For the 60th anniversary of the iconic 4 (also known as the 4L), Renault will be fully showcasing the AIR4, a flying vehicle based on Renault 4. The vehicle looks like a retro car slapped onto a huge drone with four gigantic propellers. Renault is planning to bring it to the US early next year, but the AIR4 will be on exhibit at L’Atelier Renault in Paris before that.
The launch of the AIR4 will be done in conjunction with TheArsenale, a marketplace specialising in unique vehicles. It was designed and manufactured from the drawing board to the cutting room floor all in Sophia Antipolis, a large technology park in France.
Design-wise, the AIR4 retains the same dimensions as the original 4L, while being made almost entirely out of carbon fibre to keep it as light as possible. There are no wheels, so I can’t really call it a ‘car’. It’s more like a flying machine that looks like a car, but I will give it extra points for being interesting.
Despite being quite large, the vehicle can indeed hover above ground. In fact, it reportedly has a top speed of 26m/s (94 km/h) and can get to altitudes of 700 metres high. Powering the vehicle are 22,000mAh lithium-polymer batteries that generate up to 90,000mAh of total power.
The AIR4 will make its full debut at L’Atelier Renault in Paris from November 29th to the end of the year, and will be touring to Miami, New York, and Macau afterwards.
Even though the AIR4 can fly, it is still an ‘art object’ eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) and probably won’t be on Renault’s mass production lineup anytime soon. However, the Renault is dipping their toes into EV in other ways, such as making an electric crossover Renault 4 by 2025, and the Renault 5 Electric hatchback set to launch in 2024.
In 1961, Renault introduced the 4L, the world’s first mass-produced compact hatchback. Over the 33 years it’s been in production, the Renault 4 sold over eight million units, making it infamous in France and Europe in general. Think of it as France’s equivalent of the Mini Cooper. The Renault 4’s simplicity and minimal design made it a cult classic among gearheads.
Speaking of flying cars, what happened to our flying car project? It got RM20 million in funding from the government and was supposed to be unveiled in 2019, but I haven’t heard anything regarding the project since then. Whenever it comes, let’s hope it’s an actual car and not just a car-shaped drone.