Well, it certainly didn't follow the extremely progressive lines of the R4 and certainly not those of the R16. At least in a twofold respect, it showed itself to be more conventional. It is a notch-back saloon with an aerodynamically favourable front bonnet and a pretty steep windscreen. If it was in any way remarkable, then at most, through the roof which roses slightly towards the rear. Those who desired a variable luggage compartment, had to choose the station-wagon-version.
Almost more decisive, was the further distancing from the R16, namely the turning away from the mid-engine concept. The engine was now once again, in front of, instead of behind the front axle, which presumably, made the assembly in various regions of the world less complicated (see video 2). The results were noticeable straight away: The R12 had to be longer but also had to have a shorter wheelbase. Then again however, apart from the small hump for the gearbox, this never brought many advantages.
Almost 58% of the curb-weight lay on the front axle. On the other hand, the rigid rear axle, often found in front wheel drive cars of that time, can't be criticised. After all, the Renault engineers were always well known for managing the very unequal load distribution, e.g., in their rear engined cars, relatively well. In this case, the springing and in particular the rolling angle, were thus restrained, that a relatively easy to manage amount of understeering was the result.
One would have to be very finicky, to want to find fault with the car in everyday use. In the above table, only the middle engined version is shown. It could also be had with a 37 and a 44 kW engine (50 and 60 HP), the price shown above is for the smallest version. Otherwise, it's price came pretty close to that of the R16, which had a somewhat larger cubic capacity. As far as space was concerned, the differences were marginal. Fortunately, the R12 had dispensed with any possible little chrome frames and decorations.
At least the engine, which presents directly when the bonnet is opened, was better to work on. The construction form would, for a long time, be the concept of the company, as is usual for manufacturers of large series vehicles. Proof of the technical qualities of the R12, may lie in the fact that some real experts in the field of automotive technology, had driven this car for many years. 05/15