Body style: saloon
The cars designed in the time of Louis Renault were celebrated less for their originality than for their build quality and the efficiency of their timing system. All that was to change when the 4 CV and especially the R16 appeared. This car wrong-footed the classic Peugeots or Simcas, with a smart little package of novelties, including a flat floor, front-wheel drive, a soft torsion bar suspension, a fifth door that formed a tailgate and finally an astonishing aluminium engine that could take the TS version to speeds of up to 170 kph (105 mph).
The R16 was first presented to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1965. It was the first ever French hatchback, designed by Gaston Juchet and Philippe Charbonneaux and featured integrated roof drip channels. The Renault 16 was awarded the title European Car of the Year in 1966.
The four independent wheel suspension on the R16 had longitudinal torsion bars at the front and crosswise bars at the rear, which required a different distance between the rear wheel arches and the rear door on the right and left-hand sight. Despite this asymmetric wheel base and braking that left a little to be desired, the car was comfortable and handled well. The aluminium engine block, mounted north-south behind the overhanging gearbox, had a closed cooling system with an automatic fan.
The gear lever was mounted on the steering column, and the dashboard with its horizontal speedometer was modified twice.
This car was donated by a Mr and Mrs Martin of Tours and entered the Museum in 1987.