20th Century History


1898 A breakthrough in safety

Louis Renault developed his first vehicle with a geartrain transmission that was safer and more reliable than chains or belts used by other car makers at the time.

1909 Compressed air starter

A compressed air starter replaced the hand crank, responsible for numerous injuries.

1922 Front wheel brakes

Renault's six-cylinder 18CV and 40CV models benefited from brakes on the front wheels. The 40CV could be fitted with Louis Renault's patented mechanical servo-brake, for stronger braking action.

1937 Independent front suspension

The Juvaquatre was the first Renault to benefit from an independent front suspension for better roadholding, consisting of an all-steel monocoque structure, for better protection.

1951 Lardy Centre opened

The Lardy Centre was built to conduct tests for all future Renault vehicles. The very first impact resistance tests were carried out here.

1954 Accidentology studies

Renault set up the Laboratory of Physiology and Biomechanics directed by a physician, to help vehicle design teams develop safer cars. From this moment on, crash tests become a key element of vehicle design and safety engineering.

1962 Disc brakes on small cars

The R8 was the first compact car to receive disc brakes on all four wheels. This technique was previously reserved for large cars.

1969 The LAB

Creation of the joint Accident Analysis and Biomechanics Laboratory (LAB), between Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroën.

1974 Basic Research Vehicle

The BRV (Basic Research Vehicle) was developed for studies into passive safety.

1979 The safety cell

Renault presented EPURE (vehicle for research into road user and environment protection). It used the concept of a structurally rigid cabin and took into account the impact on pedestrians.

1985 ABS

Anti-lock Braking System appeared on the R25.

1993 Protecting the occupants

Driver airbag and seatbelt pretensioners appeared on Clio, R19 and Safrane models.

1995 A revolution in safety

Mégane introduced the Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP1), which revolutionised the seatbelt by adding a load limiter, pretensioner and locking reel.

1996 Improving the range

ABS, driver and passenger airbags appeared across the whole Renault range.

1998 Permanent innovation

The second-generation Renault System for Restraint and Protection (SRP2) appeared, with driver and passenger airbags, load limiters, pretensioners and headrests with close-up protection.