Surprise! Renault Repurposes One of Its Retro Designs as a Flying Car

The original model was in production from 1962 to 1992.
Loukia Papadopoulos

You may remember the original Renault 4L. It was known for its simplicity, efficiency, and versatility. Built between 1961 and 1992, it was once described as a “blue jeans” of cars by the former head of Renault Group, Pierre Dreyfus. 

It helped several generations of young drivers get behind the wheel and now it may just be helping them to fly behind the wheel. For its 60th anniversary, Renault has collaborated with TheArsenale to reimagine the 4L as a flying car called AIR4.

"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. Thus, AIR4 claims the air as the new road of the future," writes a Renault press release.

The new aircraft is made entirely of carbon fiber but keeps the same lines and the mass of the original 4L. The main difference? It has no wheels. Instead, it is equipped with four two-blade propellers, one at each corner of the vehicle, allowing it to take off to the sky.

In order to design the new aircraft TheArsenale’s engineers drew on generative design techniques using artificial intelligence and used terabytes of data to improve and fine-tune their ideas, even before beginning the first flying car tests.

We must admit its specifications are impressive. It is powered by 22,000 mAh lithium polymer batteries with a total capacity of 90,000 mAh. It further boasts a horizontal top speed of 58 mph (26m/s - 93 km/h), with a 45° inclination during flights, and up to a maximum inclination of 70°. It can reach heights of 2,300 ft (700 m) with a take-off speed of 31 mph (14 m/s - 50 km/h). Finally, it has a landing velocity of 6.7 mph (3 m/s - 4.82 km/h). 

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It is now slated to go on display at the Atelier Renault museum in Paris and in other places around the world in 2022. 

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