In June 1962 Renault introduced the R8. This was a model based on the Dauphine (which itself was derived from the 4CV). That meant that the R8 had the same chassis as the Dauphine, with the rear engine, a bit a step back considering the R4 with front engine and frontwheel drive and hatchback body had been introduced one year earlier. But this type of car with rear engine was still very popular in Europe. Think about the Simca 1000, introduced in 1961, which was to become one of the biggest competitors of the R8.
Unlike the Dauphine, which had a very rounded bodywork, the R8 was very angular of design. The car had, as most French cars, four doors. With this body the R8 had a modern look.
The R8 got an all new engine, with 956 cm³ of 44 SAE hp.
This engine was made in Cléon (in the North of France), and
consequently the engines of this type are called
«Cléon». It was a modern engine, it had five
main bearings, an alloy cilinderhead, wet cylinderliners, and a
sealed and pressurized cooling system. This system had had its
premiere on a production car one year earlier in the R4. The R8 had
disc brakes on the front and the rear wheels, a novelty in those
days. There was a choice between a three speed gearbox as standard
equipment and a four speed as optional.
Most technical innovations, were introduced a few months earlier on the renewed Floride - Caravelle model.
In 1964 a new model was introduced, the R8 Major. This car had an enlarged engine, with 1108 cm³ and 50 SAE hp, and the 4 speed gearbox as standard. The car had a better equipment than the normal R8: Chrome details on the exterior, whitewall tyres, bootspace covered with upholstery, vinyl covered seats with adjustable backs, arm rests on the front doors, ash trays in the rear, moquette carpet on the floor, light for reading maps on the inside mirror.
Another novelty in 1964 was the introduction of the R8 Gordini. This car had the 1108 engine, but now with 90 hp. The car also was a bit lowered. The R8G was only available in blue (the French racing colour), with two white stripes over the bonnet, roof and the boot.
In 1965 an electrical gearbox became available. That was the standard three speed gearbox, now electrically operated by buttons on the dashboard.
In 1965 also, the R10 saw the light. This car took over the place of the R8 Major, which disappeared. The R10 was an R8 with a different front and rear. The car was 20 cm longer. Luggage space had gained 30%, from 240 to 315 litres. Equipment was very much the same as in the R8 Major, it also had the same 1108 cm³ engine. The interior was completly renewed. The first R10's had round headlights with the indicators next to them.
In 1967 the R8 G got a bigger 1255 cm³ engine, with 103 hp. The car also got two extra headlights, and a five speed gearbox.
In 1968 there were many changes made to the R8 and R10. The R8's 956 cm³ engine was replaced by the 1108 cm3 from the R10. It also got the R10 dashboard. The R10 had a minor facelift. A rectangular model replaced the round headlights, and the indicator lights were placed under headlights. The rearlights were new, and they were now placed under a black horizontal bar, which ran over the whole width of the car.
In 1968 again a new version of the R8 was introduced, the R8 S. This was a more sporty version of the R8, with a more powerful 60 hp 1108 cm³ engine. This car was always yellow, and had two extra headlights. A rev counter was standard.
In 1970 the R10 got a new engine, the 1289 cm³ of 52 hp from the R12, introduced in 1969.
Production of the R8 G ended in 1970, in 71 the end was there for the R8 S and the R10. The last R8 was sold in 1973. Production was continued only in Spain for a few years. The last R8's had new bumpers and large rear lights, and drum brakes on the rear wheels.
In total 1,3 million R8's have been built, and 690.000 R10's. The Gordini 1108 came to 2.626, the R8 G 1255 to 8.981.
From: The observer's book of AUTOMOBILES 1966
Edited by L.A. Manwaring, Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., London
Renault 10 Major Saloon: Number of cilinders 4. Cubic capacity 1108 c.c. Compression ratio 8.5 : 1. B.H.P. 50. Overall length 13 ft. 9 1/2 in. Overall width 4 ft. 10 1/5 in. Height 4 ft. 6 in. Turning circle 30 ft. 6 in. Wheel-base 7 ft. 5 1/4 in. Track 4 ft. 1 1/4 in. (front), 4 ft. (rear). Fuel tank capacity 8 1/2 Imp. Gals. Kerb weight 1753 lb. Appearance: Headlamps set into flat body panel and flanked by triangular side/indicator lamps on front "corners". Gently curving "bonnet" -note lack of frontal air-intake due to rear engine. Curved windscreen and rear window; narrow roof line. Square tail-line with high-set, horizontal tail-lamp clusters. Air-outlet grille runs full width of tail. Perforated disc wheels and flat hub-caps. Known as 1100 in Britain.
RENAULT 8 f 5.595 RENAULT 10 f 6.250 importer: Renault Nederland N.V., Wibautstraat 224, Amsterdam TECHNICAL DATA ENGINE (watercooled): DISPLACEMENT: 1108 cc; BORE: 70 mm; STROKE: 72 mm; PLACE: rear; POWER: 46 SAE hp; CYLINDERS: 4 in line; ELECTR.: 12 V. TRANSMISSION (rear wheel drive): SPEEDS: 4; GEAR LEVER: on floor; CLUTCH: single plate. SUSPENSION front: independent with coil springs; REAR: independent with coil springs; SHOCK ABSORBERS: telescopic. BRAKES (single circuit): discs. TYRES: SIZE: 145 x 380; PRESSURE, FRONT: 20 lbs; REAR 25 lbs. STEERING: with rack and pinion. SIZES AND WEIGHTS Renault 8: LENGTH: 399.5 cm; WIDTH: 149 cm; HEIGHT: 141 cm; WHEELBASE: 227 cm; TRACK, FRONT: 125.6 cm; 122.6 cm; WEIGHT: 765 kg; MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 1100 kg; SIZE FUEL TANK: 37 l; TURNING CIRCLE: 9.20 m. SIZES AND WEIGHTS Renault 10: LENGTH: 419.7 cm; WIDTH: 152.6 cm; HEIGHT: 140.5 cm; WHEELBASE: 227 cm; TRACK, FRONT: 125.6 cm; 122.6 cm; WEIGHT: 795 kg; MAXIMUM WEIGHT: 1125 kg; SIZE FUEL TANK: 38 l; TURNING CIRCLE: 9.20 m. PERFORMANCE Renault 8: TOPSPEED: 130 km/h; CRUISING SPEED: 110 km/h; BRAKE DISTANCE 60 km - 0: 15.30 m; FUEL CONSUMPTION: 1l on 11-13 km. PERFORMANCE Renault 10: TOPSPEED: 135 km/h; CRUISING SPEED: 110 km/h; BRAKE DISTANCE 60 km - 0: 15.50 m; FUEL CONSUMPTION: 1l on 12-13 km. INTERIOR AND EQUIPMENT SEATS: 4; UPHOLSTERY: Cloth or vinyl; DOORS: 4; INSTRUMENTS: speedometer, fuel gauge; PLACE SPARE WHEEL: in front.
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Last modified: Monday, February 21, 2000 at 18h57