Twizy a bit modern for your tastes? Renault has the solution

Hey, remember the original Renault 4L Plein Air? Well, unless you’re currently streaming some Bardot or Brel then it’s probably a no…

Understandable. Back in 1968 when Renault opted to lop the roof off its seminal economy car, the result was something of a flop. Despite its charm, only 500 or so of the convertible, doorless french hatches were ever produced – all of which are now worth a small fortune.

Now, Renault has looked to their past for a glimpse of the future. Meet the delightful e-Plein Air concept: half beach buggy, full EV.

As the name suggests, this Quatrelle has gone electric. Under the floor you’ll find the modest powertrain from Renault’s Twizy quadricycle, meaning this new EV iteration has roughly half the power of an original Renault 4 which, even in its day, could only be described as… slow.

But if you came here looking for pant-wetting performance, there’s something wrong with you. The e-Plein Air is more suited to pootling to and from the seaside in quiet comfort, while looking unspeakably cool. Other modifications include a large digital display which replaces the conventional instrument cluster, a more stylish front grille and, most importantly, a colour-matched picnic hamper. To keep your baguettes dry.

Electrifying classic cars is a polarising subject in the motoring community, but in a car like the 4L where the original engine was entirely forgettable, it seems a no-brainer. The e-Plein Air is – for now – merely a one-off concept, made to be displayed at the annual Renault 4L Festival – the Glastonbury of classic economy Renault enthusiast meets.

Will the e-PLein Air make it to a limited production run? We hope so. C’est magnifique.