The history of the Renault Magnum


The Renault Magnum is a truck where everyone has an opinion about: you either love it or you hate it. From the beginning to the end of his career, this truck has remained striking.

When this truck was introduced in 1990, it surprised friend and foe. Renault’s new flagship, then called AE, resembled nothing which was on the market then. Cabin and chassis are clearly separated, the cabin is also quite mobile, something that brings comfort. This optic had several special effects. Think of the flat cab floor, while the competition in 1990 still had high engine tunnels in the cabin. The entrance is behind the door instead of underneath it. Something many truck drivers had learned when he stepped out of his truck with a sleepy head in the morning. The front of the truck is almost one and all window, allowing the driver not only to have good visibility, but sometimes make them feel sitting in a ‘shop window’. The strict separation between the technical section and live/work part also ensures effective isolation of noise and heat.

The truck became European ‘Truck of the Year’ in 1991. At that time the truck was rolling of the assembly line in the French Bourg-en-Bresse, between the severely outdated looking Magnum models Manager and Major. Engines of 385, 415 and a very impressive 530 horsepower were available at that time. The flagship, Renault AE520, was equipped with a V8 engine of Renault’s US subsidiary Mack. In 1996, the engines were renewed to meet up with the Euro II standard. The peak power of the 16-liter Mack engine was boosted to 560 hp.


AE becomes Magnum

In 1998 Renault introduced the second generation. The AE name was dropped and the former nickname ‘Magnum’ was now the official model name. To underline the difference between the AE, this generation was called the ‘Integral’. Appearance wise this was easily recognized with the new grille, which was in line with the recently introduced Renault Premium and should give Renault a kinder look, especially from the perspective of the inner mirror of the car driving in front of the truck. The sturdy front of the AE became more civilized. Between 1999 and 2003, the Magnum was sold in Australia under the Mack brand name, next to the imposing ‘fronts’ of this brand.

In 2001, a whole new generation of Magnum came on the market. The grille again got a new look, again a bit tougher, but the biggest changes were technical. Renault Trucks was acquired by Volvo Trucks in 2001, and gradually more and more Volvo technique was used in the Magnum. In 2005 the Mack engine was discontinued, the manufacturer switched completely to the 13-liter Volvo engines, which was also used in the new Volvo FH. This is visible at the broader lower part of the cabin. The entry was therefore safer.

In 2010, the fourth and last generation came on the market. There was still no other truck on the market to resemble the Magnum, but the competition was closer than ever with flat floors and larger cabins. Therefore, for the first time the cabin was also changed: as usual there was still only one version available, but this was now with a high roof. On Wednesday, June 23 2013, the last Magnum was produced in Bourg-en-Bresse, for Robert Chabbert. The Magnum, together with the Premium, are replaced by the Renault T, which immediately marks the Euro 6 era for Renault. Although it is no longer manufactured, you can still buy Magnums. Kleyn Trucks always has a large choice of Renault Magnums in stock.

Click here for a list of currently available Magnums »