Get Your Bonkers On With The Renault 4EVER Trophy Concept

Renault 4ever Trophy Topshot

It seems like every other week, some automaker unveils a production-spec or concept B-segment crossover that’s about as exciting as grits. For me, skipping breakfast is preferable to grits, as is stubbing a toe or contracting a mild cold. However, the French seem to be onto something by releasing a subcompact crossover concept at the Paris Motor Show; it’s absolutely bonkers. Say hello to the Renault 4EVER Trophy. That’s a bit of a bold name, but Renault CEO Luca de Meo has some justification for it.

From Luca de Meo::

“Renault 4 is a myth. And myths never die! R4 is a car that everyone can love, and today we want to rediscover this universal dimension through a modern and electric reinterpretation.”

Oh yes, it’s that sort of French car. See, the Renault 4 helped mobilize the French masses in the 1960s, and it was a huge deal. Not only was the Renault 4’s upright form immensely practical, it was also the first hatchback to really catch on. In fact, it was so popular that production lasted from 1961 until 1994. And you thought the C3 Corvette stuck around forever. Renault’s been in a bit of a heritage mood recently, with the Renault 5 EV concept and its high-performance sibling making waves. Since a reborn Renault 5 EV will make its way into production, why not save costs by making a crossover sibling that looks like the tall and narrow Renault 4?

Who needs rear visibility?

As it sits right now, the 4EVER Trophy is purely a concept car. For instance, its wheels look exceedingly weird, but there’s a good reason for that other than being French: This B-segment electric crossover concept has a central tire inflation system just like a Humvee. In addition, it packs a beefy roof-mounted spare tire, waffle boards and a shovel for off-road extraction, and incredibly chunky cladding and side steps.

Renault 4ever Trophy Show Car (9)

Despite all of this macho stuff, the essence of the Renault 4 carries through. A square silhouette augmented by a backswept C-pillar, the disjointed Picasso-esque melting of rear door glass over quarter glass, a single frame-grille encompassing friendly round headlamps like later models have, it’s all here. Just enough devilishly classic touches to foster familiarity without being so heavy-handed as an eleventh-generation Ford Thunderbird. Job well done, I reckon.

Renault 4ever Trophy Show Car (6)

What’s more, the 4EVER Trophy doesn’t fall into normalcy for a second. Fuchsia tail lamps are very weird, and they tie in nicely with the fuchsia accents all across the 4EVER Trophy’s body. Even the coil springs are fuchsia, such a strange and delightful touch. The front door handles are flush while the rear door handles are seemingly nonexistent. The fender flares float away from the body. This thing is strange in the best possible way.

I have no idea what's going on here

Best of all, Renault says that the 4EVER Trophy will spawn a production version in a few years. While this seems a bit outlandish at first glance, it’s not entirely out of the question. Strip away the off-road stuff, the sill covers, and the fuchsia, and the overall silhouette of the 4EVER Trophy could very well go on sale. Of course, that means chucking most of the concept in the bin, so I’m interested in seeing how Renault pulls this off come 2025.

All photos courtesy of Renault

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22 Responses

  1. I can’t help but think if they HADN’T added all the pointless off-road BS and just made a retro-futuristic R4 car-of-the-people EV that was as simple & practical as the original R4 there would be people beating on Renault’s door right now throwing money at them.

    Also renders are not real cars so stop reporting specs/prices etc. as if they’re anything more than what a kid would make up about an imaginary alien space-ship.

  2. An absolutely horrible abomination. The fuchsia accents … fine, why not. But the R4 was a no-nonsense car, with sensible yet elegant design. And it still could go across a rough country road with a basket of eggs in the back without breaking a single egg.
    Now look at this. Get rid of the large wheels, the oversize wheel flares, all that silly plastic, get the sheet metal down and make the glass house taller … make it car and not this … thing. Where is the garage-door-sized rear door? Where’s … anything that makes an R4 an R4?

      1. You’re correct, the eggs in a basket thing was marketing for the 2CV. Another Citroën aspect that people wrongly attribute to the Renault 4 is that it’s impossible to roll. I know a couple of people who were unaware of this and tried to show it off, immediately rolling their Quatrelles. I don’t even think the “can’t roll” claim had to do with the 2CV, but rather the Traction Avant.

      2. it wasn’t in the 4L requirement… the 4L is the original hatchback, but it was in competition with the 2CV as the cheap car in post WWII France along with the original Beetle, the Fiat 500 and a few other small cheap cars… What put it apart from the other was the hatchback.

  3. Any time renderings are given features (like the CTIS here) it reminds me of when I was 8 and would tell people the specs of the blob I drew on a piece of paper that was supposed to be a car.

    Renderings should be used only to communicate design, you can’t just start telling people your collection of pixels has stuff you can’t be bothered to actually build.

