The Truth About Cars » french car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:42:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » french car http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Dispatches do Brasil: Renault Celebrates 30 Years Of The Minivan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/dispatches-do-brasil-renault-celebrates-30-years-of-the-minivan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/06/dispatches-do-brasil-renault-celebrates-30-years-of-the-minivan/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 13:34:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=836833 Renault-Espace-30-anos-01-560x373

Who invented the minivan? Americans may be surprised to hear that Europeans place that honor firmly in Renault’s lap. To them, the Renault Espace, which celebrates 30 years of production this June, will always be the epitome of the minivan and no Dodge Caravan or Chrysler Town and Country can touch it. To add to the complication, there is the trifle matter that Nissan introduced its Prairie three years before either the American or European contenders and that it, too, had what are considered the essential traits of the modern minivan.

Paul Niedemeyer covered the whole matter brilliantly for TTAC four years ago. He even got a testy e-mail from one of the alleged minivan fathers. As the senior Niedermeyer points out, great ideas fester in many different heads, sometimes at the same time and come to fruition more or less at the same time. Fact is in the late 70s, both Italdesign’s Giorgetto Giugiaro with his Megagamma for Lancia concept and the people at Chrysler Europe were fiddling around with the idea. Both sported the same basic ideas: front wheel drive, a transverse engine, front wheels placed ahead of the cabin, a monobox design, a flat floorboard throughout the cabin and flexibe seating and cargo capacity. The main difference between the Italian studio’s take and that in development in Chrysler UK was that the Italian design had a vestigial hood while Chrysler’s was a true monobox.

As so often happens to the plans of men, life intervened and who ended up with a hood and who didn’t was inverted. Chrysler suffered government intervention and to get the money it needed, it was forced to divest itself of overseas ventures. In that way, Peugeot initially got hold of the minivan plans that had been under development by Matra. When the lion of France turned cold on the idea, Matra took it to Renault who had the courage to run with it and viola, the Espace made its début in 1984.

Almost simultaneously the Chrysler minivan came out in the United States. The Chrysler had a hood, though smallish, while the French design was a true monobox. In this way, Renault will always be able to claim they invented the first true modern minivan. Produced from 1984 until the present, the Espace has gone through four real generations and has sold a total of 1.24 million units in this time frame.

Renault-Espace-1984-01

The first generation lasted until 1991 and besides offering seating for seven in a length of just 4.25m. Engines ranging from 2.0 to 2.2, gasoline and diesel, along with all wheel drive and an air suspension were offered. Interestingly, the sheetmetal was a polyester and fiber glass mix.

Renault-Espace-1991-01

The second generation lasted from 1991 to 1996. The car grew to 4.43m and engines did likewise, ranging from 2.1 to 2.85l including a V6. Also available for the first time was an automatic transmission.

Renault-Espace-1996-01

The third generation, from 1996 to 2002, spawned an offshoot. Now there were both an Espace and a Grand Espace. The former was 4.52m long while the latter was 4.79m. Engines were reduced to 1.9 at the lower level while the top choice was a 3.0 V6.

Renault-Espace-2002-01

The fourth generation has lasted from 2002 until today, though there have been 4 refreshes along the way. The smallest Espace is now 4.66m long while the big one is 4.86m. The largest engine on offer is a 3.5L V6 with a healthy 245 horses as the top choice.

Regardless who takes credit for the invention of the minivan, Renault, Chrysler or even Nissan, the modern minivan has changed the automobile landscape and has forever earned a place in people’s hearts. Whether or not you man up to it, for a man with a family there is nothing more soothing and rewarding than seeing the little bobbing heads of his little ones in the back seats and the sleeping figure of his better half next to him. All of them in the van, on the long road of life, to somewhere, destination not important, but the trip, oh what a trip!

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The Twingo Turns 20 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/the-twingo-turns-20/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/12/the-twingo-turns-20/#comments Sat, 14 Dec 2013 15:15:03 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=679554 ku-xlarge (2)

Our friends at Jalopnik have an interesting history on the Renault Twingo, a car that is about to celebrate its 20th birthday, and has arguably entered the “small car hall of fame” alongside cars like the Mini and the Volkswagen Golf. You can read about its origins as a Polish people’s car and see how its strayed further and further away from the ideal. The next Twingo is slated to share a platform with the upcoming Smart Fortwo replacement, and that means a rear-engine, rear drive layout.

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Junkyard Find: 1989 Peugeot 405 S http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1989-peugeot-405-s/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/07/junkyard-find-1989-peugeot-405-s/#comments Sat, 13 Jul 2013 13:00:15 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=494968 11 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinPeugeot gave up on the North American market after the 1991 model year, thanks to poor sales of their new 405. I haven’t seen one of these cars on the street for at least 15 years, and junkyard sightings have been correspondingly rare. When I spotted this car at a Northern California self-serve yard a couple months back, it took me a moment to figure out what it was.
03 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNearly 200,000 miles on the clock, which is comparable to what I see on (non-Mitsubishi) Japanese cars of the same era.
02 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhen the company that built your car retreats from your continent, keeping it on the street becomes quite a challenge. This one made it to age 24.
10 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe only Peugeot I’ve ever owned was a 504 that came with a bunch of Linda Ronstadt 8-tracks. I liked that car, in spite of its frequent breakdowns (yes, I know, the 504 is supposedly bulletproof everywhere else in the world).

We have a few Peugeot 405 Mi16s racing in the 24 Hours of LeMons (they’re quite affordable, i.e. less than scrap value in most cases). They’re somewhat quick, but they tend to be pretty blow-uppy. Here’s one depositing a connecting rod in the windshield of a following car.

01 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 04 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 07 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 08 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1989 Peugeot 405 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin ]]>
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Peugeot 208 GTI Adds Lightness As Well As Power http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/peugeot-208-gti-adds-lightness-as-well-as-power/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/peugeot-208-gti-adds-lightness-as-well-as-power/#comments Wed, 22 Feb 2012 17:24:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=432028

A hot hatch that’s up on power and 220 lbs lighter than the model it replaces? What a novel concept!

The Peugeot 208 GTI you see here is officially a “concept”, but the 208 itself is very real, and will replace the outgoing 207 model. The premium hot hatch segment is growing in Europe, with the Audi A1 and Citroen DS3 being the latest examples. Audi and Citroen both offer “hot” versions of their wares, but the 208′s 197 horsepower 1.6L turbo 4-cylinder and estimated 2535 lb curb weight , that puts it roughly in league with the Mini Cooper S in terms of power-to-weight ratio. Every Peugeot hot hatch has had to live in the shadow of the Peugeot 205 GTI, while Renault and Citroen’s latest entries have become critical favorites in Europe. The 208 GTI will get its debuted at March’s Geneva Auto Show.

Peugeot 208 GTI. Photo courtesy Peugeot. Peugeot 208 GTI Interior. Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail ]]>
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