Not that you’d call a car cute but the exception has to be the Renault e-Plain Air concept which is based on the original Renault 4L. It was built by Renault Classic, Renault Design and Melun Retro Passion for the 10th anniversary of the Renault 4L festival. It was on display at the international festival between 19 and 21 July turning heads every which way..
The Renault e-Plein Air uses the electric powertrain and battery pack from the Renault Twizy for a quiet and smooth ride. While technical specs of the e-Plein Air are limited, we can safely base it on the Twizy’s 6.1 kWh battery pack with a range of about 62 miles (100 km) and electric motor delivering 17 hp (13 kW). Top speed is estimated to be the same as the Twizy at 50 mph. It may not be the fastest electric car or have the biggest range but with those looks, does it really matter?.
Renault e-Plein Air Origins
Not everybody appreciates (or understands) the beauty of a compact, classic 2-seater car but those who do, will love the Renault e-Plein Air. The French manufacturer built the original Renault 4L between 1961 and 1994 to compete directly with the Citroën 2CV. The design philosophy was new as they equipped the Renault 4L with traction at the front, a torsion bar-based suspension and a closed-circuit cooling system..
While they sold more than 8 million Renault 4L’s, the company only manufactured 563 original 4L Plein Air units which first launched in 1968. Unfortunately it never really caught on and production was stopped in 1970. At that point, it was only popular among wealthy kids using it as a beach toy..
It wasn’t an electric car back then but if it had been, maybe Renault would have seen better returns. Considering that retro-electric cars are becoming even more popular, this replica is the perfect choice for going to the beach or countryside during the warmer months. And what better way to celebrate this iconic, fun-loving car from the past than turning it into an electrified version for the future..
The Renault ‘e-Plein Air concept is an enhanced version of the two-seater ‘Twizy’ with the battery pack safely tucked underneath. They fitted two new re-trimmed blue seats, a retro picnic basket and vintage-inspired wheel trim plates to complete the look. The original dials have also been replaced with a digital display showing all the usual information but also the battery charge levels..
For the moment, there has been no confirmation whether this stunning concept car will go into production but we sure hope it does. If you liked this article and would like to keep up to date with motoring news from around the world, keep reading our blog and follow us on Facebook You can also visit our website to browse new or used cars and book a test drive of your favourite Renault.