Abandoned Renault 4 and Volkswagen Rabbit
When the Volkswagen Golf was introduced in 1974, it came to the U.S. in 1975 as the Volkswagen Rabbit, a hop-away hit. Initially available as either a two- or four-door hatchback and later on as a convertible and even a pickup truck, the diminutive Rabbit combined a nimble, front-wheel-drive chassis with high-quality German construction and incredible space efficiency. This successor to the beloved Beetle easily embarrassed American economy cars in terms of performance, fuel-efficiency and cabin space. In 1985, the Rabbit nameplate was replaced by the Golf moniker (meant to recall the Gulf of Mexico, not a golf ball), which was what the car had always been called in Europe.
The Renault 4, also known as the 4L (pronounced “Quatrelle” in French), is a small economy car produced by the French automaker Renault between 1961 and 1994. It was the first front-wheel drive family car produced by Renault.
The car was launched at a time when several decades of economic stagnation were giving way to growing prosperity and surging car ownership in France. The first million cars were produced by 1 February 1966, less than four and a half years after launch, eventually over eight million were built, making the Renault 4 a commercial success because of the timing of its introduction and the merits of its design.