r4 by mark cunningham renault 4 ever shortlisted entry
r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry
jul 13, 2011

r4 by mark cunningham renault 4 ever shortlisted entry

the renault ‘r4volution concept by mark cunningham’



the ‘r4’ (‘r4volution’) concept by UK-based designer mark cunningham is an all-purpose compact family adaptation of the renault ‘4L’. in addition to utilizing sustainable manufacturing practices, the concept involves a system whereby the vehicle body and the engine are owned separately, easing replacement and upgrading over time without the need to purchase a new car. the ‘r4’ design is one of fifty projects shortlisted from over 3200 designs from 92 countries in designboom’s recent RENAULT 4 EVER competition, which asked participants to redesign the renault 4 with an eye towards historical lineage, contemporary aesthetics, and sustainability.

cunningham’s 5-door ‘r4’ satisfies a range of everyday family needs, featuring a built-in bicycle carrier and oversized tailgate. manufacturing practices are centered around reuse and recyclability, utilizing recycled plastics for the body panels and reconceptualizing the dark grey appearance caused by the reuse of lower grade plastics into ‘a re-cycled badge of honour‘ that is a characteristic trim on the series.

small ‘rain gutters‘ at the base of the windshield collect and filter rain water to top off the fluid reservoir, whose consistency is regulated by the placement of a dishwasher-style tablet in the reservoir. the new ‘r4’ does not feature a stereo but rather a line-in connector, presuming that most purchasers of the vehicle already own and prefer to use an mp3 player. the variation prevents a substantial cost and use of resources.



r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry rear 3/4 view



r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry rear view



car ownership follows the logic of the circular economy in a system where the vehicle and the engine unit are owned separately. the engine and gearbox are ‘umbilically linked’ to the car’s drive, permitting the engine to be upgraded over the course of the car’s life. cunningham envisions the car as being available as a full electric model or with an efficient gasoline-based unit. the modular engine system also means that users can purchase the car with the less expensive gasoline (petrol) engine, and switch to an electric configuration later on, dividing the cost. traded-in engines would be used by renault for a discounted line of certified preowned units.



r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry profile view and exterior concept diagrams



r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry interior design views



r4 by mark cunningham   renault 4 ever shortlisted entry the vehicle makes use of recyclable materials and efficient resource management, in addition to a circular economy lifecycle concept

— this article is one in a series of features on the shortlisted entries of the RENAULT 4 EVER competition. renault is proud of the work submitted to the competition and extends sincere thanks to all of its participants. the jury has still not made its final decision on the winning entry, but the results will be published to designboom at the end of july.

  • the front is so cool!

  • I was optimistic when I saw the front. But the side rendering falls very short for me. All of the personality of the R4 greenhouse is lost.

    Marc D.
  • Robert, the idea with some of this comments is not to insult anyone but as I said before out 3000 entries you would think that the best 50 would have considered something so fundamental as wheel size. If you take a few minutes to research it, tire size affects fuel efficiency and determines the weight and size of other components such as the suspension. Even if only 3 have been revealed the level of design is low. Look comparisons are unavoidable and when you look at what Renault did with the frendzy there’s a lot to be desired out of these entries. To expect better resolved designs out of finalists in an international competition is not pathetic, I bet any of these would be shred to pieces if any designer presents them at a review in any automotive studio in the world

  • Why are trolls so facinated with tires?

  • What’s with these haters crying about each shortlisted entry! There can be 47 designs better than the three already published. Complaining seems sad because either you entered your design and it’s not shortlisted or you never entered and think you could have done better and that is even more pathetic. STFU!

  • I hope Designboom does NOT delete this comment! I feel that so far the entries shortlisted have been picked mostly based on their 3D modelling rather than on the overall attention to automotive details. For an international competition with over 3000 participants I have a hard time believing these are the very best projects of the bunch. The Colombo design competition is a good example, where entrants considered basic restrictions of producing a handle such as the internal mechanisms. Automotive design is no different, one must consider the structural integrity, componentry and safety implications of a design even if it is a concept as these will continue to be part of the criteria for the industry. This entry showcases more thought than the previous 2 ones but I feel that its concentration was more on modelling. I would like to know how having a modular unit for the engine & transmission would affect the aesthetics, besides, if you look at the size of electric car batteries these are far bigger than a gas tank, how such transition affect the packaging of the car?

  • Have all the people that were shortlisted been notified?
    Or are they finding out like the rest of us?

  • was the challenge theme to design the next tank for the war to mars??
    can you speak about efficiency with that tires??
    terrible project.

    davide T.
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