mathieu lehanneur reimagines the renault 4L as an open 'nomad hotel suite'

Oct 28, 2021

all images courtesy of renault

while working on the SUITE N°4 concept car, mathieu lehanneur imagined the vehicle as a nomadic hotel suite, completely open to the outside and whose horizons can be continually renewed. drawing influence from both the worlds of automobile design and architecture, the french designer formed a new model that serves as a tribute to the emblematic renault 4, still carrying its same pure, understated and simple spirit, while prioritizing efficiency and spontaneity.

SUITE N°4 preserves the same exterior dimensions and lines as the original vehicle, but there’s a twist. the car’s rear section and hatch have been swapped with polycarbonate windows that offer transparency and lighting. the transparent solar panels on the roof let light in while helping to charge the battery of the car, which has been modified and is now 100% electric.

the front of the car showcases the same iconic silhouette, lines and lights as the original. however, its front grill is replaced with a polished aluminium version with waves and ripples that give an effect of fluidity, dynamism and movement to the car. this distinctive element serves as the designer’s signature, and an ode to evasion as well. architectural inspiration can also be found on the body of the car, which is coated with three layers of paint that give it the mineral aspect of cement.

inside the car, mathieu lehanneur decided to create a warm ambiance like that of a house, combining this idea, with the automobile technical requirements and the sophistication of the french art de vivre, at the same time. the seats and the dashboard covered in yellow velvet. in contrast, the space on the back is finished with a thick, ribbed chenille fabric and accessorized with two laps, for a robust look. bolsters and pillows complete the boot, transformed in a moving room. the experience is finalized by a wooden bench that slides like a drawer and can be extracted to provide sheltered seating when the hatch is open. like for 4l back in the day, all of the materials are ‘made in france’ and supplied by paris- based artisans.

‘the collaboration with mathieu lehanneur was a natural fit,’ mentions arnaud belloni, renault brand global marketing director. ‘we asked him to come up with a concept car showcasing his vision for the 4L. the finished product is extraordinary. a car which really encapsulates everything the brand has set out to achieve through the ‘renaulution’ strategic plan: create modern and innovative cars that provoke emotions.’

project info:

name: SUITE N°4 designer: mathieu lehanneur company: renault