The Renault 5 nameplate will be reborn as an EV hatchback in 2025.
Renault has recently held a massive press conference about its plans to change the flagging financial fortunes that it is currently experiencing. Dubbed the “Renaulution”, this grand plan for the French automaker to catapult itself into the “Nouvelle Vague” (New Era) included the ambitious goal of launching 14 new models by 2025, with half of which apparently to be fully-electric too.
Ordinarily though, ambitious plans like this from automakers normally don’t make headline news. Kia’s equally ambitious Plan S product strategy for instance has not been of much interest to anyone outside of its die-hard fans and shareholders of the South Korean marque. Saying that, what has got everyone hyped up about the Renaulution is mainly down to the reveal of the Renault 5 Prototype that occurred during the same event.
One of the seven new EVs to be launched by the automaker in the coming years, this recently revealed concept car is said to be a reimagining of the iconic Renault R5 of days gone by with a new electric-only heart. Much like the Honda e and the new Fiat 500 then, the French auto giant is banking on the cult classic charm of its upcoming city car to be a volume seller for the marque, in its ambitious push for 30% of its sales to be of EVs within the next 5 years.
To that end, this new Renault 5 Prototype retains much the same exterior aesthetic as its pint-sized predecessor bearing the same name, though with some clever modern touches thrown into the mix. Starting from the front, this prototype brings with it daytime running lights integrated into the fog lights in the front bumper, not to mention the charging port hidden in the bonnet air intake.
Continuing down the side, hidden rear door handles of this city car of diminutive dimension adds an additional layer of practicality to this upcoming Renault EV. Additionally, this prototype features a ‘textile roof’ and gigantic alloy wheels. Both of which will most likely not be making it into production.
Speaking of never making it into production, the same could be said of the large, illuminated Renault lettering across its rear bumper. The complex LED rear light clusters with integrated aero flaps on the other hand may have a better chance of sneaking into the production variants of this upcoming all-electric city car.
Thus far, no further details have yet been released about the powertrain, interior or even the production timeline. What we do know though is that this all-electric Renault 5 will be joined in French automaker’s lineup by an all-electric reimagination of the Renault 4 too. Such is the plan for Renault going forward being to reinvent popular relics from its past.
PRESS RELEASE: At the presentation of Groupe Renault’s Renaulution strategic plan, Renault lifted the veil on its strategy for the next five years and beyond. With Renaulution, the Renault brand embraces the changes from the automotive market. With its “Nouvelle Vague”, Renault will bring modernity in the automotive industry by becoming a tech, service and clean energy brand. Renault will sustain its leadership in the energy transition through electrified & hydrogen solution, offering the greenest mix in Europe by 2025. As for technology, Renault will leverage the “Software République”, an open ecosystem dedicated to software, data, cybersecurity and microelectronics. This will fuel the Renault line-up with connected services. Value will come from a better mix distribution in favor of the C-segment, the development of cutting-edge technologies and new lifecycle business opportunities.
Decisive arguments in support
Innovation has been at the heart of the Renault brand for 120 years. The brand has strong assets to substantiate its ambition to be the ‘Nouvelle Vague’. Renault is the leader in the European EV market with more than 10 years of in-depth experience in electric mobility, services and more than 300 000 vehicles sold. Renault also invented E-TECH, a hybrid technology including more than 150 patents and drawing on the brand’s electrical and F1 experience. The Software Factory gathers over 1000 engineers specialized in software, data & cloud services, soon to be joined by many others. A unique industrial site, the Flins Re-Factory, Europe’s first mobility-specific circular economy factory, also embodies Renault’s modernity. But all this is just the beginning…
At Renault, we embrace the waves of disruption and create our own ‘Nouvelle Vague’. It’s about bringing modernity to the automotive industry. We’ll move to an energy brand, strengthening our EV leadership with the Electro Pole project and investing in Hydrogen, aiming at achieving the greenest mix in Europe by 2025. We’ll also be a tech brand, through in-house innovation and through the Software République, an open ecosystem dedicated to develop a European expertise in key fields such as data or cybersecurity. This will give us a competitive edge as a service brand, with high-tech connected services, onboard & offboard. And this vision of modernity, we anchor it in France. Because as a brand, we know our soul and our strength lie in our origins.
