Renault is 115 years old! Throughout 2013 Declic will be bringing you 12 "Chrono 115" stories to tell you about some of the highlights in the company's history. They will be examined from the angle of the major themes that are Renault strong points today, with each theme developed over three months. The themes are: quality, zero-emissions vehicles / the environment, design, and innovation for all. Episode 10: The turbocharging saga.
More powerful cars… Even right at the start of the 20th century that was what carmakers wanted, and their main showcase was motor racing. Louis Renault had become a leading name in the automobile world since the launch in 1898 of his “Voiturette” with a De Dion Bouton engine and revolutionary direct drive transmission. But it was only in 1902 that Renault began designing its own engines.
Power, yes, but not at any price! Louis Renault already believed that engines should be light in weight. It was with this in mind that he invented a system known as supercharging that made engines more powerful without the need to enlarge them. The system was registered as patent number 327,452 on 17 December 1902. This is how it worked: by increasing the amount of gases allowed into the cylinder on each stroke, greater compression occurred and therefore a more forceful explosion, generating more power. A ventilator or a small compressor controlled by the engine itself was what took the combustible gases to the engine.