New Renault 5!

Last Updated:

It looks like the all-new Renault 5 made a fantastic transition from Concept car (2nd pic) to production after 3 years. The concept looked great and so does the production version. The new Renault 5 is an EV and will get a 52 kWh battery good for about 250 miles in the European test cycle, or about 200 EPA, which is similar to other small EVs like the new Fiat 500e or the new Mini Cooper EV.

Of course, the interior is a vast improvement over the old one but it seems quite busy and I think it’s a missed opportunity. It could have been a very nice simple and clean design, but it’s not. While the passenger side of the dashboard tries to remind us of the old model, the rest is quite a complicated amalgam of shapes and textures, like so many French cars these days. (I blame Gilles Vidal for this)

This brand-new EV model from Renault will replace the Zoe, a compact EV that costs 33% more to build than the new Renault 5. A performance version of the new 5 will be sold through Alpine. The new R5 will start at around 25,000 Euros.

As you can see, the styling of the Renault 5 EV is obviously inspired by the original R5 that came out in 1972. That first generation was produced until 1985 and sold over 5.5 million units worldwide.

By 1976, the Renault 5 was sold in the US as well, as the Renault 5 at first, just like in Europe. A different advertising agency later came up with the name “LeCar”. By 1979, the LeCar was sold and serviced through AMC dealers in North America. The US version was pretty jazzed up compared to the European model. With more chrome, 5MPH bumpers, stripes, and decals, trying very hard to look like a cool 1970’s car. While the original European design is great, I actually think the North American model looked much more fun.

The first 2 photos on top show the early version, with mandatory round headlights and only 2 doors. By 1980, the eLeCar received a mid-cycle refresh with larger rectangular headlights and a new 4-door model.

Of course, Renault doesn’t sell cars in the US these days, and the new Renault 5 isn’t coming here. Alpine has already announced plans to enter the US market, however, they’ve mentioned 2 or 3 SUVs and not the small A290 based on the Renault 5…

Really too bad…

Conversation 4 comments

  1. I love small zippy cars! This is a wonderful production version of a concept car. It would make a great car for city and suburb dwellers, though the 200 mile range might be a psychological sticking point for many. Sadly, the chances of this being sold in the US are very slim, at best.

  2. I agree with you about the interior – the dash should have been much less cluttered and busy. The 80s R5’s interior was much better.

    It’ll be interesting to see how well this sells after the novelty wears off. Will it be Renault’s New Beetle?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *