To celebrate its 60th anniversary Renault and Mathieu Lehanneur reinvent the Renault 4 recreating it as a zero-emissions electric car
This unique electric vehicle (EV) encapsulates everything the brand has set out to achieve through the Renaulution strategic plan to create innovative modern cars
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Renault 4, the brand has teamed up with French designer Mathieu Lehanneur to create the concept car SUITE N°4. The result is SUITE N°4 is an original concept electric vehicle (EV) inspired by a nomad hotel suite.
The iconic Renault 4 was a car that became a real success story for the brand. It was manufactured in 28 countries, with more than eight million units sold in over 100 countries over its time.
Renault has turned the car’s anniversary into a year-long celebration with different initiatives including retrofitting the Renault 4 with a 100 percent electric engine. A collection of 30 different editions of the Renault 4 has been on display since 8 October 2021 at the Atelier Renault on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Arnaud Belloni, Renault brand global marketing director, said: “The collaboration with Mathieu Lehanneur was a natural fit. We asked him to come up with a concept car showcasing his vision for the 4L.
“The finished product was extraordinary. A car which really encapsulates everything the brand has set out to achieve through the Renaulution strategic plan to create modern and innovative cars that provoke emotions.”
Mathieu Lehanneur’s vision was influenced by the parallel worlds of automobiles and architecture. The Renault SUITE N°4 is a tribute to the Renault 4, channelling the same pure, understated and simple spirit while prioritising efficiency and spontaneity.
Mathieu Lehanneur, French designer, said: “SUITE N°4 opens the door to a new kind of mobility that strives to make people live experiences. I wanted to merge the worlds of cars and architecture to create an open-air hotel room.
“Even better than the finest palatial suite, the car is exactly where you want it to be, whether that’s by the sea, in the middle of a field or driving around the city you’ve always dreamed of.”
SUITE N°4 retains the same exterior dimensions and lines as the iconic model but comes with a twist. The rear section and the hatch have been replaced with polycarbonate windows that provide lighting on a par with that of an artist’s studio.
The transparent solar panels that sit on the roof let light through while helping to charge the battery of the car, which has been retrofitted and is now fully electric. This brings the design classic into the modern era.
The front of the car sports the same iconic lights, lines and silhouette as the original. The grill has been treated with polished aluminium to give the car a fluid, dynamic appearance. The body of the car is coated with three layers of paint to make it look like cement, a material synonymous with modern architecture.
Inside the car, Lehanneur used upholstery fabric to give a warm, energetic feel. The seats and the dashboard are covered with yellow velvet, whereas the backs of the seats are finished with a thick, ribbed chenille fabric for a robust look.
The boot has undergone a complete transformation, featuring a natural fibre floor covering and a wooden drawer that can be removed to provide sheltered seating when the hatch is open. Like the Renault 4 back in the day, all of the materials are made in France and supplied by high-end Parisian furniture producers.
At ElectricDrives we love that such a motoring icon has been converted into modern times with an electric drivetrain. Surely, this has to be the best way to celebrate classic cars, especially with the efficiency and reliability of electric motor set-ups.