Renault e-Plein Air: a retro-rival for the Honda E | CAR Magazine

Renault e-Plein Air: a retro-rival for the Honda E

Published: 23 July 2019

► A Renault 4 with Twizy guts
► Unveiled at the tenth 4L event
► A retro rival to the Honda E?  

Here’s an EV that should worry the Honda E – at least in the styling stakes. Devised by Renault and called the e-Plein Air, the new electric concept takes its styling cues from the Renault 4 Plein Air, and combines it with some modern tweaks, including an EV powertrain. 

The e-Plein Air was unveiled over the weekend during the tenth annual 4L enthusiasts’ event – and we’re hoping the retro masterpiece goes to production.

What exactly is it?

The Renault e-Plein Air is a joint project between Renault Classic, Renault Design and Melun Rétro Passion – a third-party parts reseller for older vehicles. Details are thin on the ground, but we do know the e-Plein Air uses the two-seater Twizy’s 6.1kWh battery. With that in mind, it’s hard to say how comparable the EV’s performance is to the diminutive e-scooter. 

Future electric cars

Either way, it looks great. The exterior of the e-Plein Air features the same retro look as the Honda E, and inside you’ll find nods to the original vehicle. New blue seats are fitted, along with a picnic basket – but also a contemporary dashboard with dials for displaying battery charge levels. 

The Honda E – or the concept at least – has proven there’s an appetite for stylish, low-range premium EVs. Perhaps it’s time for Renault to join the city EV market with something more distinctively styled than its Zoe hatchback.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes