The development of a luxurious car for this time has a lot to do with the American market. Renault has always been here represented, but never with special sales rates. Now, after the Second World War, foreign exchange is especially important, because you can buy in turn steel for the manufacture of other vehicles. With the 4 CV Renault can not really score points, because it is in spite of the four doors, too small and too expensive. However, the Caravelle is also considered chic across the Atlantic, but also to be expensive and a little underpowered.
Easier it is already with the Dauphine, which is selling very well in Europe. It can for a certain time fairly compete with the VW Beetle or less collapsed, but then suddenly deeply plunges. The Caravelle, the name of the Floride initially mentioned cars in America, has even greater opportunities. It is brought into position against the VW Karmann Ghia of 1956. The idea seems simple. To give a brave sedan with just such an engine an exciting dress. Unfortunately, Ghia has meanwhile to do a lot and seems to give the contract with Renault not the right priority. Despite of some difficulties, with the involvement of other coach builders still is created a much acclaimed and well ordered form.
In fact, the technique of that time is not really following the design. Even the famous Gordini succeeds only in the civilized version to extract 26 kW (36 HP) from the modest 850 cm³. Although the wheels can be called accomplished independently suspended, but back handles a swing axle with the known disadvantages. Also at the time in Europe normal weight distribution for small cars of 40 : 60 can not entirely convincing. There is oversteer almost inevitable with possible positive camber of the outside wheel.
This course also know the manufacturer and has countered with a novel combination of coil springs, which surround with atmospheric air filled rubber bellows. This will achieve a degree of progressivity of the spring system, soft at few and hardened at more weight. This is achieved by pistons that increase the air pressure during spring compression. It ultimately did not help much. Despite the same suspension the car yet surpasses the Dauphine in the overhangs, what neither is good for the driving behaviour nor the look. Nevertheless, there is not much luggage space in the coupe with 4 and the convertible with 2 seats. The operating costs are kept in limits, although the low fuel consumption is already compensated by an additional visit to the workshop.
During its construction period, the car developed. First there are the changes to the undercarriage, it takes over from R 8. This include longer swing arms rear, which reduce the positive camber during rebounding. In addition, the larger engine with alloy cylinder head and a lot more pulling power and joy of revving. Interestingly, the installation of the cooler completely back, where it lives by the vortices of air flowing around. This enables the wall to the engine room to move and to create more interior. But then the exports to the USA has stopped long ago. There is at this time not only a beautiful outer accepted, with the performance must also be shined. 01/08
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