Renault Air4: Retro electric SUV teased

Renault is gearing up to reveal a modern take on its classic 4, developed in partnership with culture brand TheArsenale.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
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Renault and another French partner have teased an electric take on the classic Renault 4.

Designed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 4L, the Air4 will be the next in a series of concepts developed by Renault in partnership with French designers.

The Air4 has been put together alongside TheArsenale, an automotive culture brand dedicated to future mobility. With that in mind, the Air4 concept is likely to be electric.

It’s not clear whether there’s any link between this concept and the reborn Renault 4 we’re expecting to hit production in the coming years, or whether it’s a one-off vanity project.

The Air4 teased in the video above looks different to the vehicle rendered in patent filings earlier in 2021. The patent filings reveal a small, upright body in the vein of the original 4.

There are round headlights and vertical tail lights, almost certain to use LEDs. The headlights and grille are part of one assembly, which is similar to that on later Renault 4s.

The side is where the modern-day 4 deviates the most from its ancestor.

While the crossover-like ride height isn’t far off from the old car, which was targeted at rural French buyers, there’s a higher beltline and a decorative trim panel in place of the third window on each side.

There’s also very modern sculpting at the bottom of the doors, plus plastic cladding around the wheel arches.

The original Renault 4 had been introduced in 1961 as a response to the Citroen 2CV, which had targeted lower-income French consumers in rural areas.

The 2CV’s popularity as an urban runabout inspired Renault to introduce the 4 (and its smaller-engined 3 sibling) as a more comfortable and practical rival to the Citroen.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the Deputy Editor at CarExpert.
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