Like other automakers, Renault has been known to play the nostalgia card with iconic models like the 5 reimagined as a modern EV. However, the company is taking that to a whole ‘nother level with the Air4, a literal flying car version of the cult Renault 4 hatchback.
Renault teamed up with Miami design firm TheArsenale to create a human-sized drone with an updated version of the 4 sitting on top. The concept marks the 60th anniversary of the Renault 4 and aims to show where the brand might be 60 years down the road. “AIR4 is a symbol of independence and freedom, born out of the realization that traffic is compounding, lives are grinding to a halt, and the world above us is unhampered,” Renault wrote.
The body is built entirely out of carbon fiber and carries a 22,000 mAh battery (with no voltage given) that puts out 90,000 mAh of total power. Thrust is given as 95 kg, or 209 pounds per propeller, for a total lifting capacity of around 840 pounds.
The driver enters by lifting the entire body from the front to enter an interior Renault describes as “utilitarian.” It can take off at 31 MPH (currently limited to 9 MPH) and fly around at speeds of up to 58 MPH. It did briefly fly (above), but is now slated to go on display at the Atelier Renault museum in Paris and elsewhere around the world (Miami, New York and Macau) in 2022.
Renault once called the 4 (also known as the 4L or “quatrelle”) a “blue jeans” car, and it launched in 1961 with a 603cc engine as a fun, cheap-to-operate vehicle. It sold more than 8 million models over 30 years across 100 countries, with the last version produced in 1992. Renault announced plans to revive that model as the Renault 4ever EV in 2025, so the Air4 might give some clues to its final design…. or not.