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Iconic Renault 4 celebrates 60 years with ‘flying car’ design

French automaker Renault wanted to do something a little unusual to mark the 60th anniversary of its iconic Renault 4 vehicle, so it stuck some propellers on it and flew it in the sky.

The offbeat creation is the result of a collaboration with Florida-based design studio TheArsenale. The electric-powered concept vehicle — dubbed the Air4 — is shown taking flight in a recently released video (below).

#AIR4, our flying show-car

The Renault 4 (also known as the 4L) on which the Air4 is based was incredibly popular in its day, selling more than eight million units in around 100 countries in its 33-year lifetime. The final one rolled off the production line in 1994.

TheArsenale’s contraption is essentially a black-sprayed, carbon-fiber Renault 4 frame attached to something resembling a giant quadcopter. It also has a single seat inside for anyone brave enough to sit in it, accessible by lifting up the main part of the vehicle, which is hinged at the front.

According to Renault, the Air4 can fly at 85 feet per second (26 meters per second) at an altitude of up to 2300 feet (700 meters).

Renault's Air4 concept flying vehicle.

Renault: ‘Something unconventional’

“After a year-long celebration, we wanted to create something unconventional to close up the 60th anniversary of the 4L,” Renault executive Arnaud Belloni said in a release. “This collaboration with TheArsenale was a natural fit. The flying showcar Air4 is something unseen yet and a wink to how this icon could look like in another 60 years.”

Seeing an old car fixed to a flying machine reminded us of this dodgy design from years ago that saw a Russian hobbyist attach a pair of wings to a regular vehicle in the hope of creating a flying car.

Thankfully, efforts in the sector have a come long way since then, with a slew of companies investing heavily in the development of electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles for proposed “flying taxi” services in urban areas.

The Air4 will go on public display with Renault 4 models at the Atelier Renault complex on the Champs Elysées in Paris from November 29 through December 31. In 2022, it’ll make an appearance at venues in Miami and then New York, though specific dates and places are yet to be announced.

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