10 cars that changed the world
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! choiboi's Avatar
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    Default 10 cars that changed the world

    Renault 16
    Volkswagen might claim it invented the idea of a small, front-drive hatchback with the Golf in the 1970s, but the first front-drive hatch was really the Renault 16, which emerged in 1968.

    The Renault arrived before funky was the norm, but its five-door body, with a remarkably roomy and versatile interior, was a revelation. The seats could be laid flat to form a bed and there was plenty of storage space and evidence of planning.

    The front-wheel-drive chassis was accurate and the supple, long-travel suspension was typically French in its ability to deliver positive handling with a comfy ride (at the expense of body roll).

    The 16 was also remarkable for being a genuine 100-miles-per-hour car.

    Other aspects were stuck in the past, however, particularly the north-south engine, which upset weight distribution and compromised cabin space. Details such as the umbrella-handle park-brake and the column-shift gearchange also seem counter to our modern hatchback culture, but at least the Renault's shift worked with a slick action.

    Sexy it might not have been, but a blueprint for subsequent "sensible" hatchbacks? Certainly.

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  2. #2
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    What a strange item. How on earth can you include an FX Holden and XR Falcon GT in a discussion on “10 cars that changed the world”? Certainly the FX and Falc changed the way Australia drives into thinking that big is better, and the FX could probably be considered as reasonably efficient in its original form, it was just the later cars that gradually got bargier and more wasteful. But as cars that changed the world no way. I suppose it keeps the Ford and Holden heads happy though, otherwise it would be just like when the Nissan GTR won Bathurst.

    Nice to see the 16 included though, but it would be good to get things straight. First introduced in 1965 the original 16 would struggle to reach 90mph. It was only the 16TS in 1968, the granddaddy of the hot hatch, which was a genuine 100mph car. As for the north south motor being unbalanced, it makes you wonder if they have ever experienced a 16, and know that it was all alloy front mid configuration. Let alone them knowing that the 16TS won numerous Australian state rally championships back in the late 60’s and early 70’s against much more powerful opposition!

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    well lets speak of 10 cars that changed the world of cars anyway.......... here's a few, but not old stuff cos I don't know anything about old cars.

    -I'm not a big fan, but people reckon 911 Porsches did.

    -golf Gti the first hot hatch and the first peoples car to popularise fuel injection.

    -Toyota revolutionised the world of cars with not the Corolla name badge, but their production methods.

    -Skyline GTR signified that the Japanese meant business.

    -Saab for popularising Turbo's.
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  4. #4
    XTC
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
    UFO
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    First monocoque front wheel drive car? Citroen Traction Avant
    First production car with front disc brakes? Citroen DS
    First car to drive around Australia? Citroen 5CV (not world changing, but hey, I don't care)
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    Default Whats wrong with XR GT?

    Of course the FX & XR GT are in this list of the World's top 10 cars!
    Or is there another World out there somewhere ?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO
    First production car with front disc brakes? Citroen DS
    Front only? The 1949 Chrysler Imperial had 4 wheel discs. Not trying to out smart arse you here, though - I'd looked this up a while back when we discussed French firsts about a year or two ago, as I thought a Lanchester had disc brakes well back in time (1920's) but it turned out that Frederick Lanchester just invented and patented them in 1901. (At this time someone mentioned the often quoted record with R8 as the first with 4 wheel discs.) Suppose the Imperial was pretty low in production numbers, though. And the Crossley, which had 4 wheel discs in the same year apparently...

    Stuey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Front only? The 1949 Chrysler Imperial had 4 wheel discs. Not trying to out smart arse you here, though - I'd looked this up a while back when we discussed French firsts about a year or two ago, as I thought a Lanchester had disc brakes well back in time (1920's) but it turned out that Frederick Lanchester just invented and patented them in 1901. (At this time someone mentioned the often quoted record with R8 as the first with 4 wheel discs.) Suppose the Imperial was pretty low in production numbers, though. And the Crossley, which had 4 wheel discs in the same year apparently...

    Stuey
    Could UFO mean front inboard disks??

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  10. #10
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon
    What a strange item. How on earth can you include an FX Holden and XR Falcon GT in a discussion on “10 cars that changed the world”?
    Nice to see the 16 included though, but it would be good to get things straight. First introduced in 1965 the original 16 would struggle to reach 90mph. It was only the 16TS in 1968, the granddaddy of the hot hatch, which was a genuine 100mph car. As for the north south motor being unbalanced, it makes you wonder if they have ever experienced a 16, and know that it was all alloy front mid configuration. Let alone them knowing that the 16TS won numerous Australian state rally championships back in the late 60’s and early 70’s against much more powerful opposition!
    Spot on Simon, as usual. That first pressure die cast block, mounted behind the transaxle, wasn't too bad for FWD balance (or RWD balance for that matter!) at the time. The transverse FWD competition was, if anything at the price and size of a 16, the Austin 1800 or, for longitudinal layouts, a somewhat more expensive Citroen. Now the 1800? Transverse, yes. Well balanced?????? And Audi seem to have persisted fairly successfully with the longitudinal arrangement and R12 derivatives are still going, with the engine ahead like Audi. Interestingly, new cars with FWD and transverse layouts are getting longer as crash test requirements need something to crush!

    Now, to cause a little discussion, if anyone is interested, there was a 1939 French hatchback - the Citroen 11 Commerciale. It had a top hinged hatchback and a low hinged panel too, all (by what I know) apparently on the standard LWB FWD car and the same bodyshell.

    I'd argue still that the R16 (not forgetting the R4) really started the modern trend, but there were others. There was, for example, the almost forgotten, but quite good in its way, A40 Farina, which had a hatchback in its Mk2 form. Very ordinary in other ways - not "anti-ordinary" for those who know!!

    So it's open in some ways. But for the modern series of hatchbacks, the R16 did it for my money.

    The 16 was an amazing trendsetter, with (if I remember correctly) no fewer than 12 new patents. A car that "changed the world"? Certainly.

    JohnW

  11. #11
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    Patents are not a good measure, I don't think

    The 1999 W220 Mercedes S-Class had over 600 patents... Influential though it has proved to be, its certainly has'nt changed the world!

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