Renault has unveiled a flying version of the Renault 4!
The AIR4 is a collaboration between Renault and TheArsenale and is part of the car's 60th anniversary celebrations
When it comes to small cars, there aren't many that are more iconic than the Renault 4. Loved by everyone from the gendarmerie to Gordon Murray, it's a car that (along with the Citroen 2CV and the original Mini) has helped define European motoring. So, naturally, when its 60th anniversary came up Renault had to do something crazy to top off the celebrations. May I introduce you to the AIR4; a Renault 4 that flies!
The AIR4 was created in collaboration with motion design hub TheArsenal and, whilst it's clearly a fanciful retro-futuristic homage to an icon of Renault's past, it's also taking a few steps into the future. With traffic on the ground becoming an ever-present problem, many people think that one of the ways we can alleviate that is by taking to the air en masse. That's the kind of future that the AIR4 is expressly hinting towards. In fact, the AIR4 is the first product to come out of TheArsenale's "road to air" division, which is creating products aimed at moving the world's transport networks to the skies.
The AIR4 is made entirely out of carbon fibre and designed with the aid of artificial intelligence and "generative design techniques". Its mode of power is also fully electric, powered by 22,000 mAh lithium-polymer batteries which generate a total power of around 90,000 mAh. This powertrain drives 4 two-blade propellers that generate around 95 kg of vertical thrust each, giving a total of 380 kg of vertical thrust. It has a horizontal top speed of 26 m/s (around 58 mph) and can fly as high as 700 m (around 2,296 feet). The AIR4 has also been designed and built entirely in France, within Europe's first technology park in Sophia Antipolis on the Côte d’Azur.
"After a year-long celebration we wanted to create something unconventional to close up the 60th anniversary of 4L," said Arnaud Belloni, Renault Brand Global Marketing Director. “This collaboration with TheArsenale was a natural fit. The flying show-car AIR4 is something unseen and a wink to how this icon could look like in another 60 years.”
"I have dedicated my life to the passion for mobility and I continually explore all aspects of the moving world," Patrice Meignan, CEO and Founder of TheArsenal, said about the AIR4. "After 25 years of forward-looking research, we believe that the icons of car culture are eternal, whether on earth or in the air. For 60 years, the Renault 4 has been driven by ordinary people who make it extraordinary. It is a car that symbolises adventure: simple, practical, useful and as modern as it is retro. Most drivers will tell you, it allows you to travel differently and to live an adventure. This ‘travelling different’ has inspired my team and I. With AIR4 by TheArsenale, the Renault 4 is ready for its greatest adventure yet."
From next Monday, the AIR4 will go on public display amongst other historic variants of the 4 at the Atelier Renault on the Champs Elysées in the centre of Paris. After that it'll go on a brief tour in 2022, travelling to Miami, New York and Macau.