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201624 Aug

Renault-Etoile-Filante-And-Renault-Dauphine
 
The Renault Etoile Filante has returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA where, six decades ago on September 5, 1956, it famously clocked up a speed of 308.9kph (192mph) to establish four new world records – two of which still stand to this day. 
 
Meanwhile, to celebrate 60 years since the Renault Dauphine first went on sale in America, Renault Classic dispatched a Dauphine to Bonneville Speed Week where Nicolas Prost, driver for Renault e.dams in the FIA Formula E Championship, established a new class record 76.5mph (123.1 kmph), proving that passion has no age.
 
The record-breaking Etoile Filante (meaning “shooting star” in French) is a prime example of how engineers sought to carry over aircraft technologies into automotive design during the aviation-infatuated period following the Second World War.
 
When war ended in 1945, Turbomeca’s boss De Szidlowski, a leading expert in turbine engines, started making small power units for applications such as the famous Alouette helicopter. Very eager to raise public awareness on what he considered an immensely promising technology, he approached Renault with a high-profile concept in mind. Renault boss Pierre Lefaucheux went ahead and commissioned development of an experimental car from a highly experienced team of three: project manager Fernand Picard, exceptionally talented engine specialist Albert Lory, and engineer and test driver Jean Hebert. The outcome was the Etoile Filante, with a polyester body on a tubular structure and a turbine developing 270hp.
 
On September 5, 1956, the whistle of the powerful turbine ricocheted around the salt lake of Bonneville, USA.  A few moments later, the world speed record had been broken. The Etoile Filante had reached 308.9 kmph (192 mph) over a kilometre (0.6 miles), and 308.85 kmph (192 mph) over 5 km (3.1 miles), a record that still holds today.  Despite its virtues, turbine technology proved ill-adapted to automotive applications, and neither Renault nor any other carmaker would take the concept any further. Even so, the Etoile Filante stands as an epoch-marking machine, in a class of its own.
 
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Renault Car Features


60 Years On, The Etoile Filante And Renault Dauphine Tread American Soil Again

The Renault Etoile Filante has returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA where, six decades ago on September 5, 1956, it famously clocked up a speed of 308.9 kmph (192 mph) to establish four new world records two of which still stand to this day.

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