The reborn Renault 4 has been previewed as a concept this week in Paris, as the brand continues to reboot its storied past to define its electric future.
The Renault 4Ever Trophy has the requisite concept car design touches, but beneath all that clearly shows us what to expect from the production model due by 2025.
The famous Renault 4 badge returns after a 30-year hiatus.
Reflecting the times, this new version of the old cheap-and-rugged icon – eight million sales in 100 countries – will be a B-segment electric SUV.
At just 4160mm long, the Renault 4 concept is about the size of a Volkswagen T-Cross. The body shape suggests the real car will have tiny front and rear overhangs and plenty of ground clearance.
By mid-decade it will be competing in Europe and beyond with the Volkswagen Group’s imcoming trio of light electric SUVs, the revived Jeep Avenger EV, and the Mini Aceman EV.
It will sit alongside the reborn 2024 Renault 5, another nod to one of the company’s greatest hits.
“Renault 4 is a myth. And myths never die! R4 is a car that everyone can love, and today we want to rediscover this universal dimension through a modern and electric reinterpretation,” said company CEO Luca de Meo.
Stylistic ties to the O.G Renault 4 include the silhouette with its backwards C-pillar. The 4Ever Trophy puts a new twist on the horizontal grille featuring built-in headlights, now Matrix LEDs.
It also uses side cameras in place of side mirrors, like the Genesis GV60.
Some of the concept’s wilder elements are its magenta roof straps, suspension springs and wheel emblems; hollowed out bonnet with aero cutouts; high-mounted spare tyre, shovel and boards; and big 19-inch wheels.
Its rugged off-road touches pay homage to the 4L Trophy humanitarian desert rally: each wheel has a visible compressor that can be used to adjust your tyre pressure to suit sandy terrain.
Like the Renault 5, the reborn 4 will be made using the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-BEV platform, which also underpins the next-generation Nissan Micra. All vehicles using CMF-BEV will be built in the ElectriCity hub in northern France.
The market positioning of the future Renault 5 and Renault 4 “will be much like that of Clio and Captur”, Renault adds.
While no details are yet forthcoming in terms of drivetrain, Renault last week detailed the 5’s new ‘ePT-100kW’ synchronous motor with a wound rotor – and absence of rare earth materials – that will produce 100kW of power. Expect this to carry over.
This new electric motor is a derivation of the more-powerful ‘ePT-160kW’ electric motor used in the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric.
It’s been suggested the battery will have a nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) chemistry, and the CMF-BEV platform will offer up to 400km of range according to WLTP testing.
Reports have suggested the road-going Renault 4 EV will go into production in 2025.
While the road-going Renault 4 and 5 EVs remain a few years off, it’s understood both are on the cards for Australia.
“Any new product that’s announced from the EV side, we have our hands up for,” Renault Australia general manager Glen Sealey told us in May this year.