When David Obendorfer made the Renault 4 renderings you see above, and along with this article, he just wanted to imagine what the iconic French car would look like if it were to return to production. That was in 2011. It was prophetic: Luca de Meo, Renault’s new CEO, has already presented the Renault 5 Concept and said the Renaut 4 would also get back as an EV. Obendorfer’s renderings could inspire this future car.
Pay careful attention to the images and see that the car pictured here does not have a front grille. We asked Obendorfer if that was intentional.
“Actually, ten years ago, when I designed the R4 Concept, it didn't seem that electric cars would hit the road anytime soon. Yet, I admit it has quite an EV look!”
The R4 Concept Obendorfer has a much lower ground clearance than the original car presented. That reduces the frontal area and makes it more friendly to air resistance, even if the body lines seem quite linear. Again, that is what it had to present to preserve the historic Renault's legacy, one that can still be seen in many European countries. In some of them, such as Portugal, it is easier to spot than a VW Beetle.
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Renault is yet to give us any glimpse of what the electric Renault 4 will look like. We only know that it will probably be built over the CMF-EV modular platform the company developed to create its future electric cars. De Meo said himself that this architecture would help him save put the company in a safe position in the future.
It may seem like a paradox to ensure the future is safe with a design inspired by the past, but De Meo already helped do that when he worked at Fiat. He would have probably done so at Seat if he had more time there, but Renault will offer him plenty of opportunities to show that learning from the elderly is wise. Can you imagine what he could do if he ran Citroën?