Journal: Meet Renault’s E-Plein Air Concept, A Strange Blend Of Retro Charm And Modern Technology

Meet Renault’s E-Plein Air Concept, A Strange Blend Of Retro Charm And Modern Technology

News Desk By News Desk
July 23, 2019
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When it comes to celebrating historically significant events, most car manufacturers tend to develop thoroughly modern iterations of their greatest classic offerings with the only link being a thread of nostalgia that hopefully strikes the right chords with their fans. While this method can work, Renault has chosen a slightly different path for the 10th running of its 4L International event, and in collaboration with Renault Classic and classic French parts specialist Melun Rétro Passion has created the electrically-powered e-Plein Air concept.

Based on the classic Renault 4 Plein Air, the concept car’s exterior looks practically the same as the original although it eschews the rear seats for a shallow load bay, which was necessary to make space for the battery. It and the rest of the e-Plein Air’s mechanical components are taken from the diminutive Twizy city car; this means a 6.1 kWh battery pack and up to 17hp and 42 lb-ft of torque. That set-up gives the Twizy a range of up to 62 miles if driven well within its 50mph top speed. Renault has not revealed how the presumably heavier e-Plein Air performs—while it clearly won’t be setting any land speed records, it should be plenty to get to the beach and back.

What makes this retro-inspired EV different from just about every one-off electric concept car is that it shares a number of key components with the original. There may be a (basic) digital dashboard but that steering wheel and even some of the switchgear is straight out of the classic Plein Air. Aside from the odd white-colored plastic panel on the new car they look even more similar from the outside. While Renault has not announced whether they intend to put the e-Plein Air concept into production─modern safety regulations may make it virtually impossible without big changes─it could pave the way for some interesting conversions on existing Plein Air models as well as other classic Renaults.

Images courtesy of Renault

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