“The new R5 is the Nouvelle Vague: it’s strongly connected to its history, and yet it’s the future, making electric cars popular.” – Luca de Meo, CEO Groupe Renault
Three fields of competitiveness
Renault will evolve into:
- a Tech brand, with an ecosystem approach that aims at creating world-leading, next-generation mobility OEMs and suppliers. This ecosystem called “Software République” will allow Renault, other founding members and future partners to develop joined expertise, build European know-how and defend our sovereignty in key technologies from big data to electronics. It will also allow Renault to equip its vehicles with leading artificial intelligence and cyber-security systems.
- a Service brand, offering the best connectivity and high-tech services embedded natively in our vehicles. In 2022, Renault will be introducing My Link, a new infotainment system with Google Built-in. Renault will be the first carmaker to bring Google services to mass-market cars.
- Becoming more intelligent everyday, our vehicles will gain value over time. They will also live longer. Further, Renault will try to break the consumerist cycle and generate value up until vehicles’ end-of-life, all thanks to its Re-Factory in Flins (France). The plant will recondition more than a 100,000 used cars per year, repurpose Diesel LCV and convert them into biogas and pure EV. Renault also has a clear advantage when it comes to second life and end of life of batteries. The control of these parts of the value chain has the potential to generate new business cases and value.
- a Clean Energy brand, becoming a leader of the energy transition. Challenging leaders on the hybrid markets thanks to its revolutionary E-TECH technology, Renault will sustain its leadership on the electric market with new families of products based on our two dedicated electric platforms CMF-EV and CMF-B EV. The brand will also offer market-ready, end-to-end hydrogen solutions for LCVs. The target is to reach the greenest mix in European market.
As for the range, Renault will make a double-down on both electrification and mix improvement. A repositioned line-up will help the brand win back its front seat in the C-segment while shoring up its B-segment leadership. 14 models will be launched by 2025 (7 electric and 7 C/D segment vehicles) with the ambition to have upper segments accounting for 45% of sales by the same year.
Renault 5 Prototype: The rebirth of a cult car, more modern than ever
The soul of a brand is in its roots. Without falling into the past, she has to reconnect with it and draw its inspiration to find the spirit of the glorious times. This is the role of the Renault 5 Prototype, to show that Renault will democratise the electric car in Europe with a modern approach to the popular and essential car. The Renault 5 prototype is a cute, pin-sized, city car taking one of Renault’s timeless success to the future with a modern, 100% electric twist. It kept the fun, anti-crisis and mischievous side, with the pop of yellow highlights. Gilles Vidal’s design team were inspired by a world-renowned cult model from Renault’s past, the R5. The Renault 5 prototype takes strong features from the original design. The modern approach is also evident in the chosen finishes and materials, which are inspired by the worlds of electronics, furniture and sports.
“The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5, cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive.” – Gilles Vidal, Renault Design Director
The R5 is immediately recognizable, but thanks to a modern treatment of lines and flush surfaces with futuristic detailing (lights, front face…), the result is resolutely in the spirit of the current times. The styling elements taken from the original design in a modern way hide very modern functions: the bonnet air intake hides the charging hatch, the rear lights include aero flaps, and the fog lamps in the bumper are daytime running lights. There is even a nod to the original ‘5’ on the side grid, the wheels and the rear logo. The front end and the textile roof drawn from the world of furniture are full of ‘French charm’, a hint of mischief, character that pulls on the heartstrings. The front and rear logos light up, bringing the car ‘to life’. The French flag in the rear-view mirrors to underline the “invented in France” side of the vehicle, the headrest lights and the name displayed on the small transparent screen on the dashboard, invite you to hop in for a ride.