Renault 4L: The story of an icon

It was a true laboratory of innovative solutions, affordably offered to the general public, which resulted in extraordinary versatility of use.

2021 marks the commemoration of 60 º aniversario of the legendary model Renault 4L of which more than 8.000.000 units over three decades. Its story begins with the presentation to the French press on August 28st, 1961 after five years of development and thousands of kilometers of testing in extreme climates.

Renault 4LThe R4 contained a compendium of innovative technological solutions, both in terms of design, modularity, mechanical technology and dynamic versatility. First of all, it was a Break body mounted on a platform type chassis, conceptually very innovative, based on the excellence of simplicity.

Its architecture, 3,6m long and 1,5m high, It freed up a lot of space for the passengers and the trunk. This allowed it to offer a wide five-seater cabin and simultaneously transport a large loading volume up to 480 liters. In addition, the rear seat was foldable very quickly and easily, offering up to 1,45 m3 of available space.

Thanks to the incorporation of a 5th gate-type door, with a large opening angle, it offered exceptional rear accessibility, practically unprecedented in its time, reinforcing its eminently practical, modular and versatile character.

Renault 4LSecond, it was about the first compact model, since the end of the Second World War, in proposing engine and front wheel drive, to whatever it was added the independent suspension in the front axle, with all the advantages in terms of maneuverability and precision in the direction that this entails, marking the way to future Renault models.

The R4 featured other very useful mechanical enhancements. For example, he was endowed with watertight hinges, lacking greasing, which resulted in a lower maintenance cost. Another solution, pioneer in its segment, was the closed and hermetic refrigeration circuit, which incorporated a special liquid capable of withstanding the lowest temperatures. This meant that it was no longer necessary to replace antifreeze in the circuit liquid, an operation that is frequently inopportune and with an associated cost. The only real maintenance on the car was the oil change.

Renault 4LThe introduction of more stringent international environmental regulations, starting in January 1993As a consequence, as happened with other models from other brands, its industrial end, since the introduction of new mandatory elements, such as the catalyst, was technically unfeasible. The last produced unit of the 4L rolled off the chain on December 3 1992.

Its long and renowned history has left many Renault 4 fan clubs as its legacy, and it is common to find, even today, units of this legendary model in concentrations of historic vehicles showing off their cheerful and innovative personality.



Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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