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Renault Frégate
1959 Renault Frégate Transfluide
Manufacturer Renault
Also called Renault Domaine
Production 1951-1960
Assembly Flins, France
Predecessor Renault Vivastella
Successor none
Class full-size car
large car
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
5-door estate
Layout FR layout
Engine(s) 1996 cc straight-4
2141 cc Etendard straight-4
Transmission(s) 4 speed manual,
'Transfluide' semi automatic 3 speed optional from 1957
Wheelbase 2,800 mm (110 in)[1]
Length 4,700 mm (185.0 in)
Width 1,720 mm (67.7 in)
Height 1,540 mm (60.6 in)
Curb weight 1,230 kg (2,712 lb)

The Renault Frégate is a full-size or executive car produced by the French automaker Renault between 1951 and 1960.

The Frégate was conceived in the years immediately following World War II. Renault, which then had recently been brought under control of the French state, needed a new modern, upmarket model to both improve its image and to cater to the needs of consumers in the quickly recovering economy. Several prototypes were produced before the Frégate design was put into production: initially, the car had a rear-engined layout as in the recently launched Renault 4CV but eventually the manufacturer decided to go with an engine mounted ahead of the driver. The Frégate was unveiled at the 1950 Paris Motor Show but the first model was not delivered until November 1951: production built up only slowly. The assembly plant at Flins where the car was constructed, known officially at that time as the Pierre Lefaucheux Plant, was only formally opened in October 1952[2].

The Frégate was initially available in two trim levels, Affaires and Amiral. Renault addressed the complaints about the lack of power from the 2 litre engine by introducing the new 2141 cc Etendard engine in 1956, which produced 77 hp (57 kW). A popular estate model badged Domaine was also launched in 1956, along with the new, luxurious Grand Pavois specification. In 1957 a three speed 'Transfluide' semi-automatic transmission, incorporating a fluid coupling, became an option along with a slightly more powerful version of the 2141 cc engine for which 80 bhp (60 kW; 81 PS) was claimed in this combination.

1958 saw another modified front grill: the prominent wide chrome oval and horizontal bars were removed to leave only the row of thin bars over which, since 1955, they had been placed.

Nevertheless, the market for larger saloon cars had been taken by storm in 1955 when Citroën had introduced their futuristic DS, followed in 1957 by a more aggressively priced ID variant: sales of the Frégate gradually declined throughout the 1950s and production ceased in 1960. In total, 163,383 Frégates were made in Flins, France.


  1. ^ Gloor, Roger (1. Auflage 2007). Alle Autos der 50er Jahre 1945 - 1960. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. ISBN 978-3-613-02808-1.  
  2. ^ Autoworld vol 45: Page 11. date April 1974.  


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