Renault 5 E-Tech Brings Retro French Chic To The Modern EV Era

This new Renault 5 certainly has the style, as well as the substance, to be as popular as its namesake predecessor. 

Back in the 1970s, Renault did rather well with its rather popular compact hatchback known as the 5. And fast forward nearly 50 years later, the French automaker is currently wanting to repeat that same success in the coming all-electric future with a retro-futuristic version of its namesake successor.  

Launched recently in its production guise at the ongoing Geneva Motor Show, this new Renault 5 follows rather closely on from its widely acclaimed concept form previously showcased back in 2021. Highlights worth mentioning here regarding its exterior aesthetic include the pronounced boxy fender flares and red window accents that were inspired by the famed R5 Turbo, while its vertical LED taillights that are a high-tech take to the original’s easily distinguishable design. 

This modernised take on the original’s boxy body is further stuffed with cool little touches that puts the fun in Renault 5, with the small square within its LED headlight apparently to wink as anyone approach the car with the key fob. Though perhaps even cooler than that is for a charging indicator (displaying the current charge level when plugged in) be integrated into the offset hump on its bonnet, which pays homage the asymmetrical cooling vent on the original 5.

Oh, and the fun doesn’t stop there too, as turning towards the cabin of the Renault 5, there is not just the option to line its seats and dashboard in a vibrantly yellow fabric, but more French too is a gear lever knob inspired by a classic lipstick tube and the availability of a wicker baguette holder by the centre console. Another more discrete callback to its namesake predecessor within this EV is with the quilted headliner, while the twin 10-inch instrument and infotainment display running Google-developed operating system places this hatchback firmly in the modern era. 

Now similarly modern as well with this new 5 is to be its underpinnings, as it is the first model to debut the Renault’s new AmpR Small platform. The French marque has bigged up for this small hatchback to come with vehicle-to-load (V2L) and vehicle-to-grid (V2G), but perhaps more pertinent to those who like driving is for behind its rather large 18-inch wheels to feature rather grown-up multi-link rear suspension design. 

Moving onto the powertrain specs of the Renault 5 meanwhile, the front-mounted motor of this French EV comes in three different power levels hooked up to two different battery sizes. With the smaller 40 kWh option, the front wheels will be sent either 95 hp and 215 Nm or 120 hp and 225 Nm of torque, with the range said to peak at a WLTP-claimed 300 km. 

Step up to the larger 52 kWh pack on the other hand and the e-motor will produce a healthier 150 hp and 245 Nm of torque, which in turn translates to a century sprint time of less than 8 seconds. It is worth highlighting too that this upgraded pack not only bumps up the maximum range by 100 km over its smaller offering, but also adds an extra 20 kW to the 80 kW DC charging capability of the 40 kWh battery. 

While on the topic of DC charging as well, the lowest powered option of this Renault 5 interestingly doesn’t come with this capability. Though it may be a price worth paying to some, especially considering that this new French EV is slated to cost from just €25,000 (RM 130,000) in Europe. 

Renault will make the reborn Renault 5 at home in France where the Zoe was once made, with the company claiming that parts for this new EV has been sourced from within 300 km of its factory. This new addition to its lineup will spearhead an expansive line of retro-modern Renaults to come, with the all-electric 4 and Twingo next in line for launch in the coming few years. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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