The Renault 4L was one of the automaker's most successful products ever with over 8 million units built from 1961 to 1992, including one for the Pope. To celebrate the model's 60th anniversary, the brand partners with the design firm TheArsenale to create a vision of the 4L's future. It's now a quadcopter that goes by the name Air4.
Renault's announcement of the Air4 makes the modern world sound like a dystopia, and the flying machine is the solution. "Air4 is a symbol of independence and freedom, born out of the realization that traffic is compounding, lives are grinding to a halt, and the world above us is unhampered," the company says.
Gallery: Renault Air4
The Air4's design takes the basic idea of the original and updates the shape to be more modern. The body is now entirely carbon fiber. In front, there are LED lights, including vertical DRLs on the sides of the grille. The overall lines are softer and more curved than on the boxy 4L.
Propulsion comes from a pair of rotors that mount to an extension at each corner of the vehicle. The reimagined body is hinged at the front to let the pilot into the cockpit. The company imagines using 90,000 mAh of batteries that would provide a maximum horizontal top speed of 58 miles per hour (93.6 kilometers per hour). The flight ceiling would be 2,297 feet (700 meters).
The Air4 fulfills the promise of the flying car by letting people zoom above all of the folks stuck in traffic. Although, a pilot's license is a fairly expensive investment, and you probably couldn't land this thing in the grocery store parking lot for the weekly shopping.
It's worth noting this is simply a show car. There's no intention of building a Renault 4 that can fly.
The Air4 will be on display at the Atelier Renault on the Champs Elysées in Paris, France, from November 29 through the end of the year. Important versions of the 4L will be there, too. Later the Air4 will make appearances in Miami, Florida; New York, New York; and Macau.