The Class 100 is manufactured by Alstom and is directly derived from the French TGV. It is made up of 2 4,400 kW power cars with 2 motorised bogies each and 8 passenger cars with shared bogies. Unlike the French model, the Class 100 has both the Spanish ASFA and German LZB signalling systems. Furthermore, since 2004 9 of the Class 100 have the ERTMS system installed, as well as 2 extra coaches and cooling systems specially adapted to Spanish temperatures.
This class lived through all the changes involved in the creation of the Spanish high speed network; originally the plan was to build the high speed route to Andalusia on a Iberian gauge track (1668 mm). At the last minute, it was decided that it should be standard gauge, meaning RENFE changed its original order for 24 Iberian gauge units to 16 standard gauge ones, which were delivered between 1991 and 1993.
After various changes in the contract with Alstom and compensation for delays the final 8 were delivered; 2 standard gauge sets and 6 Iberian gauge sets. The Iberian sets became the RENFE Class 101 which operate the Euromed services along the Mediterranean corridor.
The Class 100, namely train 100-015, set one of the most important Spanish speed records, reaching on a test run. Its previous record had been on an earlier test run. The Class 100 was also involved in speed tests using Talgo carriages.
This class has almost exclusively served the Madrid-Seville line, although was used on the Madrid-Barcelona line for a short while until the RENFE Class 102 was introduced into service. The units used on this line had to have a pantograph change as well as installation of the ERTMS system.
In 2007, after 15 years of service, half of the train's working life, the entire Class 100 fleet was refurbished.