In a press release, Renault has posted two teaser photos of an all new Renault 4 electric car that will debut at the Paris Auto show on October 17. The photos are deliberately lacking in details — that’s why they’re called teasers. But they clearly suggest a small SUV-type vehicle with excellent ground clearance and the ability to take intrepid travelers anywhere there are roads, trails, or cart paths available. They show a car with a hunky-chunky vibe á la the new Ford Bronco, the iconic Jeep Wrangler, and multiple offerings from other manufacturers who want to cash in on the rugged off road, “let’s go sleep under the stars on the roof of our car” movement.
The Renault 4 will be one of 10 fully electric models from Renault Group to be launched by 2025. They will include the compact Megane E-Tech launched earlier this year, the Renault 5 coming in early 2024, a compact SUV expected to be called Scenic, a midsize SUV, and two models for sports car brand Alpine — a small “hot hatch” and a larger SUV.
The Renault 4, Renault 5, and the Alpine small car will be built on a new platform called CMR-BEV derived from the existing Renault/Nissan CMF-B platform. According to Auto News Europe, the architecture has a new center section to accommodate a flat battery pack, but 50% of its components are carried over from the CMF-B platform. Renault and Nissan will share the CMF-BEV platform for small cars and the CMF-EV platform for compact and midsize cars. By 2030, every new Renault model launched for Europe should be all electric, says Renault CEO Luca de Meo.
The original Renault 4 was a highly utilitarian 5-door vehicle that sold nearly 8 million copies during its 30-year lifespan. It was an updated take on the Deux Chevaux — the inexpensive, underpowered, and hugely capable car that helped France get back on the road in the post-war era.
The 4 featured the typically quirky styling so particular to French cars (see our recent article on the Citroën oli), but like the Deux Chevaux, it was exactly what the market needed at the moment in time — affordable, practical basic transportation. It even made a cameo appearance in the movie Romancing The Stone. You can see some hints of the original 4L in the headlights and in the trapezoidal side window in those teaser photos.
It’s not unusual for car companies to reach back for model names they hope will resonate with loyal customers. Ford has the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, GM has the new Equinox, Blazer, Silverado EV, and Hummer EV. Certainly Renault hopes to leverage whatever reservoir of good feeling remains from the original 4L and 5 (known in the US as Le Car) as it transitions into the electric car era. If the new cars are as popular as the originals, there will be plenty to smile about in the Renault C Suite.
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