Home / Social media / Cars / The Renault 5 E-Tech electric is most French EV we've ever seen and it's brilliant.


It may be unique to 40-somethings but retro-inspired modern cars just tick all the right boxes. Maybe it’s because we remember the original versions so well, and seeing them reborn is just cool. This new Renault 5 E-Tech electric ticks all the boxes a little more, but that’s probably because this here writer’s first car just happened to be a yellow Renault 5 in 1996. The OG Renault 5 launched back in 1972 and it had a unique and then modern design with plastic bumpers, bright paint and compact size making it an instant hit. A modern version would be easy to replicate and with the materials and manufacturing process available today it means the compact car can have all the features and on-board technology we could only dream of a few years ago. The design team took an emotive approach, adopting a ‘retrofuturistic’ style and so the modern version has also ended up with bright colours, sculpted wings, a coloured roof trim, a vent grille on the bonnet and most importantly vertical rear lights just like the original. The vent grille on the bonnet of the original car has been reinvented, it’s now a charge indicator in the form of the number 5, for obvious reasons. To make it cool, it lights up when the driver approaches. The human-like headlights also wink at the driver. At the rear, streamlined glass is placed over the rear lights to optimise the airflow. Inside, there’s a 10.1" multimedia touchscreen and the graphic and sound design of the welcome sequence, the onboard soundscapes and the VSP (Vehicle Sound for Pedestrians) was developed in collaboration with the Ircam Institute of Music and Sound and with beloved French musician Jean-Michel Jarre. “We used pieces of collective memory that we translated in a very contemporary way to create the R5 of tomorrow. We didn't want the Renault 5 E-Tech Electric to feel nostalgic or vintage. We wanted to triggering emotion and created a vibrant, energetic, and POP car.“ says Gilles Vidal, VP of Design for Renault & Ampere.

The Renault 5 E-Tech electric is the first car to be designed entirely on AmpR Small, the new Ampere platform dedicated to B-segment electric vehicles, so it’s nice and compact as well as light, weighing under 1,500 kg. The car is powered by wound rotor synchronous technology without permanent magnets and will be available in three power ratings: 70 kW, 90 kW and 110 kW. It has a battery of up to 52 kWh which translates into a decent range of up to 400 km - spec dependant. There are no performance specs available yet, but it will likely have a low top speed but should be able to get there quickly. Performance isn’t what the car is all about though. The car will be released in September 2024 and pricing will start at €25,000, roughly R522,000. There’s no word if the car will be released outside of Europe, but if it came here at that price, it would make it the cheapest EV in SA by a long shot. 

"The R5's DNA is unique. It's a joyful vehicle that attracts sympathy. It's a vehicle that is both popular and avant-garde, providing new solutions for the times it's living in. That was the case in 1972. It will still be the case in 2024. The Renault 5 E-Tech electric is a design masterstroke, a new brain with cutting-edge technologies and electric legs based on a new-generation platform that is unique in Europe: AmpR Small. It's also the result of a commitment to responsible, sustainable production. Our teams have put a great deal of passion, excellence and hard work into developing Renault 5 E-tech electric. This passion and the love we've put into this car are highly contagious. The R5 has a single target: the hearts of our customers. It will leave its mark on the history of the brand.” says Fabrice Cambolive, Renault brand CEO.

“Some products are magical. You don't need endless discussions; everybody always agrees on what needs to be done. And they just do it. There’s no inertia. When a company revives a car that left such great memories, they pour a huge amount of love into it. This is something that is always promising for the future, since it is recognised by customers. They can see the love that went into the car. The Renault 5 E-Tech Electric is a car unlike any other. Its release coincides with a major shift by millions of Europeans towards new mobility which is electric, connected, and sustainable. It also triggered the transformation of Renault Group into a next-generation automotive company. In the face of significant change in our industry, this car paves a new way for Renault. It’s at the heart of the battle to reinvent European industry against competition coming from the East and the West. With this vehicle, we’re proving that production in Europe, in France really is possible!” comments Luca de Meo, Renault Group CEO.

Take a look at the YouTube video detailing the newest French EV on the block, the Renault 5 E-Tech. This thing ticks all the right boxes, it's retro-cool awesomeness, and while it features all the latest tech and materials available today, it still manages to capture the essence of the original Renault 5 hatch: FIRST LOOK: New Renault 5! £25k Retro EV Hatch | Top Gear

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