Among the seven new 100% electric models planned by 2025, Renault had already confirmed the return of the iconic R5. A rebirth that will be accompanied, it’s official, by another comeback: that of the 4L. Auto Plus tells you more …
Under the impetus of its new boss, Luca de Meo (in office since July 2020), Renault has embarked on a vast recovery plan. This involves, in particular, the massive electrification of its range. We already know that, among the seven 100% electric models scheduled between now and 2025, there will be the new generation of Mégane, which will be revealed on September 6, as well as a “new-look” version of the R 5. , expected early 2024 (read Auto Plus n°1693). However, on June 30, the Italian manager made official the arrival of a third battery model called “4 Ever” internally. Scheduled for 2025, this novelty will be inspired by another diamond icon: the 1961 4L. And if the brand has, for the moment, only released a silhouette of this future vehicle, Auto Plus is already able to reveal its final design as well as a number of technical details.
The first Renault entirely produced under the control of Gilles Vidal, the new director of house style (defector of Peugeot), this modern-day “Quatrelle” will bear the stamp of the French designer. However, if this one likes retro-futurism (he dreams of an updated Fuego…), he is not necessarily a fan of copy and paste. Clearly, if it is essential to recognize at first glance the original model (which goes through the morphology and the silhouette), it is even more important to integrate in the best way all the small details which will allow to ” instantly identify the reference vehicle. Result, and unlike the next Renault 5 whose style is clearly inspired by that of 1972, the Renault 4 to come will be satisfied with a few nods to its glorious elder.
Launch : 2025
Length : 4 m
Electric motor: 136 ch
Rate : from 19,000 € *
* Auto Plus estimate, bonus for electric vehicles deducted.
A widely revisited 4L
We will therefore find the half-sedan, half-break look of the first Renault 4, as well as the three-window profile (with that of the trapezoidal quarter-panel), not to mention the rectangular grille which includes round lights, a true signature of the model since 1967. But, between the integration of the various modern components (aerodynamics, safety …) and that of SUV-style elements (raised body height, large wheels and various bodywork and shield protections), the 4Ever takes some liberties compared to to the good old 4L. Ditto at the rear where, even if we find the smooth and very vertical tailgate, as well as the large bezel, the light signature in “C” and the integrated diffuser, very current, frankly have nothing retro. Finally, on the size side, forgotten the 3.67 m of the old version: the new one will grow and should reach 4 m. A size which will place it above the next R 5 (approximately 3.80 m), of which it will however be a technical twin.
An interpretation, not a slavish copy
Comfortable in the city, the 4L was also a tough guy in the countryside. This versatility is reincarnated in the form of a small SUV well of its time: high-placed shoulder, solid sides, sills and clearly marked wheel arches. This does not prevent the electric 4 from eyeing assiduously in the retro and reinterpreting many details of the grandmother. We thus find, for example, the fold which limits the bosses on the bonnet as well as the one which falls and shapes the front fender. Or the profile of the bumper of the 4L, which determines the design of the bottom of the shield.
A story of costs
Like the future Renault 5, the 4L will be based on the very recent CMF-BEV modular platform, dedicated to small 100% electric vehicles to come. These original underwear will allow him to take advantage of a new lithium-ion battery with NMC cathode (nickel, manganese, cobalt). This technology should promote greater autonomy (around 400 km), better performance at low temperatures, better aging over the entire lifetime, but also offer greater economic benefit during recycling, the cathode materials retaining a high value. The 4L will also benefit from the R5 engine, which will use the principle widely tested by the Zoe since 2013: that of the wound rotor synchronous motor, with a power of 100 kW (136 hp).
This magnetless technology avoids the use of rare earths, thus reducing the ecological footprint and supply constraints.
Assembled in Renault’s future ElectriCity complex in northern France, alongside the upcoming R 5, the next 4L will have the role of making the electric car more accessible. To this end, the Losange has already announced that the CMF-BEV platform (which alone represents 20% of the total cost of the vehicle) will be 30% cheaper to produce than Renault’s current electric platform. , which the Zoe uses today. The manufacturer will also reduce the bill for the battery (40% of the cost of the model) and the electric motor (10% of the price of the car). With all these savings put end to end, the brand intends to display its future 4L under the bar of € 20,000, bonus deducted, when it is launched in 2025. An even lower price than for the R5, which will arrive in 2024. After all, this was already the case when these two models coexisted in the range during the years 1970-80. of genius achieved when he was leading Fiat marketing. At the Renault 4Ever, the role of the access model, rustic and pragmatic, like the Panda. At the R 5, that of the sexy and crisp city car, like the 500.
Van already programmed
Like the Renault 4 of 1961, that of 2025 will also exist in a utility version. Based on the same platform, and also 100% electric, this modern day 4L van will take the look of the “civilian” version up to the central pillar. Behind, and as on its glorious predecessor (more than 2 million copies sold between 1961 and 1990!), We will find a well square and raised “box”, in order to offer maximum loading capacity. It remains to be seen whether the Renault will also take the famous “girafon”, the clever little hinged flap at the back of the roof.