Suite N ° 4 is how to transform the iconic Renault 4 into a rolling hotel room
Introduced in 1961 and in production in most territories until 1992, the 4 has seen over 8 million units produced. It was Renault’s first front-wheel drive family car, and it is the 17th oldest single-generation car. Over the years the 4s have seen demand and feedback tweaks, from the three-speed to the four-speed transmission, a more powerful engine, and the phasing out of exterior chrome for plastic. But its essence never changed: the 4 was the family car you could use for business and fun, it was reliable, and it was affordable.
Renault plans to bring back the electrically powered 4, with the 4ever and the 5, both based on the new CMF- electric platform.VEB, offering ranges of up to 400 km (248.5 miles). Until then, the automaker is celebrating 60 years of the Classic 4 with a series of unique parts intended to emphasize the versatility and importance of the original.
Suite N ° 4 is one of them, the penultimate of the series. It is a concept vehicle that also exists in the physical world, designed with multidisciplinary designer Mathieu Lehanneur. It’s, if you will, a very modern take on the iconic family car, updating it and making it capable of meeting the needs of today’s travel-avid owner. Lehanneur calls it a hotel room on wheels, hence the name Suite N ° 4.
Granted, compared to real RVs, Suite # 4 looks almost silly. The claim that this is a rolling hotel suite only makes sense if you consider a “suite” to be nothing more than a bed, as that is the only thing to which there is no room. The 4’s compact footprint will fit. That said, Suite # 4 is more a testament to the 4’s long-standing popularity and a work of art, than a practical application that would make sense in real life. Like those two things, it’s beautiful.
Lehanneur decided to completely reinvent the rear of the 4, replacing the roof with glazing – in fact polycarbonate surfaces – and placing transparent solar panels there, to recharge the battery each time this “suite” of hotel is at rest. Like the next 4ever, this reinterpreted 4 is fully electric. In his desire to make the 4 an architectural design, Lehanneur did not change anything to the original dimensions and classic lines, but nevertheless knew how to put forward the concept of Art of living inside and outside.
According to Renault, Suite N ° 4 is the embodiment of the “Renalution” philosophy, that of “to create[ing] modern and innovative cars that provoke emotions. Whimsical words aside, this translates to a car whose rear and trunk have been reused, so that it becomes a comfortable and almost luxurious living room every time you reach your destination, elegantly furnished by artisans. Parisians.
The seats and dashboard are upholstered in yellow velor, while the space in the back (the appropriate salon, if you will) is in contrasting clear ribbed chenille fabric. You get pillows and bolsters because you can’t talk about a comfortable living room without at least a few cushions. At the back, a retractable wooden bench, which can serve as a table for two or as a sheltered seat.
For Suite N ° 4, Lehanneur kept the iconic headlights but recreated the grille in polished aluminum, his signature material. The result is striking and, we are told, evokes fluidity and dynamism, but also evasion. For the paint, Lehanneur applied three different coats of paint to achieve the exact color and appearance of the cement.
Suite N ° 4 debuted at Christie’s in Paris, France, and will be part of the Atelier Renault collection.