  4. This is NOT a 4L ( Renault 4 or R4 for the non French )… it’s an EV SUV that tries to play on the 4L legacy like Fiat played on the 500 and the Panda and WV played on the Beetle. Those 3 had a somewhat look alike with the original even if they were 100% bigger, that thing does not even remotely look like a 4L, it looks like a boxy SUV and you can probably park 2 4L in volume it occupies. ( actually it looks a lot like the Citroën recycled cardboard car, to the point that it makes me wonder if they didn’t copy each other. )

  5. Just maybe a bit too far from the original but it is more fun looking than the most cars i see day to day.

    The og 4L also was availble in 4X4 from Sinpair, my dad had one (the only one in sweden at the time iirc) when i was a kid but he never got to fix it up and sadly sold it in the late 80’s. It would have been a really cool car now to own.

  6. I just can’t with these recent Renault 4 concepts. None of them makes sense. I didn’t love some aspects of the recent Renault 5 concept but at least that one retained the general proportions and had some styling details that did a good job mimicking bits in the original with a modern design language that worked. Everything they’ve shown with the Renault 4 nameplate in mind just looks like an antithesis of what the original stood for. The Renault 4 was meant to be a cheap, fragile-looking but actually very rugged people’s car. The recent concepts are anything but. I had this glimmer of hope that they’d use the Renault 4 name for a cheap, low-power electric car with a plastic body that closely resembled the original and a stripped down interior with minimal creature comforts/passive security that have become commonplace like airbags, bluetooth/aux in/usb connection, A/C, a smartphone cradle built into the dashboard, etc (but retaining the manual sliding windows would just be the icing on top of the cake for me), meant for relatively low income people like the original. But that’s just wishful thinking, I know the industry has been shifting away from cheap cars for a long time. But I can’t help but feel sad about it, the Renault 4 nameplate means too much to me and it’s sad to see what it may become in the near future. Sorry for the rant/Quatrelle gatekeeping.

    1. There are no good call outs. I grew up around them – literally the first car I was in – and I can make an effort and see some stuff, but the way it’s implemented makes no sense. Take those fuchsia-outlined elements in the corners of the bumpers: I know that they’re supposed to remind us of the rubber protections you could have your Renault 4 optioned with, but they’re way too far apart and look as if the original ones had been mounted sideways. What really irks me is that tacking on a couple of rubber chunks in the same place as the original ones would’ve saved the designers some time and kept the design more true to the original.

      I think the only thing I’m on board with is the colours. I like the contrast of the fuchsia accents on top of an austere shade of grey, and there’s lots of combinations that would work great with just that shade of grey. Keeping the colour options somewhat limited and having a wider range of accents to choose from would be cool and make sense in a modern, unashamedly cheap-looking Renault 4.

  7. I’m not really sure what this particular vehicle has to do with the R4, unless they just mean it’s a distillation of what “car” means contemporaneously (i.e., 2020s : small lifted wagon with plastic bits :: 1960s : no-nonsense protohatchback

    Anyway, I think I like it. It’s got a welcome amount of weird and looks kinda cheerful and friendly. Actually, the overall shape looks like they succeed in figuring out what Volvo tried to do with the XC40, only Volvo didn’t quite get the proportions to gel.

    And +1 for fuschia accents. More cars need more fuschia.

    1. The grill/lights surround of the 4 is pretty distinctive and echoed here. The shut-line stretching from the the front fender to the base of the windshield is here, though much reduced. The C-pillar graphic references the 4’s rear quarter window. The 4’s subtle shoulder that ‘extends’ the hood and then wraps around the rear isn’t super distinctive, but it also makes an appearance here.

    2. It has nothing to do with the R4 beside the name and the hope that people will bite the nostalgia thingie… But compared to all the other nostalgia cars, this one doesn’t even remotely look like a supersized version of the original.

    1. Actually during the early Paris-Dakar rallies the cars were barely modified, and you could find DS, SM, Porsches, Minis, 2CV, 4L Ladas and many more cars running with no modification beyond the roll cage ( which was optional ) … along with Land Rovers and other 4 wheel drive stuff.

      Just check old footages from that time and you’d be surprised ( and amazed ) by the number of car types that ran the first Paris-Dakars.

      1. The Renault 4 Sinpar didn’t just participate in the Dakar; the Marreau brothers drove it to 2nd and 3rd place between cars in the first couple editions of Paris-Dakar. They would eventually win the race in 82 with a Renault 20 Turbo, also prepared by Sinpar, but the feats in 1979 and 1980 are actually more impressive to me.

          1. Oh I know, there’s a very famous one here in Portugal that’s been rallying since the 80s (including some WRC events), and the same guys recently prepared a 1992 GTL and tackled the East African Safari Classic Rally earlier this year. Both cars finished the event (despite breaking down, they brought lots of spares with them and fixed the cars mid-rally when necessary).


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