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.