Renault & Mathieu Lehanneur reinvent the 4L
THE POP ICON IS GIVEN A MAKEOVER BY FRENCH CREATOR TO CELEBRATE ITS 60th ANNIVERSARY
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Renault 4, the brand decided to team up with designer Mathieu Lehanneur to reinvent the vehicle. The result is SUITE N°4, an original concept car inspired by a nomad hotel suite that will be unveiled today.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic Renault 4L, a car that has become a real success story. Manufactured in 28 countries, more than 8 million units have been sold in over 100 countries over 30 years.
Renault has turned the car’s anniversary into a year-long celebration with different initiatives. For instance, the brand launched a global social media campaign, posting a variety of content each month and international media were given the opportunity to take a ride in different historic Renault 4L models, some of which have been retrofitted with a 100% electric engine. Furthermore, a collection of 30 different editions of the Renault 4 has been on display since 8 October 2021 at the Atelier Renault on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
RENAULT x MATHIEU LEHANNEUR
The celebrations look set to continue, as other surprises are in store for the rest of the year. Today we are turning our attention to the new collaboration between Renault and French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, the second last initiative of the programme. Design and innovation in mobility have alwzqys been key values for Renault and the designer Mathieu Lehanneur.
The collaboration with Mathieu Lehanneur was a natural fit, said Arnaud Belloni, Renault Brand Global Marketing Director. We asked him to come up with a concept car showcasing his vision for the 4L. The finished product is extraordinary. A car which really encapsulates everything the brand has set out to achieve through the Renaulution strategic plan: create modern and innovative cars that provoke emotions.
Mathieu Lehanneur and Renault’s Colour and Trim Design team worked together to come up with the concept car SUITE N°4. A new automotive experience and a Renault à vivre both inside and out.
RENAULT SUITE N°4
Mathieu Lehanneur’s vision was fuelled by the parallel worlds of automobile and architecture. SUITE N°4 is a tribute to Renault 4L, channelling the same pure, understated and simple spirit while prioritising efficiency and spontaneity. On top, this concept car projects the model into the designer’s contemporary aspirations.
SUITE N°4 is a new mobility and travel experience. I wanted to merge the worlds of cars and architecture to create an open-air hotel room. Even better than the finest palatial suite, the car is exactly where you want it to be, whether that’s by the sea, in the middle of a field or driving around the city you’ve always dreamed of, says Mathieu Lehanneur.
SUITE N°4 maintains the same exterior dimensions and lines as the iconic model but comes with a radical twist. The rear section and the hatch have been replaced with polycarbonate windows that provide transparency and lighting on a par with that of architectural glass. The transparent solar panels on the roof let light through while helping to charge the battery of the car, which has been retrofitted and now 100% electric.
The front of the car sports the same iconic lights, lines and silhouette as the original. The front grill in polished aluminium is both the designer’s signature and an ode to evasion. It creates waves and gives the car a perfmanent effect of fluidity, dynamism and movement. The architectural inspiration can also be found on the body of the car, which is coated with three layers of paint that give it the mineral aspect of cement.
According to François Farion, Design Director of Colour & Trim, the creative dialogue process between our teams responsible for Colour & Trim and Concept-cars and Mathieu Lehanneur proved very fruitful. We place ourselves at the designer’s service to create his interpretation of the vehicle in the best way possible. We made suggestions and put no limit, exept faisibility.
Inside the car, Mathieu Lehanneur decided to let in the ambiance and materials proper of housing, and combine the automobile technical requirements and the sophistication of the French art de vivre. The seats and the dashboard are upholstered with an energetic yellow velvet. In contrast, the space on the back is finished with a thick, ribbed chenille fabric and accessorised with two laps, for a robust look. Bolsters and pillows complete the boot, transformed in a moving room. The experience is finalised by a wooden bench which slides like a drawer and can be extracted to provide sheltered seating when the hatch is open. Like for 4L back in the day, all of the materials are “made in France” and supplied by Paris based artisans.
EXHIBITION AT CHRISTIE’S
Renault SUITE N°4 will be exclusively unveiled on Friday 22 October at Christie’s, in association with Maison&Objet. The exposition in the vibrant center of Paris will then go on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 October, before the vehicles joins the collection at the Atelier Renault from November.
Furthermore, the concept car will also be exhibited with a set design by Mathieu Lehanneur at the next Maison&Objet fair, which will take place from 21 to 25 January 2022 in the exhibition centre in Villepinte, north‑west of Paris.
THE REVOLUTION OF THE HATCHBACK
Since its creation, Renault 4 has been an innovative car. Pierre Dreyfus, former head of Renault from 1955 to 1975, had explained to his teams that he wanted “volume” with a “Blue Jean” car, able to reach everyone. The answer to his requests was Renault 4L, the first hatchback with a true fifth door on the back. The model would then establish itself as a new standard in the automobile world.
If you wish to know more on the revolution of the heatchback of Renault 4, check out this story:
Renault, a historic mobility brand and pioneer of electric vehicles in Europe, has always developed innovative vehicles. With the ‘Renaulution’ strategic plan, Renault has embarked on an ambitious, value-generating transformation moving towards a more competitive, balanced and electrified range. Its ambition is to embody modernity and innovation in technology, energy and mobility services in the automotive industry and beyond.
At the forefront of international design scene, Mathieu Lehanneur is one of the rare designers of his generation to be able to embrace so many fields of creation: from the object to architecture, from art to product, from high-tech to craftsmanship. Ranked among the “100 World top designers and influencers ” by *Wallpaper, Surface and AD magazines his works are part of important public and private collections (MoMA, Centre Pompidou, Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris). He collaborates with prestigious institutions and brands and through his eponymous brand he designs, produces and distributes his creations in his spaces in Paris and New York.