When the new little Renault first appeared at the Paris Auto Show in late 1961, it was hailed as revolutionary! There, the manufacturer with the diamond logo not only unveiled a new concept, but also a new approach to the automobile.
Everything in the Renault 4 was revolutionary for a car in its segment. This four-cylinder economy car with a sealed, maintenance-free cooling circuit boasted front-wheel drive (a first for Renault on a passenger car), a platform to which the body was bolted, four wheels with independent suspension, four full seats with removable front and rear bench seats, and most especially a hatchback which greatly facilitated the loading of the boot.
With the release of its first models in 1962, the six side window limousine version was the named the R4L, as opposed to the basic R3 and R4 models. In fact, when the public hears "Renault 4", a "4L" model generally comes to mind, regardless of its finish or the official designations chosen by the manufacturer. This was the case until the end of the model's production in December 1992.
Over its thirty-year career as one of France's greatest domestic automobile success stories, more than eight million vehicles were sold worldwide. The GTL model met with success upon its release in 1978. This new model enabled the Renault 4 to better fit into that era's auto manufacturing landscape. To achieve this, it relied on a 1108 cm3 engine generating 34 hp and a gearbox with four well-spaced gears. The GTL cost 19,200 francs and soon established itself as the best Renault 4 ever marketed.