Bad news: the car French has recovered sanity

When I was little I used to buy many car magazines. In fact I was spending the weekly pay in those magazines, and devoured those stories on sports Porsche or Mercedes. But there was always a hole in my heart for those crazy French. Although they were producing cars by general practitioners, of when in when throwing cars that could only be classified as extravagant. No go so far: the Renault Clio V6, the monovolúmen two-door Avantime or Citroen C6 are recent examples. But I have bad news for you: the French have recovered sanity, and no longer dare to play with the suspensions hidroneumáticas.

The economic logic sends

Without going more far, the Government of France owns 19.7% of the shares of Renault.

From Spain has always been “cool” to mess with the French and protest when we visited Paris, but in the background Spain is a country where the sales of Renault, Citroen and Peugeot have historically been excellent. This has led us to enjoy for decades French car of all kinds, from the legendary Renault 4 to the non-combustible Peugeot 205, still present on our roads. Not to mention the incredible popularity that have had compact as the Citroën Xsara or sedans like the Renault Laguna. And we’ve also enjoyed these follies occasional the car French has given us over the years.

renault-megane-02-1440pxhowever, this madness seems to be coming to an end. Peugeot was always more moderate, but Renault and Citroën have produced a car really special. Could not define in another way to a Renault Spider or a Citroën CX Break. I did not have to be sports cars, for road cars such as the Peugeot 1007 had a dose of madness and irrationality from the side more passionate the car, it is all a gift. But the French have become very “German”. Since the financial crisis of 2009, both Renault as the PSA Group have had to be in part rescued, and managed with the unjustly so-called “market criteria”.

The problem of a Government to direct the destinies of a great company is that all the passion and innovation should serve the sole purpose of giving benefits.

Because they should be called criteria of boredom. It is evident that a car manufacturer is not an NGO, it is a private company and as such should be given benefits. The problem is when a private company gets to the point of view of their continuity compromised, but employs tens of thousands of people. The bankruptcy of Renault or the PSA Group would have effectively ended with the automobile industry in France. The network of suppliers and auxiliary industry existing would have ceased to exist – just as their factories abroad – to the serious detriment also to the Spanish business fabric. All the French have production in Spain.

peugeot-3008-1-2-pure-tech-130-1440pxThe problem of operating under criteria market controlled by the French government – a shareholder of all the automotive industry gala – is that do not allow the assumption of risk. Under a criterion technocratic the Renault Avantime would never have been produced. Nor does the Renault Clio V6. Neither would have innovated the way that it did with the Citroen original DS, the precursor to the almost defunct hydropneumatic suspension that saved the life of Charles De Gaulle. Yes, some of these risks have resulted in products deficient and millions of dollars in losses. But experiences of the French have been extracted abundant know-how and cutting-edge technologies.

Who has seen you and who sees you

In our collective imaginary is the Renault Clio V6, Renault Avantime or the unique Renault Spider.

Without this being an exhaustive review, I will try to illustrate my exposition with practical examples. Take, for example, Renault. Your current vehicle more transgressive and different could be the Twizy, a quadricycle, light electrical. I don’t forget the Renault Mégane RS, a compact sporty equipped with an engine 2.0 turbo 275 BHP of power, which breaks records at the Nürburgring. But I think, I can not avoid falling into the nostalgia of the past. It is now more than 10 years, Renault decided to take the V6 engine is more powerful its range and put you in the place of the trunk in a Renault Clio. The Clio V6 was a car radical, nervous, impractical, and difficult to drive.

And all the world loved him. Even today makes them run rivers of ink virtual, and will have done more for your image of mark which will cause a Kadjar, which is another SUV. In 2002 Renault launched the Avantime on the market. An eccentric mix between a coupe, a SUV, a convertible and a monovolúmen. The production did not reach 8,500 units and caused millions of dollars in losses. A car of two doors that went on to appear in movies so futuristic, crazy in all rule without any sense of logic. The class of vehicle in motor we appreciate and fully understand. A machine radical, misunderstood and exciting.

Only two recent examples, but I could go: away was the exclusive Safrane Biturbo, the Renault 5 Turbo engine with rear or prototypes such as the Renault Espace F1, a monovolúmen of seven seats to which is coupled an engine of Formula 1 with more than 800 HP. If we are going to Peugeot we can think of something like that. Peugeot has always been the name of more rational within the motor-racing French, but this hasn’t stopped it from experimenting with coches as 1007. A utility with two sliding doors and less than four meters. Tremendously practical and tremendously unpopular, in addition to unreliable. A vehicle’s original, unfortunately very far from its current range.

The Peugeot more passionate in many years – the beautiful RCZ – will die at the end of its current life cycle.

Perhaps the most exciting of Peugeot is the 208 GTi, a utilitarian spicy is really in the line of their competence, without mentioning especially. The RCZ has been perhaps the last project-risky and truly different from Peugeot, with a construction semi-craft and excellent design. A project that will not be renewed, to be an expensive car to produce and of limited rationality. In return, we get more crossovers and most SUVS. Perhaps Peugeot has not risked as much as Renault or Citroën, but in their time they created beautiful machines with bodywork signed by Bertone or Pininfarina. Do you remember the beautiful 406 Coupe?

Or those Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 street, required to homologate the car that would compete in the Group B rally championship. As it is impossible for me to forget those Peugeot 106 Rallye, sports pocket with a dynamic unparalleled, impossibly affordable and impossibly fun. But the champion of madness has always been a Citroën, with a lot of difference. Designs the-wall, solutions of practicality questionable, and vehicles of profitability impossible. Machines that have created an exciting brand image, which is now diluting it with vehicles too logical, too much germans, away from decades of tradition.

The range Citroën is the most rational in decades, with only glimpses of originality visible in the C4 Cactus.

The car more different than now Citroen is the C4 Cactus. But it is only different at the design level, it is still a compact, perfectly rational if you analyze it thoroughly. However, until very recently, Citroën sold the C6, an approximation to the luxury oriented exclusively to the comfort, with a unique design in the market. The hydropneumatic suspension Hydractive will soon disappear in the complete of your range, and although re-launch the DS range with a status of fashion accessory… what are cars worthy of being sold as the successors to the Citroen original DS? What about the 2CV? What is there of the giant CX?

Although I have spoken of the big three only, Bugatti is owned by Volkswagen and both Matra as a Venturi – without going further – are missing in action for several years, or no longer produced car. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or the age, that makes me see things with a different perspective. But I do not doubt that the car French has lost some of the charm that characterized him. One point of magical, irrational, daring. I hope I’m wrong and France wake up from this lethargy with exciting new cars. Even though they are not the favorites of the great public, are the ideal excuse to spend these immense profits from the sale of SUVs and compact. Don’t you think?

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