Renault's New Electric Renault 5 Concept Looks Pretty Fantastic

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Screenshot: Renault

Renault had already announced they’d be digging in their past for inspiration for new electric vehicles, and at today’s Groupe Renault strategic plan presentation/key party (unconfirmed) the first of these resurrected and electrified nameplates were revealed: an all-new Renault 5 EV, and the concept looks pretty amazing.

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Much like how Honda took their old Honda N600 and recast it as a modern EV, Renault is taking their revolutionary-for-the-era Renault 5 supermini design as a jumping-off point.

Looking carefully at the design, it appears that the cues seem to come mostly from the second-generation Renault 5, known as the Supercinq. The Supercinq influence is maybe most clear in the odd body-colored inserts in the headlamp units that look like the indicators on the original, and it’s got the more aggressive stance and flared fenders of the R5 GT versions, like this one:

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Screenshot: Fast Classics

I really like how the foglamps are suggested with those outline-square DRLs, too.

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Screenshot: Renault

There are all kinds of great lighting design going on here: the perforated areas in the bumper that light up to form a bold RENAULT, and the taillight design really captures the shape of the original’s C-pillar-hugging look while also feeling completely modern.

I also like that it appears to still use three-lug wheels, again like the original, though it’s possible those three red squares in the wheel are not covers for lugs or bolts, but still.

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Screenshot: Renault

Renault also seems to have updated their logo as well, partially returning to the more linear version of their traditional diamond that they were using in the 1970s and 1980s. I like this new variant, and it works well as an illuminated logo on this concept.

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Illustration for article titled Renault's New Electric Renault 5 Concept Looks Pretty Fantastic
Screenshot: Renault

If you look carefully at the rear, you may also note a nice little visual quote from the wide-hipped, mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo, too:

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Screenshot: Renault
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Here’s the big question for us Americans: Will we ever get to see this? Is Renault considering, maybe, bringing back the Le Car? Perhaps as an eLe Car?

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Screenshot: Renault
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I think there will be a market for small, useful little electric vehicles here in America, one day, and something like this would fit in beautifully.

Look at that nice little vent that continues the shape of the front fender flare there, with the illuminated 5, by the way. That’s nicely done.

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Screenshot: Renault

There are other interesting details going on here: A hood-mounted charging port and the dash instruments seem to be displayed on a clear panel, with some sort of messaging area designed to be read from the outside, if that “Hello” there is any clue. I’d suspect when the car is parked or charging, that’s when the exterior display system would engage.

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Hopefully, Renault will actually bring this thing to market looking like this, much like how Honda pulled it off with their concept Honda e making it to production virtually unchanged. If they can do that, I think they’d have a winner with this reborn 5.

Well, assuming the range and performance are decent, and all that. Also, would a canvas sunroof kill them? They should consider that, too.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

DISCUSSION

autojunkie
Autojunkie

I like what you did here, but I think that Le e-Car might make more sense.

I’m already disappointed that this car will not end up in North America.