When car brands celebrate a milestone anniversary of their iconic cars, most would unveil a modernised version of the vehicle – either converting them to an all-electric vehicle, or giving them an updated look with new features. But not French automobile manufacturer Renault.
For the 60th anniversary of its classic Renault 4 hatchback, the company has decided to celebrate the occasion a couple of steps higher. Almost literally too. Teaming up with Miami-based design firm TheArsenale, the automaker has unveiled the Air4, which is basically a Renault 4 reimagined as an actual flying car (or “showcar”, as Renault calls it).
While it does sport most of the car’s original design, the Air4 is actually scratch built from carbon fibre. Which makes sense for a flying vehicle concept, as using an actual Renault 4 chassis might be a bit too heavy. Furthermore, there are no doors on the Air4. Instead, the driver (or pilot?) is required to lift the entire body up from the back in order to enter a single seater cockpit. Again, this vehicle is merely a reimagining and a tribute rather than a full-blown aerial-capable Renault 4 – hence, “showcar”.
From an image provided by Renault, the Air4’s interiors are not based on the original car and are built from mostly carbon fibre as well. Visible is the aforementioned single seat that is decked out in an orange-black colour scheme, what appears to be a toolbox of some kind in the back, helmet storage compartments, and an LCD screen on its “dashboard”. On the outside, featured on the Renault logo, the car’s head/rear lights, and the front of each propeller mounts is a futuristic lighting system.
On the technical standpoint, the Air4 is powered by 22,000 mAh batteries with a total capacity of 90,000 mAh. It is claimed to be capable of flying as high as 700 meters with a take off speed of 50.4 km/h, but restrained at 14.4 km/h for safety reasons. The vehicle’s rotors are able to offer a maximum vectorial thrust of 380 kg, or 95 kg per propeller. Unfortunately, Renault did not detail how the flying car is controlled.
Renault says the Air4 is slated to go on display at the Atelier Renault museum in Paris, as well as other locations including Miami, New York, and Macau in 2022. Being a showcar made specifically for the Renault 4’s 60th anniversary, the company has no plans to sell the model, let alone mass produce it.
(Source: Renault [Official website])