Renault’s first front-wheel drive family vehicle, the iconic 4 celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. It was originally introduced in 1961 and had an extreme production run that lasted till 1992. Three decades of production left the Renault4 with a legion of fans and enthusiasts with several events planned for this year to mark the special occasion.
Renault itself is getting involved and is helping a team of four French enthusiasts who are attempting to set a new record during this August’s Bonneville Speed Week. The team will make a play at achieving the title of the fastest Renault4 ever built. Renault’s Classic and Sport divisions are assisting the crew called “Triplets de Bonneville”, to prepare the specially modified Renault 4 using the body and chassis of a panel van version.
Under the bonnet the Bonneville speed racer will pack a 290-horsepower turbocharged engine taken from a Renault 5 Turbo vehicle that competed in the French Touring Car Championship in 1983. The gearbox is taken from a Renault 25 GTX Turbo and the brakes from a Renault Clio.
For safety the Renault4 van is fitted with a roll cage, fire extinguisher, a special harness and single bucket seats. There will also be a braking parachute mounted in the roof.
The builders of the Renault 4 Bonneville racer believe that their creation will be able to achieve a top speed in excess of 280 km/h, which would be enough to get the honour of being the fastest Renault 4 ever built.