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Renault revives the old R4 with new electric version. Image by Renault.

Renault revives the old R4 with new electric version
4Ever concept previews 2025ís new electric Renault 4
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What's all this about?

In essence, itís a modernised Renault 4 with giant balloon tyres. In more technical terms, however, itís the Renault 4Ever Trophy concept car, and it was one of the stars of Renaultís stand at the Paris Motor Show this month.

Are they actually going to sell one like this?

Not quite. Renaultís director of advanced design, Sandeep Bhambra, told CarEnthusiast that ďeverything in the silver paint is pretty close to how the final production version will look. Everything lower down, in the black plastics, thatís a bit more concept-y.Ē

So Renault is raiding its back catalogue for new cars?

A bit, yes. Bhambra confirmed to us that while Renault will continue to design all-new vehicles, the huge success of the electric Renault 5 concept (which will go on sale in 2024) meant that a second retro-styled model was always going to be likely. Given the first Renault 4, built between 1961 and 1991, was a huge success and more than eight million examples were sold, it was almost guaranteed that this would be Renaultís other revived model.

Itís going to be electric, right?

Yes, fully electric. There wonít be a petrol or hybrid version. When it arrives in 2025, the new battery-powered Renault 4 will share its CMF-BEV platform with that new Renault 5 and will most likely come with a choice of 40kWh and 54kWh battery packs, giving it a likely range of up to 400km.

Judging from this concept, itís going to be an SUV...

Maybe, but donít be fooled by the massive wheels and tall ride-height of the 4Ever concept. Thatís just for show, and the final EV R4 will be rather more in the tall hatchback mode without four-wheel drive. The 4Ever is meant to be both a big hint at how the final production version will look, as well as paying tribute to the 4L Trophy Humanitarian Rally.

What's that?

An annual event that has been running since 1997, the 4L Trophy Humanitarian Rally sees students set off across France in a fleet of original Renault 4s, loaded up with school supplies for underprivileged kids in Morocco. To deliver these supplies, the teams must negotiate the harsh conditions of North Africa and compete in regularity trials.

What else do we know about the new R4?

Well, we know that it brings much of the original 1961 modelís styling into the 21st century. The 4Ever concept gets an LED-laden interpretation of the original R4ís grille, as well as lozenge-shaped brake lights that mimic the three-part design of that 1961 car. Thereís also the extra glass in the rear pillar, although thatís unlikely to open in the new one, and it wonít have the originalís sliding door glass either. The 4Ever concept gets some nice touches, such as a roof-mounted spare wheel, a folding shovel, and sand-pads for getting extra traction in the desert. The 19-inch wheels, shod with big Continental off-road tyres, also get their own built-in inflation and deflation system, for tackling really tricky terrain.

Will Renault use this in the next Humanitarian Rally?

Unlikely. Although the press release says that the 4Ever has a 100kW (136hp) electric motor and a 42kWh battery, in reality itís a non-functional styling model. There isnít even an interior, just some seats and a sheet of plastic to mimic an instrument panel. Which means we also donít know if the 2025 Renault 4 will get some sort of recreation of the originalís push-pull Ďumbrella handleí gear shift. We asked some of the design team about that, but they just smiledÖ

Neil Briscoe - 24 Oct 2022

2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.

2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.2022 Renault 4Ever Concept. Image by Renault.    - Renault road tests
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