was common then. Yet, even with its simplicity, the cabin of the Renault 4CV has an undeniable character.
Today, Renault still exists, but the brand falls under the Renault Group, which specializes in electric vehicles. Though it might never happen, we think the Renault 4CV would be the perfect old car for the company to bring back. It’s small, it would be a great electric vehicle, and we could see what a fully evolved Renault 4CV would look like. A four-seater car of this size would be perfect for the automotive industry because it’s something different.
Barnell Anderson is a writer from Louisiana, USA with a real passion for cars and motorcycles. His biggest areas of expertise are car history and concept cars. Barnell’s favorite car is the Ford Mustang. He also wants to one day own a Tesla!