Renault 1998-2009: A short history of missed opportunities

Créateur d’Automobiles: that´s how Renault styled themselves for a while. And indeed some of the concept cars have been very good. But, we can´t help noticing a gap between the promise and reality.

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Vel Satis concept 1998
Just before the turn of the 21st century, Renault had succesfully re-invented itself as a maker of one-box or ‘monospace’ cars of various sizes, from the Espace that started it all in 1984 to the Scenic of 1995, through Patrick Le Quement’s masterpiece: the Twingo Mark I of 1992.
Then in quick succession came three large concepts which promised a lot but, unsurprisingly, delivered very little and left Renault fans reeling and weeping at what might have been – another 3 to 4 cars to top the range and further redefine Renault’s unique place in an overcrowded market.

Continue reading “Renault 1998-2009: A short history of missed opportunities”

Theme: Advertising – Ceci n’est pas une poire

In 1976, Renault launched a car which set the template for the midsized hatchback which became the default choice of households, if not the world over, at least in Europe…

This is not a pear.

The ill-advised press campaign that soon followed, however, made a fool of their customers – and of the rest of the motor industry. Building on the success of the R4 and R16, and just like the R5 a few years before it, the R14 offered maximum interior space for passengers and their luggage in a compact footprint, draped in a modern, unostentatious bodywork. Continue reading “Theme: Advertising – Ceci n’est pas une poire”