The Novaquatre is a car first presented in the Autumn of 1937 by Renault and produced between 1938 and 1940. It appeared to combine the body of the little Renault Celtaquatre, with the engine of the 2383 cc 4-cylinder water-cooled engine of the larger Renault Primaquatre. A top speed of 110 km/h (69 mph) was claimed for the car in its original form, although this reduced to 100 km/h (63 mph) at the end of 1939 when a smaller engine replaced the original unit. Power was transmitted to the rear wheels via a conventional three-speed manual transmission
The Celtaquatre had ceased production in 1938 and was effectively replaced by both the (slightly smaller) Renault Juvaquatre and by the (actually slightly longer) Novaquatre. The standard four-door saloon-bodied Novaquatre sat on a wheelbase of 2,830 mm (111.4 in).
In September 1939 France, like Britain, declared war in Germany and in June 1940 the German army invaded and rapidly occupied northern France. These seismic military events give context to the changes that the model underwent, and explain the shortness of its production run. Late in 1939 the engine was replaced with a smaller, 1813 cc unit, and the car’s cable brakes were replaced by Lockheed hydraulic brakes. The new Novaquatre BFH1 would presumably have been presented formally in October at the 1939 Motor Show had the event not been cancelled.
Relatively few Novaquatres were produced. Taking the April 1940 factory output of 716 cars, 441 were Juvaquatres, 240 were Primaquatres and just 35 were Novaquatres. A couple of months later, probably before the German invasion, Novaquatre production came to an end.