Skip advert
Advertisement

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class

The forthcoming Renault 4 is likely to offer a four-wheel-drive option, helping it to stand out in the market for baby all-electric SUVs

Already previewed by the Renault 4EVER Trophy concept (pictured), the jacked-up Renault 4 model will use the same underpinnings as the newly launched Renault 5: the AmpR Small platform. And most versions of the 4 are expected to have just a single front-mounted motor. But while the supermini seems destined to remain front-wheel drive, the architecture beneath it features a multi-link rear axle that will allow space for an additional electric drive unit – and Renault sources have hinted to Auto Express that the 4, which will be positioned above the 5 on price, will make use of this.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Vittorio d'Arienzo, the chief of the AmpR Small platform division, said that the design was actually necessary to accommodate the larger of the 5’s battery packs, which would have fouled against a cheaper torsion-beam layout. But he admitted to Auto Express, “The platform is ready for four-wheel drive, and yes, we would consider it in the future.”

And Frédéric Morelle, the engineering lead on the 5 project, told us, “The 4 will use the same platform as the 5, but the 4 needs a multi-link rear axle to achieve a specific USP.” This feature could just be extra wheel travel and better rough-road ability, but is much more likely to be four-wheel drive.

A 4x4 version of the 4 could tap into the original car’s motorsport exploits, since a four-wheel-drive version, called the 4 Sinpar, was entered on a number of Dakar rally raids. It would also give it distinct positioning apart from the 5, and build on the rugged image of the 4Ever Trophy concept car that was revealed at 2022’s Paris Motor Show. The all-wheel-drive technology will give Renault a model with few obvious rivals, since all baby electric SUVs launched to date have been two-wheel drive.

Now read our list of the best 4x4s and off-road cars to buy...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details
Renault 4 - front (watermarked)
News

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details

Renault’s retro revolution will continue with a new version of the iconic Renault 4 as a small electric car. Here’s everything we know about it
2 Mar 2024
New all-electric Renault 4 flaunts retro-styled crossover body in snowy spy shots
Renault 4 - front
News

New all-electric Renault 4 flaunts retro-styled crossover body in snowy spy shots

The new R4, part deux of Renault’s retro reimagination of its iconic past models, is coming to join the imminent Renault 5
23 Feb 2024

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!
BMW M2 - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!

Our Day of the Day for 18 April is the formidable BMW M2 performance car
18 Apr 2024
New 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale with specs and prices announced
New Hyundai Santa Fe - front
News

New 2024 Hyundai Santa Fe goes on sale with specs and prices announced

The big, bold seven-seater starts from £46,775, and is available with full-hybrid and plug-in hybrid power
18 Apr 2024
Best small SUVs to buy 2024
Best small SUVs - header image
Best cars & vans

Best small SUVs to buy 2024

There's a huge range of small SUVs out there, so we’ve picked out the very best
19 Apr 2024