French automobile manufacturer Renault has unveiled its own single-person electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the Air 4, as more automakers look to the future of transportation.
The combined efforts of Renault and motion design hub TheArsenale resulted in the creation of a “reinterpretation of the 4L that can fly!” according to a news release. The news comes as the company celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Renault 4.
Based on the original Renault 4L that debuted in 1961, the Air 4 serves as a concept of what the car could look like 60 years from now.
Renault is just the latest of car manufacturers entering the air mobility market. Hyundai and Honda recently made their entrance with vertiport development and eVTOL aircraft respectively.The Air 4 is s powered by lithium-polymer batteries that can put out up to 90,000mAh of energy. Courtesy: Renault
Renault constructed the Air 4 with carbon fiber and is powered by lithium-polymer batteries that can put out up to 90,000mAh of energy—enough to accelerate you to a top speed of 26 meters per second, according to the company. The Air 4 is projected to have a maximum altitude of roughly 2,296 feet (700 meters), thanks to a total thrust of about 838 pounds (380 kg).
Instead of wheels, the Air 4 features four two-blade propellers, one at each corner of the vehicle. The body sits in the middle of the rota frame, with the driver gaining access to the cabin by lifting the front-hinged shell, according to the company. Video posted on YouTube shows the aircraft in flight.
The Air 4 marks TheArsenale’s first product for its ROAD TO AIR division, which founder and CEO Patrice Meignan has dedicated to transforming the future of transport networks.
“I have dedicated my life to the passion for mobility, and I continually explore all aspects of the moving world,” he said in a statement. “After 25 years of forward-looking research, we believe that the icons of car culture are eternal, whether on earth or in the air.
“For 60 years, the Renault 4 has been driven by ordinary people who make it extraordinary. It is a car that symbolises adventure: simple, practical, useful and as modern as it is retro. Most drivers will tell you, it allows you to travel differently and to live an adventure. This ‘travelling different’ has inspired my team and I. With AIR4 by TheArsenale, the Renault 4 is ready for its greatest adventure yet.”
The Air 4 is currently on display in France but will travel to Miami, New York, and Macau in 2022.