Aircraft

Renault celebrates the past with futuristic flying concept

Renault celebrates the past wi...
Renault rounds of a year of celebrations with a nod to a possible future for the iconic Renault 4L family car
Renault rounds of a year of celebrations with a nod to a possible future for the iconic Renault 4L family car
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Renault rounds of a year of celebrations with a nod to a possible future for the iconic Renault 4L family car
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Renault rounds of a year of celebrations with a nod to a possible future for the iconic Renault 4L family car
The Air4 concept features a carbon fiber body shaped like the iconic Renault 4L that sits atop a X-frame with a dual-blade prop at each corner
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The Air4 concept features a carbon fiber body shaped like the iconic Renault 4L that sits atop a X-frame with a dual-blade prop at each corner
The Air4 concept is hinged at the front, and the driver/pilot gains access by lifting up the frame from the back
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The Air4 concept is hinged at the front, and the driver/pilot gains access by lifting up the frame from the back
Renault describes the cabin as utilitarian, but there does appear to be room for luggage and a helmet though no flight controls it seems
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Renault describes the cabin as utilitarian, but there does appear to be room for luggage and a helmet though no flight controls it seems
Renault reckons that the Air4 concept can rise to a height of 700 m, and has a top speed of 26 meters per second
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Renault reckons that the Air4 concept can rise to a height of 700 m, and has a top speed of 26 meters per second
The iconic Renault 4L family hatchback was launched in 1961, and in production for over 30 years
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The iconic Renault 4L family hatchback was launched in 1961, and in production for over 30 years
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This year marks 60 years since Renault launched the Quatrelle, and though the company has been celebrating all year, a collaboration with design studio TheArsenale to build a flying car concept is arguably its best birthday present to itself yet.

For the launch campaign at the 1961 Paris Motor Show, Renault made 200 of the small family cars available for a test drive by motorists, and more than 60,000 locals gave it a go during the event to confirm to Renault that it was onto a winner. In the decades that followed, the Renault 4/4L went on to sell more than eight million units in over a hundred countries before production stopped in the early 1990s. And you can still see folks driving around in them to this day on the icon's home turf and beyond.

This year's anniversary celebrations kicked off in February with exclusive designs by illustrator Greg, followed by 30 examples being shown off at the Renault Classic and then an appearance at the Cannes International Film Festival. And now the company has given the iconic design a futuristic overhaul with the creation of the Air4 flying concept.

Looking to a time when our highways might well be above us, the design collaboration has essentially plonked a carbon fiber 4L body with funky lighting accents and tinted windows onto an X-frame rocking dual-blade props at the outer points, with each of the electric motors juiced by a 22,000-mAh lithium polymer battery pack for a total capacity of 90,000 mAh.

Renault reckons that the Air4 concept can rise to a height of 700 m, and has a top speed of 26 meters per second
Renault reckons that the Air4 concept can rise to a height of 700 m, and has a top speed of 26 meters per second

Instead of gaining access to the cabin through side doors, the driver/pilot actually lifts up the hinged shell at the rear and climbs aboard. It hasn't any wheels, so can't roll along like a car when on the ground, but Renault reports that once in the air the concept tilts forward by 45 degrees or more and is capable of a top horizontal flight speed of 26 meters per second (58 mph or 93.6 km/h) and "offers a maximum vectoral thrust of 380 kg." It's also reported able to fly up to 700 m (~2,300 ft) above the ground, but we can't tell you for how long or even how the pilot controls the concept – though we suspect remotely from the ground during flight testing.

Not that such things particularly matter, as the Air4 is destined to remain a conceptual curiosity so Renault doesn't need to worry about stumping up significant cash and resources to take it through prototyping, safety testing and certification. It's a showpiece.

And following its online debut today, it will take up residence at the prestigious Atelier Renault store on the Champs Elysées in Paris for the remainder of the year. Folks across the pond will be able to see it in the flesh from next year in Miami and New York, before a brief stop in Macau, China, on its way home. You can see the Air4 being designed, built and taking to the air in the short video below.

#AIR4, our flying show-car

Source: Renault

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9 comments
9 comments
Steven Clarkson
Does not look futuristic to me, its a simple quad with an old car body plonked on top....
Will it fly ? I'm sure it will if they wire it up correctly.
paul314
Cute flying pig.
Spud Murphy
Seems to be someone's idea of a joke. It's exactly as Steven Clarkson said, an old car body on a quad. Renault would be better served if they stopped wasting time on rubbish like this and put all resources into transitioning to electric vehicles, because if they get much further behind, they will be one of the incumbent manufacturers that doesn't survive the EV transition. One successful model (Zoe) is not going to cut it. There's a reason why successful EV-only manufacturers don't waste resources on BS concept vehicles like this...
PassingBy2
Build an electric drive up-to-date interpretation of the R8 with it's magic interior and I'm in!
Lamar Havard
Put a Corvette body and tilt rotors on it, and I'M in.
Funkgroover
Meh!

Now if this was done with a DeLorean, I'm in. Where we're going, we don't need roads.......
DavidB
Somehow, all the commenters who’ve posted so far seem to have stopped reading before the part where I the article clearly states that Renault has no intention of further developing or ever marketing this vehicle/aircraft. It’s a celebratory bit of fun, along the lines of putting a sign in your yard congratulating your high-school student’s graduation.

Chill out, people. Renault can do what it wants with its resources. This little pat on the back was probably just a drop in their financial bucket.
Aermaco
Lamar nailed it to make a quad more efficient & Funk's body choice may sell it better ,, but a more efficient streamlined Corvette body should also have nacelle duct shrouds for safety. They trade weight for more thrust efficiency,, anyone know why there are so few, is it just the prototype phase simplicity?

With only one fixed prop axis the body needs no streamlining just marketability in user friendliness appeal. Maybe short hop city fixed prop quads will carry things like old "Fisher Body Carriage" designs some day?

They would win market with ballistic chutes.
Has anyone looked hard to see if any secondary explosion options exist yet with a ballistic chute that self inflates? If so,, it's not only no lag in deployment time but may gain a quick added uplift at the beginning of the descent in low altitude's higher probability. Go invent it guys, it would add much for the marketability with fewer quad deaths.
Steven Clarkson
@davidb
Of course resources can be spent as pleased however doing so wisely is best, it does not matter whether its a celebratory piece or not, the concept speaks volumes about gesturing towards how they portray an EVTOL concept.