Renault Group

Mélanie and Harmony share their experience competing in this year’s 4L Trophy rally in a Renault 4

20 October 2022

Compass? Check! Playlist? Check! Renault 4 car? Check! Bucket loads of enthusiasm? Check! Mélanie and Harmony were ready to take part in the May 2022 edition of the world’s largest rally for under‑28s – the one, the only, the 4L Trophy! This human-powered and solidarity-based sporting adventure gave participants the chance to put their orienteering skills to the – Saharan – test in Morocco. A few dunes later, these two friends took first place in the women’s category. As Renault offers a glimpse into the future of the Renault 4 by unveiling its electric  4EVER Trophy concept, the girls talk about the race like it was yesterday.

BY Florentina DECA

The 4L Trophy rally is a unique concept that grabs the attention of thousands of young people every year. Participants cross three countries on their 12-day route ending in Morocco, bringing school supplies for charities in the back of their Renault 4. Mélanie and Harmony, two young friends from Normandy, saw it as an opportunity to have a bit of fun while supporting a worthy humanitarian cause.

Mélanie and Harmony took part in the May 2022 edition of the world’s largest rally for under 28s – the 4L Trophy! - @ FlashSport / Raid 4L Trophy

Race preparation: mechanical mastery and sponsorship seeking

Preparation is crucial for a rally like this. First, the girls needed to make sure the Renault 4 they bought online from a former participant was in good working order. Mélanie’s dad took care of this step, as he knows his way around this iconic car from his youth. The next step involved testing it out and getting used to driving it. Everywhere that Mélanie went – to the bakery, work or her favourite hangouts – the Renault 4 was sure to go. According to Mélanie, the Renault 4 is something “everyone remembers and wants to try out”. Meanwhile, Harmony had the ambitious task of collecting donations to bring to Morocco. “We visited shopping centres to collect school supplies and equipment for pupils in need,” she recalls. More than 15,000 children have benefitted from the school supplies provided by participants over the years.

@ FlashSport / Raid 4L Trophy

Race essentials: a compass and a roadbook

Over 1,450 teams (2,900 people) set out for the Moroccan desert each year. Participants’ unforgettable 12-day adventure starts in the French town of Biarritz. One car journey to the south of Spain and one boat ride to Tangier later, the decisive desert leg of the race begins. The teams are ranked according to distances rather than times.

4L Trophy
@ FlashSport / Raid 4L Trophy

For Mélanie and Harmony, this unique experience is about friendship, courage and trust. Teams need to be able to navigate using a compass and a roadbook. In the Sahara Desert, the girls had to follow directions such as “Tracks, heading of 350°”.

Teams need to be able to navigate using a compass and a roadbook / @ FlashSport / Raid 4L Trophy

We initially thought we’d struggle having to drive a Renault 4L in a range of conditions, but it never let us down on motorways or in the Moroccan desert.

4L Trophy winner

Final race position: first place in the women’s category

Mélanie and Harmony’s only objectives at the beginning of the race were to participate to the best of their abilities, meet some incredible people and see where this solidarity-based adventure would take them. However, as the legs progressed, their chances of finishing in first place improved, and they ended up topping the women’s rankings. They weren’t expecting this at all, considering the race was, in Mélanie’s words, “full of surprises from start to finish”.

Mélanie and Harmony ended up topping the women’s rankings / @ FlashSport / Raid 4L Trophy

The Renault 4EVER Trophy, a modern twist on the iconic Renault 4

At this week’s Paris Motor Show, Renault unveiled the 4EVER Trophy show car – a modern, electric version of its iconic Renault 4 – to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 4L Trophy rally. This show car paves the way for the future all-electric SUV in Renault’s B-segment line-up. The Renault 4 is a true icon. With more than 8 million units sold in over 100 countries, it has left a lasting impression on many generations over the past 60 years. During the motor show, Mélanie and Harmony were given an exclusive peak at the show car – and they were impressed by what they saw!
"The rally made us realise that the 4L is a great all-rounder. It’s really versatile and a firm favourite across all generations. We’re delighted to find out what the new take on the Renault 4 will look like”,
said 4L Trophy winner Harmony
The best is yet to come for the 4L and this year’s 4L Trophy winners, who are already talking about taking part in the race again.4L Trophy